Indiana played a November football game with Big Ten title implications. But just when IU had some first-time momentum under coach Kevin Wilson, Wisconsin provided an embarrassing reality check. A 62-14 Badgers win shows the Hoosiers football program still has a long way to go.
It was a beautiful afternoon to take a stroll through Bloomington. That's exactly what Wisconsin did. The Badgers strolled right through the Hoosiers defense for a school-record 564 yards rushing.
"It's not good," said IU senior Larry Black, who made just one tackle in his final home game. "You never want to give up 564 yards. That's not our defense. That's not what we represent. But give credit to Wisconsin. They came out and hit us in the mouth."
Montee Ball ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns. James White ran for another 163 yards and two scores. Wisconsin was just looking to run out the clock at the end of the first half when White broke a 69 yarder and broke the game wide open. Wisconsin led 24-7 at the half.
The Hoosiers Big Ten leading pass offense only found the end zone twice for a season-low 14 points. Cameron Coffman completed 25 of 46 passes for 233 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"Obviously the result was not what we wanted," said Coffman. "But we're not going to go backwards at all. We've still got two games left. We've got a bowl ahead of us."
The sudden excitement over IU football got trampled by Wisconsin (7-3, 4-2). The blowout clinched a Wisconsin trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten title game on December 1. The Hoosiers finish the season with two road games, at Penn State and Purdue. The Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4) must win both games to be eligible for a bowl game.
"We're a long way away," said IU coach Kevin Wilson. "But we're moving in a positive direction. We have an outcome today that we're embarrassed and don't like. But we need to find ways not to sugarcoat or find silver linings. There's a lot that needs to be a lot better."
A group of Indiana male student fans in the front row at Memorial Stadium spelled R-O-S-E-S-? across their chests. The answer: not for the Hoosiers, but maybe for the Badgers.