If you want to tell me that my head is steaming right now, and I'm writing this after a bad loss so I'm not thinking clearly, fine. But the fact remains, as in my title, Indiana football is downright pathetic.
Indiana traveled to Iowa City to take on the BCS #4 Iowa Hawkeyes, a team that Indiana has won 3 of the last 4 games against.
The game started out great, IU went right down the field and scored. The Hawkeyes looked bad on offense, and either missed or had a field goal blocked. Indiana continued to play well, and held Iowa scoreless through the first quarter.
IU went into the break leading 21-7, the second week in a row that the Hoosiers took a multiple-score lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was as much a disaster as it was a success for Indiana.On Iowa's first possession, quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw the first of his four third quarter interceptions, but IU couldn't capitalize. On the next Iowa possession, Stanzi was again picked off, this time deep in his own territory. Indiana had first and goal on Iowa's 4 yard line, and couldn't punch it in. This is where my first gripe comes.
IU had thrown the ball twice before in the red zone for touchdowns. Why not run the ball? You have a very good running back in Darius Willis, who can run between the tackles, but no. Bill Lynch decides it's a great idea to throw the ball, and as a result, a crazy play results in a Pick 6 for the Hawkeyes.
And it was the beginning of a long downward spiral.
On the next Indiana possession, I've never seen a more terrible call on a football field. Terrence Turner dove for and caught a ball in the end zone, and it was called a touchdown on the field. Naturally, the replay sequence was started, and replays showed that Turner clearly had a foot down in the end zone before his knee hit out of bounds. Some how, the refs determined they had enough evidence to overturn the call. Indiana then missed the field goal.
Indiana then intercepted Stanzi again, and scored a field goal, which would be the only points of the second half for the Hoosiers.
Indiana intercepted Stanzi one more time before the end of the quarter, and went into the final period with a 10 point lead.
Now, I don't care what Fred Glass (IU Athletic Director) said about contracts meaning something at Indiana. Bill Lynch and his staff showed their true colors during the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium.
IU had four quick plays before punting, and on Iowa's first play of the quarter, Stanzi found an open receiver on a play action bootleg for a 92 yard touchdown. Then, Indiana went three-incomplete-passes-and-out, and Iowa scored again on their first play of the drive.
Now why in the world, especially with a three point lead, throw the football three times in a row? If you can explain that football wisdom, please enlighten me. Not only did they have a three point lead at the time, but they were going into a very tough wind that very clearly gave Iowa problems. Why would you ever do that? How anyone can defend Bill Lynch in this situation is beyond me.
What happened after that will be known, in my mind, as the demise of Indiana football. Now down four points, Indiana thought it had no choice but to throw the ball. Chappell was eventually intercepted on a pass that clearly got caught up in the wind. Now I have no problem with throwing the ball. But, as an Indiana coach, have you not learned something watching what's happened previously? Was the Indiana offensive coordinator getting a hot dog while Iowa was on the field? Asking Ben Chappell to throw the ball anywhere past 10 yards should have been out of the question because of the wind. It killed Stanzi, and it killed Indiana when it counted. Iowa scored again, and that was that.
During the last two weeks, Indiana has given up 54 second half points, while scoring three, yes just three, in the same time frame.
I'll let that sink in for a minute.
....Ok, long enough. Indiana's losses last week against Northwestern, and today against Iowa are beyond embarrassing. To score three points in four quarters of second half football is inexcusable and unacceptable. Absolutely unacceptable. Bill Lynch and his staff have completely failed to make second half adjustments in so many games I've watched.
You might say the referees had a big impact on the game today, and they did. Indiana had possibly 14 points taken away from them. In the end though, it wouldn't have mattered.
It's not enough for Indiana to be close in these games. Until the Hoosiers learn to Bill Lynch had an opportunity to shock the college football world today, and he pissed it down his leg.