The weather couldn’t have gotten much worse, but Indiana had a home opener to play Saturday night. As expected, heavy rain, which lasted for the majority of the night, proved to be a bit of an equalizer, but Indiana did enough to hang on for its second straight win to open the season 2-0. Reaction:
Especially given the weather, more than a few people offered at Stevie Scott being the go-to on the ground coming into tonight; the freshman seemed poised to break out against Virginia after a promising performance in Miami a week ago. At one point near the end of the third quarter, Scott literally carried the Hoosiers down inside the Virginia 40 yard line before punting. Though it didn’t conclude in a score of any kind, which was certainly an area of concern tonight in itself, these are signs of life. The run would be reflective of tonight’s stellar effort, as Scott finished with over 200 yards and a touchdown. The sort of maturity and knowledge the freshman has proved he already possesses has to be comforting. Most importantly, these may be the first signs of Indiana finally beginning to get a grasp of its identity, or at least a portion of it.
Containing Perkins (Enough)
Some of the first words out of Tom Allen’s mouth Monday after FIU were regarding how quickly Virginia quarterback had got ahold of his attention. Though it was a good night for the first-year Cavalier (123 yards on 25 attempts) the Hoosier defense took care of things when it needed to. With few exceptions, when Perkins attempted to throw, it wasn’t pretty, keeping the Virginia offense on the ground for most of the night, whether it was Perkins or running tailback Jordan Ellis. Though a few double-digit yardage gains show up on the stat sheet tonight, Perkins just couldn’t run all over the defense in the same way he did last week versus Richmond, and to that extent, the rain might’ve helped Indiana’s cause. Fears regarding Indiana’s front seven were plentiful after last week’s suspect performance at FIU; those can be alleviated to an extent after tonight, as the defense secured a few key stops when it mattered most. Still, some fragility on the front line is evident.
Ramsey Reacts Well
This was Peyton Ramsey’s game to win or lose tonight and in turn, the sophomore handled it well. In part because of the conditions, finding targets through the air was hard to come by and when he had nowhere else to go, Ramsey scrambled and made it work, the quarterback finishing with two throwing touchdowns and 150 yards. yards on the ground. It is now clear that Ramsey knows who he wants to go to and when. While Donavan Hale led the way again tonight in terms of receiving (4 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown), Ramsey found tight end Peyton Hendershot as well as wideout Ty Fryfogle in key situations. On a night where so many things didn’t go Indiana’s way, Ramsey managed well in midst of it all.