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Rapid Reaction: Indiana falls to Penn State in Happy Valley

This week’s edition of Indiana Football has come to a close with the Hoosiers picking up loss number three on the road today against the Penn State Nittany Lions and move to 7-3 on the season. Here are the biggest takeaways:

The defense kept IU in it, but it also cost them the game:

James Miller found himself in the backfield a lot against Penn State. (Jared Rigdon/HN)

Giving up big plays continues to be a huge issue for this squad going down the stretch of the season. In a game like today when you have a one-score game the majority of the day, those major defensive errors can be what gets you a game in the loss column. The Big Ten is the best defensive conference and you cannot expect to win here unless your defense can hang with the best offenses in the conference.

The real cost of today’s game came in the final quarter of play following an Indiana touchdown with a little over 10-minutes remaining. Penn State got the ball and took up over 8 minutes of time off the clock while locking in a touchdown to snag a game-winning 10-point lead. The defense has to be better. It cannot allow long drives at the end of games and expect to win in this conference.

This Offense is missing Penix, but hasn’t lost hope without him:

Obviously, the offense has more explosiveness with Penix under center but All the credit in the world needs to be given to Peyton Ramsey for keeping the Hoosiers in this one today. He controlled the offense in the way a Big Ten starting quarterback should, and I think he is the reason this game was as close as it was.

The offense lost the top target, Whop Philyor, early in this one and while it did hurt the Hoosiers chances in this one, it didn’t quite cost the Hoosiers the game. The biggest takeaway here is that the Indiana offense is not having to piggyback off the defense’s big plays as the Hoosiers can continue to make plays to keep them in ball games.

Indiana Football is still building, but they aren’t done yet

Listen this is not your same old Indiana football team. For years it seemed as if Indiana was the little brother of the Big Ten. The Hoosiers were big enough to fight but never quite big enough to win. Except for this year. The fight seems even now. It’s almost as if the little brother of the Big Ten finally hit the growth spurt and is starting to compete with the likenesses of Penn State.

There was no give up in this group today. There were times where it made sense for this Indiana team to give up and call it a day like they may have just a year ago but not today. To quote Tom Allen, this group certainly “fought and fought and fought” today. I fully believe everyone needs to understand that this team is different and that is why they can compete with these high-level teams now. Enjoy the process now, because we are closer today to that breakthrough than we have been in a very long time.


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