That was brutal. It really was the worst type of loss for IU. We went down 14-3 and at that point all IU fans had that sinking feeling that we might get blown out by Ball State at home. We fought back and took the lead going into halftime thanks to a pretty gutsy 2 point conversion call.
Follow that with a 3rd quarter where do not show up, and let Ball State push us around like they were The Ohio State. But after we let 2/3 of Memorial Stadium empty out, the Hoosiers made a frantic comeback, and thanks to three pass interference calls, took a lead. For a moment, it looked like disaster was averted and we would get off to a 3-0 start. Seeing the Penn State vs Navy score, you could see a 4th win against the Midshipmen. And with the B1G being down, maybe we could even pick up 1 or 2 wins in conference play and have the most improbable bowl season in my lifetime.
Then, our defense came back on the field. They let Ball State drive down the field, which was consistant with their performance during the second half of the game. Just add in a bad call, then a last second field goal, and you have a a very tough loss to take. My thought driving home last night where this game would rank on Bill Simmons Levels of Losing scale. I would say either Level XIII: The Rabbit’s Foot or Level III: The Stomach Punch, although considering I wasn’t 100% sure if we could win this game, not sure it qualifies for a Stomach Punch.
After the game there was a lot of talk about the last catch by Ball State and if it was a bad call by the refs. Having only seen the replay once at the game, I am in no position to say if it was right or wrong. But I do know that it does not matter. When we started our comeback in the 4th, I said that we did not deserve to win this game, and I stand by it. That last pass might have been a bad call, but again, it does not matter, because we made so many mistakes and played so poorly throughout the game that we can’t say a ref took this away from us. We lost the game. Plain and simple.
As I mentioned earlier in the week during my podcast with Galen, this was a turning point game. And I believe that unless we pull off a miraculous B1G win against Northwestern, Michigan State or Ohio State, interest in this team is gone for the year. If you stayed for the end of the game, like me, and enjoyed the elbow room get used to it. I just don’t see interest coming back this season, especially with basketball right around the horizon. (Quick note to Jeremy Gray on the postgame show, don’t give any shit to the fans for leaving early. After years of losses and crappy teams, it is officially up to the football team to give fans a reason to stay. The fact that we can get over 40,000 fans for this team is a testament to the IU fan base)
I’m not going to spend any time talking about our defense and how bad they are, but rather talk about some positives. Coffman played very well, especially in the 2nd quarter when Coach Kevin Wilson allowed him to throw more than 4-5 yard passes. Houston also had a great game and showed that he might be the #1 running back in our quartet of backs. I just don’t like seeing the same inside draw running play that we seem to run every series. I see this every year, that we run the same few running plays, and in the pre-conference season they sometimes break for big plays. But that doesn’t mean it is a great play, or that you should now run it 30 more times. I would love to see the average yards per play we get off that run. There are many more -1 yards on that play then big runs. Plus once we get to B1G play, they never work, because you can’t continue to run the same play over and over again.
So, I’m very disappointed to say the least. I really saw a path for us to have a great season and build excitement with this young team. Sadly, I worry it’s going to be just another IUFB season that we all slog through and hope ends.
The quote of the night goes to my Dad. After the 3rd quarter, the cheerleaders do the Flag Time-Out and then we shoot off fireworks. In true IUFB fashion, the fireworks were set off late. After the fireworks were shot off, my Dad, who hasn’t been to a game since they added this, looked at me and said, “Why the hell are we shooting off fireworks, we’re losing to Ball State”.
Current Record – 2-1 (0-0)
TJH Projected Final Record – 3-9 (1-7)
Enough from me. What are your thoughts?