Take the second half of last week’s game at Northwestern and the first half of Saturday’s game against Michigan State, and Indiana looks like a powerhouse.
Now, if the Hoosiers could just find a way to put four great quarters together on the same day.
IU squandered an impressive first half against the Spartans, who rallied for a 31-27 victory to spoil Indiana’s Homecoming and retain the Old Brass Spittoon.
“Played a half real hard, second half just got outplayed,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said.
Indeed, an IU offense that gouged the Spartans (4-2, 1-1 Big Ten) for 280 yards and five scores in the first half had just 37 yards after the break.
“I thought at halftime the players refocused and did a great job setting the tone in the locker room for themselves,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said.
Michigan State came into the game as the Big Ten’s best defense, allowing just 263.4 yards per game — just 154.5 passing yards per game.
Cameron Coffman bettered that with an impressive first half. He was 23-of-30 for 256 yards and three TDs in the first two quarters, completing nine straight passes at one point.
The offense went cold for IU (2-3, 0-2) in the second half, however. Coffman was just 10-of-18 for 26 yards in the final two quarters.
“We just couldn’t get it going,” Coffman said. “Our offense, we like to go fast, go up-tempo, and it’s really about that first set of plays. If we get going, get in a rhythm, we’re really rolling. If we don’t get going that first couple plays, then we’re not as good as we should be.
“We just couldn’t get it going a few times and that’s my fault.”
Wilson replaced Coffman with Nate Sudfeld a week ago against Northwestern, when the Hoosiers trailed 20-0 at halftime and 27-0 in the third quarter before losing 44-29. He admitted that he considered changing quarterbacks again, but decided to stick with his starter.
“I thought he played reasonably well, we weren’t forcing picks,” Wilson said of Coffman. “The only reason we went with Cam (as Saturday’s starter) was that he was slightly better on Wednesday and Thursday (in practice).”
While Indiana’s offense was performing above expectations in the first half, the defense was as well.
IU led 17-0 after the first quarter as Michigan State was outgained 183-22 in the game’s first 15 minutes. The Spartans battled back to within 17-14 on a Le’Veon Bell TD run and a scoring pass from Andrew Maxwell to Larry Caper.
But the Hoosiers answered with Coffman’s 17-yard TD pass to Shane Wynn. And when the kickoff was moved to the 50 because of a personal foul on the Spartans, the Hoosiers tried and recovered an onside kick.
The Hoosiers made it to the Michigan State 2 before settling for a Mitch Ewald field goal — his second of the day and the 34th of his career, moving him into sixth-place alltime in that category for the Hoosiers.
Both offenses bogged down in the third quarter, with Dan Conroy kicking a 46-yard field goal to bring the Spartans to within 27-17. But while Michigan State’s offense would eventually get going, the Hoosiers couldn’t regain their rhythm.
“You saw how good we can be when we’re playing well, but we’re not into moral victories,” Coffman said. “We fully expected to beat that team and we didn’t. That’s my fault on the offensive side.”
The defense took their share of the blame.
“I think it was just us not locking in,” Greg Heban said. “We had a great third quarter, but we have to finish.
“That’s been the stigma of our team, we just have to finish the fourth quarter. And I think if we had finished that fourth quarter, and gave the offense more shots, and the offense could have converted, I feel like we come out victorious here.”
Bell ran for 121 yards and two TDs for the Spartans, while Maxwell completed 24-of-40 passes for 290 yards.
Shane Wynn caught 12 passes for the Hoosiers, breaking his previous career game-high of six in the first quarter. He had seven receptions in the first quarter.
Take the second half of last week’s game at Northwestern and the first half of Saturday’s game against Michigan State, and Indiana looks like a powerhouse.
Indiana State baseball now one win from MVC Championship
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Indiana State’s baseball team has been waiting all season for its stars to align.
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On the heels of their thrilling double victory at the 2013 Missouri Valley Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships both the Indiana State men and women moved up in the national rankings which were released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
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Think of every championship that Indiana State has won in each of its sports, past and present. Think of every tournament — postseason or regular season — which the Sycamores have claimed as their own.
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ISU couldn’t do it.
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ISU baseball team builds on success with 14-2 rout
Indiana State’s baseball victory over Alcorn State on Friday would take on more meaning Saturday if the Sycamores could build momentum and pick up on the good work they did in Friday’s ninth-inning rally.
The Sycamores were aggressive from the opening inning at the plate and starting pitcher Devin Moore gave them eight valuable and effective innings on the mound as ISU defeated Alcorn State 14-2 at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a really good experience for everybody. It felt great to finally come out here and put some things together. It’s also really nice when your offense puts a lot of runs on the board,” Moore said.
Moore’s eight innings of work were as valuable as gold to an ISU team that is short on quality arms due to injury and ineffectiveness. He didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and one of the two runs he conceded was unearned.
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ISU pole vault tradition continues with help from its author
Pole vault is track and field for the adrenaline junkie, Indiana State senior Nicole Hope proclaimed during a recent practice at Marks Field.
To catapult oneself about 14 feet into the air with a large $500 fiberglass pole on a daily basis is a risky endeavor.
“We have to be fearless. You can’t be afraid at all,” said Hope, who has also catapulted herself into the NCAA’s elite in the event, ranking 15th in the NCAA with her leap of 13-feet, 9 1/4.
Sycamores searching for answers after seventh loss in eight games
These are the bad times for the Indiana State baseball team.
The will is there for the Sycamores to pull out of their worst slump of the season, but the results are not. The suffering continued on Wednesday at Bob Warn Field as Eastern Illinois defeated ISU 5-3.
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The Indiana State men’s track team has won the last two Missouri Valley Conference outdoor championships, but the women have not stood on the top podium since 1999.
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Mother Nature has been the bane of the Indiana State baseball team’s existence all season. Eight games wiped due to weather are a testament to that. So it was no surprise, though no less disappointing, when she didn’t deal Indiana State pitcher Sean Manaea the greatest hand on Saturday as he tries to recover from a hip injury.
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Indiana State’s men’s basketball team is looking for a few good games.
Home games that is.
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Secret weapon: Kelsey Rosselli finishing Woods career with a bang
At Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, reporting game results to the Tribune-Star after a win or a loss is not always a high priority.
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In fact, her efforts almost seem like a government secret.
Rosselli’s name might sound familiar to longtime Terre Haute softball followers because she was a standout for North High School, from where she graduated in 2009.
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Baseball is a rhythm game. With contests every day or five times a week in the case of many college programs, you have the chance to build on success or wallow in a slump.
Mother Nature took that rhythm away from Indiana State’s team last week. After a 7-1 loss to Indiana on April 24, ISU was supposed to play a three-game series at Tennessee-Martin, but it was wiped out by rain.
So the rhythm was disturbed, but perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing.
ISU was in a five-game losing streak before its unintended vacation and the Sycamores made a move in the right direction Wednesday with a 7-0 win over DePauw at Bob Warn Field.
“It was a disappointing weekend. We went all the way down to Tennessee and didn’t get to play. We sat around in the hotel room. We came here and it was still raining. It was nice to get out and see some live pitching,” ISU center fielder Landon Curry said.
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The Indiana State University athletic community, along with family, friends and fans, paused Tuesday night to honor the spring sports teams at the Terre Haute Savings Bank Spring Sports Banquet.
Most of the ISU teams are still in competition with the baseball team having 13 games left of its regular-season schedule before beginning the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 21, the softball team with just three games left of the docket this coming weekend against Southern Illinois and the track and field program with just one more meet before beginning its postseason events.
The ISU women’s golf team is the team that has ended at this time, with the group recording a sixth-place finish at the MVC championships one week ago.
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