Entering Saturday’s contest against Wisconsin, Indiana was in a must-win situation if it planned to become bowl-eligible. While the Hoosiers struggled in the second half, they held on for a close 20-14 victory.
Although redshirt freshman quarterback Brendan Sorsby was questionable for the matchup against the Badgers, he led the Hoosiers to victory going 19-of-31 for 186 yards with a passing touchdown alongside a rushing touchdown.
Wisconsin won the toss, electing to defer to the second half. Sorsby found paydirt on an 8-yard rushing touchdown, capping off a nine-play, 66-yard drive. The scoring drive marked the fourth consecutive game in which Indiana scored before its opponent.
The Hoosiers’ defense forced a turnover on downs but couldn’t convert their defensive stand into points when redshirt junior Chris Freeman missed a 43-yard field goal.
Both the Badgers and the Hoosiers began the second quarter with a pair of punts before Freeman nailed a 27-yard field goal, giving Indiana a 10-0 lead.
The Hoosiers forced a three-and-out from the Badgers but followed the successful defensive possession with a three-and-out of their own.
Wisconsin put its first points on the scoreboard with junior wide receiver Bryson Green’s 54-yard touchdown reception from redshirt freshman quarterback Braedyn Locke, cutting its deficit to 10-7.
Indiana immediately responded with a touchdown of its own when junior wide receiver Donaven McCulley hauled in a one-handed 7-yard touchdown, capping off a nine-play, 71-yard drive.
While the Badgers went into halftime down 17-7, they began the second half with a 10-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Redshirt sophomore Will Pauley snagged his third score of the season when he was on the receiving end of Locke’s 18-yard pass.
Although Indiana managed to possess the ball for nearly five and a half minutes, its lone drive of the quarter resulted in a punt.
Wisconsin followed suit with a lengthy six-and-a-half-minute drive of its own, but the Hoosiers forced the Badgers’ fourth punt of the afternoon.
Indiana’s second three-and-out of the contest resulted in its fourth punt of the game — matching Wisconsin.
On 2nd and 10, the Badgers completed a nine-yard pass, but the Hoosiers’ defense was adamant they forced a fumble. The officials ruled that the receiver was down but overturned the call after a replay review.
After the first turnover of the contest, Indiana began its subsequent drive at Wisconsin’s 44-yard line. The Hoosiers lost 11 yards, forcing yet another punt from junior punter James Evans.
The punting parade continued when Wisconsin went three-and-out, punting the ball back to the Hoosiers with just over eight minutes remaining. Indiana matched the Badgers, going three-and-out and punting the ball back to the visitors.
The Badgers turned the ball over on downs, giving Indiana an opportunity to capitalize — and it did. Freeman’s 50-yard field goal gave Indiana a 20-14 lead, holding on for its third victory of the season.