Hoosiers Start Fast, Spoil North Texas' First Trip To Big 10 Country
Indiana Piles Up 21-0 First Quarter Lead, Rumbles For 593 Total Yards To Down Mean Green
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In the 2011 matchup between North Texas and Indiana at Apogee Stadium, the Mean Green was the early aggressor in a 24-21 win. On Saturday, the Hoosiers flipped that script and spoiled NT's first trip into Big 10 territory.
Mean Green miscues and an onside kick helped Indiana (3-2, 0-1 Big 10) take a 21-0 first-quarter that all but dashed North Texas' chances. Dajon Williams and North Texas (2-3, 0-1 C-USA) came alive in the second quarter, but the Hoosiers running game went to work and kept NT at bay for a 49-24 win in front of 40,457 at Memorial Stadium.
IU Quarterback Nate Sudfeld completed 14 of his first 17 passes and led an efficient Hoosiers attack that accounted for 593 total yards, the most surrendered by the Mean Green this year. Tevin Coleman entered the game as the NCAA's leading rusher at 172.8 yards per game, and he led the Hoosiers ground game with 17 carries for 150 yards and one score. DeAngelo Roberts also reached the century mark with 102 yards and two touchdowns.
Aside from freshman mistakes on his two interceptions, Williams showed why he was handed the reigns of the Mean Green offense. He was 18-of-34 for 205 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 40 yards on a team-high 13 carries.
A quick passing attack led by Williams helped wake up the Mean Green offense in the second quarter. The redshirt freshman was 9-of-14 for 81 yards in the second frame, including a 20-yard touchdown strike to Carlos Harris to put North Texas on the scoreboard. Harris finished with a career-best 11 catches for 120 yards.
North Texas entered the day as one of seven teams in the country perfect in red-zone scoring, and the Mean Green kept that streak alive with a pair of fourth-quarter scores. Williams hooked up with a wide open Marcus Smith for a 20-yard touchdown with, and then he found Tanner Smith on a 1-yard screen pass on NT's next possession. North Texas has now scored on all 17 trips into the red zone this season.
What They Said
"We just didn't execute. We put ourselves in poor field position, and that was our own fault. They executed and we didn't. That was a really poor way to start the game. If my team didn't have great resolve and backbone today things really could have gotten out of hand."
--North Texas head coach Dan McCarney on Indiana's quick 21-0 first-quarter lead.
"Our kids fought back. I love the way we played especially in the red zone, but we got beat by a better team today. Indiana simply beat us, but we know we're a better team that this."
--McCarney on how his team responded after allowing IU's first quarter haymaker.
"I thought Dajon did some good things today. I think he learned a lot today. He made some silly mistakes, especially on that interception three plays into the game. We simply can't have that. That being said, he's our best option to win going forward and I think he's getting better every day."
--McCarney on the play of his redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams.
With the win Indiana evens the series with North Texas at 1-1. North Texas won the first matchup, 24-21, in 2011 at Apogee Stadium. The game was NT's first at a Big 10 opponent.
NT forced a fourth-quarter fumble, and now has at least one turnover in 21 straight games dating back to 2012. Only three teams in the country have longer streaks - ULM (30), Houston (27), 'Ole Miss (27).
NT kicker Trevor Moore hit his only attempt on the day, a 20-yarder, which keeps the freshman perfect on the year (6-of-6).
NT quarterback Dajon Williams made just his second career start, and had completed 28 passes without an interception prior to today.
The Mean Green defense allowed a touchdown on Indiana's first offensive possession of the game. It was the first time this season that North Texas has allowed a touchdown on the opponents initial possession of the game.
The North Texas defense had only allowed one touchdown in the first quarter this year, but allowed three Hoosier touchdowns in the first quarter today.
After Mean Green had just 23 yards of total offense in the first quarter, it picked it up in the second quarter with 123 yards. NT finished with 348 yards on the day.
Indiana running back Tevin Coleman broke a 74-yard run in the third quarter, which is the longest rush against the Mean Green defense this season.
Carlos Harris set a new career high with 11 catches. He piled up 120 and a touchdown on the day.
North Texas returns to C-USA play with a road trip to UAB in Birmingham, Ala.