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Rapid Reaction: Indiana 38, UConn 3

Nick Westbrook heads toward the end zone during Saturday’s dominating win over the Huskies. (Jared Rigdon/HN)

Well, there you have it. Indiana defeats UConn 38-3 to pick up win No. 3 on the year. The Hoosier Network will have more coverage to follow, including an update on offensive lineman Coy Cronk after he was carted off the field earlier today. For now, some instant thoughts following today’s performance:

Peyton Ramsey did his job

I don’t think we need to overreact to Peyton Ramsey’s performance today. Yes, 23-for-27, 247 yards and three touchdowns is rather impressive but let’s not freak out about this. The Hoosiers today faced off against UConn, a defense that has been noted as being one of the worst in the country. This performance was due and frankly was what many were expecting following a blowout loss to Ohio State.

I’m not saying Ramsey played badly, I am simply saying that the stat line was nothing spectacular given the strength of the opponent. If Peyton can return next week with a similar, or even better, showing, then there is a bigger conversation to be had.

The defense held its own

I’ll give credit where credit is due here. The defense played an extremely complete game today. They started off slow, giving up three points early, but when you look at the game stats, this easily could have been another shutout.

The Hoosiers defense, led by defensive coordinator Kane Womack, held UConn to 51 rushing yards and only 145 yards in the air while forcing two turnovers (including a pick-six) and sacking the quarterback twice in the backfield. Tom Allen spoke all week about the importance of responding from a blowout loss with an impressive defensive stand and the Hoosiers did exactly that today.

We still don’t know who this team is

This is by far my biggest takeaway on the day. Usually, by week three or four, fans can get a good idea about a team’s identity and place pretty accurate assumptions about the team’s season moving forward. After week four, we still have no clue who the Indiana Hoosiers are.

The teams we saw in week one and three versus the teams we saw in week two and four are completely different in styles and discipline. The results in these games directly represent that. The Hoosiers desperately need to become consistent in their tackling ability as well as develop strengths on the offensive side of the ball that can be relied upon week to week.

The Big Umbrella of it all

This team has a lot of potential. I really feel they can compete with 90% of the teams on their remaining schedule, especially given the weak performances shown by Michigan and Northwestern today. Bottom line: Indiana has to decide what kind of team it wants to be. If it wants to be a disciplined and dedicated team that Tom Allen pushes the players to be, this team may have something special brewing in Bloomington.

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