Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana (4-2, 1-2 B1G) returned to the field after their bye week to face a struggling Rutgers team (1-5, 0-4 B1G) for their bicentennial homecoming game and secured the 35-0 victory.
Indiana entered the game showing that they were well-rested and looking for a resounding victory after getting three quick TDs within the first seven minutes of the game. The first TD came after Rutgers QB Johnny Langan was sacked and fumbled within the first ten seconds of the game. With the 7 point cushion, Michael Penix threw quick passes to Peyton Hendershot and Nick Westbrook for the 21-0 lead.
Penix started the game looking sharp with a perfect 6-6 passes, but after getting complacent with their lead, Indiana gave up a pair of turnovers from a Penix interception and a fumble by RB Samspon James. Both of these turnovers were due to Rutgers star DB Damon Hayes.
The next time the Hoosiers looked like a solid unit was on the last drive of the half which was highlighted by a couple of long catches from WR Whop Philyor. The drive ended in a 4th down stop by the Rutgers defense inside the 10-yd line.
Indiana returned from the half to put up another TD, its first points in 23 minutes off of a fade to the corner of the endzone to Ty Fryfogle. They added a fifth touchdown on the ground by Sampson James in the third quarter which was James’ second TD on the year.
The fourth quarter saw a lot of backup players and QB Peyton Ramsey saw playtime after Penix was seen limping near the end of the third quarter.
Whop Philyor had a career day for the Hoosiers today with 182 yards on 10 receptions. He did not secure a touchdown, but his impact on the game did not go unnoticed after some impressive catches for large gains.
Indiana acquired its first Big Ten victory of the season and improves to 4-2, 1-2 on the season. This is the second shut-out the defense made on the year with Eastern Illinois being the other game. Indiana had six sacks on the Rutgers team who over the last two seasons had a Big Ten best 28 sacks over the two years combined.
A key injury to follow for the Hoosiers is Hunter Littlejohn. Also, Penix was seen limping after a drive late in the third quarter. After the game, he was seen on the sideline and not visibly limping and he was not taken back to be looked at during the game. These are promising signs for the young QB.
Indiana (4-2, 1-2) travels to Maryland (3-3, 1-2) to face a once hot Terrapin team that has been struggling as of late and fell 40-14 to Purdue in West Lafayette. Rutgers (1-5, 0-4) hosts Minnesota who has been perfect thus far on the season.