Monday, September 23, 2013

When Will Indiana Learn?

Ben Fishman
College Sports 24/7
     It’s been over 24 hours since Indiana and Missouri met Saturday night in what was one of the bigger games in recent Indiana football memory and clearly the biggest game under Kevin Wilson. It’s been over 24 hours also, since Indiana took on an SEC opponent under the lights on primetime TV, and fell flat on its face.
     When will Indiana learn? The offense can’t not show up when the defense does and vice versa. Three of their first four games were against teams that they were favored to beat, and yet, here Indiana sits at 2-2 heading into what will be a very long two weeks before Penn State comes to town on October 5th.
     Wanna know the worst part? This is a good team. This is a fun team to watch. When Nate Sudfeld gets in a rhythm, he’s as good a signal caller as any in America. When Nick Stoner and Ted Bolser get out in open space, no one can stop them. And when Shane Wynn and Cody Latimer find seams, they’re gone. This team is better than 2-2.
     Kevin Wilson is better than 2-2 in his third year. Don’t for one second think this isn’t eating him up inside, the losses to Navy and Missouri. Indiana could very well be 4-0, but they simply didn’t bring it Saturday and they didn’t make the crucial plays to complete the comeback against Navy.
     The defense must be complimented over and over again, because they got stops over and over again, including three first-half turnovers. Tim Bennett is quickly becoming one of the better playmakers on the defensive side of the ball and the secondary stepped it up against a quality SEC quarterback. And James Franklin is a very, very good SEC quarterback in a league full of them.
     So why are we here? Is the sky falling? No, not yet. Not by a long shot.
Indiana gets to host Penn State and can very conceivably win that one. They can win at Michigan State as well, a team who up till last week was having identity issues themselves. With games against Purdue, Minnesota and Illinois still on the dock, who is to say that Indiana can’t go 4-4 and make it to a bowl game? Michigan certainly isn’t unbeatable. The talent is there, the improvement is there and for the first time in a long time, the fans are there.
     Did you see how amazing that crowd was? When the Hoosiers tied it up at 14-14 midway through the second quarter, that place was going crazy. That my friends, is what Indiana football can be. That my friends, is what the Fred Glass’s and Kevin Wilson’s of the world are trying to turn it into.
     But it has to be time to do that. It’s Kevin Wilson’s third year. Anything less than 4 wins could very easily be enough for a dismissal, recruiting or not.
It’s put up or shut up time for Indiana.
But one has to ask, when will this stop?
When will IU get the early season wins?
When will they stop putting themselves in these positions?
When will Indiana learn?

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