BLOOMINGTON – One again, Indiana had plenty of offense. Once again, it wasn't enough.
The Hoosiers' 42-39 loss Saturday night at Memorial Stadium was the third time they've scored at least 35 points this season and lost. They are 3-5 overall, and have four games to reach six victories and become bowl eligible.
Quarterback Tre Roberson started and struggled throughout the first half. He was 8-for-18 for 80 yards and an 18-yard TD pass to Kofi Hughes.
Nate Sudfeld replaced in in the second half and led a big rally from a 35-13 deficit. The Hoosiers scored 26 straight points to take the lead before Minnesota (7-2) regrouped for the victory.
IU was positioned for the win, getting to the Minnesota 9-yard line with 25 seconds left. Sudfeld's swing pass to Tevin Coleman was jarred loose. Because of Coleman's angle, it was actually a backward pass and ruled a lateral, and then a fumble. Minnesota recovered to clinch the win.
Here are coach Kevin Wilson's thoughts after the game
“This was a tough loss. Our guys didn't play well early, but man they battled and hung in there. We had a lot of chances, but I made a poor (play) call at the end and we didn't execute the play…
“The defense gave us some big plays, so we tried to be more aggressive at the end. There was a stretch where we really played well together. We had a lot of momentum. I'm really disappointed for our players. As coaches, we have to help them out and make the right calls. That last one was not the right call.”
IU's last offensive play
“It was a swing play, so there is always a chance for a lateral. It didn't get executed right. We didn't get on the ball like we should have, either. When it's a close game, those fundamentals are so important. Never leaving the ball on the field is so important. Don't assume anything. Always grab the ball just in case. It was not an ideal call at that time, because we lost the game.”
Why wait until the second half to play Sudfeld?
“With the way their defense was set up, we felt we needed to run because of their man coverages. Our running backs did well. We thought Tre would take part in that.
Tre was a little bit off in the first half, as was the rest of the offense. We felt cold at the end of the second quarter.
“We almost put Tre back in to start the third quarter, but decided to give Nate a shot. Tre didn't play poorly, he was just a little bit off. Nate came in and gave us a boost.”