The Indiana Hoosiers are bowl eligible.
Yes, you read that right, the Indiana Hoosiers secured their 6th win before the month of October came to a close, the first time Indiana has achieved such a feat since the 1993 season. Indiana has now won three straight Big Ten games, including back-to-back road wins.
So how did they secure a victory in Lincoln, Nebraska, one of the meccas of college football?
The main factor would have to be Peyton Ramsey, Indiana’s back-up quarterback.
With freshman phenom Michael Penix Jr. being declared out shortly before kickoff, it was once again Ramsey who got the call. Ramsey had proven just last week that he had what it takes to guide Indiana to a conference road win, but against Nebraska Ramsey had the game of his life.
The junior signal caller completed 27 of his 40 passing attempts for 351 yards and a trio of touchdowns (two through the air and one on the ground), along with adding 42 yards on the ground on just nine carries. Ramsey picked apart a Nebraska secondary that was supposed to be a strength of their defense yet routinely struggled to corral Ramsey and Indiana’s plethora of receivers.
Speaking of receivers, we can’t go any further without bringing up arguably one of the best in the country, Indiana’s Whop Philyor. Philyor had another outstanding game, securing 14 catches for 178 yards, and making it the third time in his last four games to reach double digit receptions. Philyor proved to be a security blanket all afternoon long for Ramsey and ended up with 8 first down receptions on the game.
Defensively, things weren’t quite as bright for the Hoosiers. They struggled to get any sort of pass rush going, ending up with just one lone sack from sophomore safety Jamar Johnson.
The Huskers gave Indiana a healthy dose of their own freshman star, Wan’Dale Robinson, and Indiana struggled to corral him for most of the afternoon. Robinson finished the game with 28 total touches for 154 yards and a score, and at times it looked like he might be able to single handedly will Nebraska to a victory.
Yet just like last week’s victory over Maryland, the Indiana defense stood tough when it counted, forcing Nebraska into a turnover on downs with just over three minutes left in the game.
From that point on, it became the Stevie Scott show. Although Scott was relatively quiet throughout the game, finishing with 16 carries for 68 yards, Indiana leaned on him at the end of the game to keep the Huskers offense off the field.
Scott racked up 25 yards on 4 carries on the game’s final drive, and any hopes Nebraska had of earning one more chance on offense went down the drain as the Hoosiers were able to enter victory formation and simply take knees to run out the clock.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen has had a consistent message ever since he arrived in Bloomington, that a breakthrough was coming.
We had seen improvement off the field in that timespan, whether that be the facilities or the recruiting numbers, progress was being made.
Yet that progress was not being reflected on the field, where Indiana had finished just 5-7 in each of Allen’s first two years.
Now, with a victory over the Huskers and a 6-2 record on the season, that breakthrough might just be here.
With winnable games left on the schedule such as Northwestern and Purdue, along with a late season home game against Michigan, the Hoosiers will have plenty of chances to build upon an already impressive resume. With six wins already in hand, the Hoosiers have a chance to finish with a truly special season and prove that Tom Allen was right; this program is on the cusp of breaking through.