IOWA CITY, Iowa – The first game of the season was about as bad of a start as possible for the Hoosiers as the Hawkeyes steamrolled over Indiana to a 34-6 victory.
Indiana started the game flatfooted. Iowa came out swinging off Indiana turnovers and got on the board with two early TDs the first of which was by Tyler Goodson and Riley Moss who propelled the Hawkeyes to an early lead just over two minutes into the game. The injury woes affected IU early as well as safety Devon Matthews went down with an injury and was replaced by redshirt sophomore Josh Sanguinetti. Iowa QB Spencer Petras seemed to favor his tight ends, Sam LaPorta and Luke Lachey, with early targets for as he did not target any WRs early. LaPorta ended the game with 5 catches for 83 yards from 9 targets.
As the game progressed to halftime, Iowa continued to score, as they went for a 4th and 2 and converted, leading to a TD. The Hoosiers offense continued to stall and turn the ball over. Penalties piled up on the Hoosiers leading to stalled drives. Riley Moss scored another defensive TD and Penix was picked off a total of three times. Indiana ultimately headed into halftime down by four TDs.
In the second half, Indiana seemed to give up on trying to make big plays and played safe with runs and short passes and got another early field goal by Campbell. Iowa’s defense made Penix’s life miserable through the air today. There was no rhythm, and it seemed like there were a handful of instances Penix was almost intercepted. With about 10 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Jack Tuttle came in for Penix and finished the game.
Overall, Indiana has more questions to answer coming out of the game than going into it. The offense struggled to get anything going and ended up not scoring any touchdowns. Penix played his worst game of his career when the spotlight was on him and No. 17 Indiana to perform at a high level. The offensive line did not offer sufficient protection for Indiana at any point this game and Iowa was able to put pressure on Indiana consistently. Penalties were a huge issue as well, costing the Hoosiers many opportunities.
On a positive note, Stephen Carr looks like a promising solution for the uncertain run game going into the season. He will be a work horse for Indiana throughout the year and has a tough mind getting consistent yardage. The defense was also able to force two turnovers to try and jumpstart the offense with good field position.
Next, Indiana heads home to face Idaho in their opening home game of the year. It will be a crucial tune up game prior to playing No. 8 Cincinnati at home. Indiana needs to find solutions quick in order to prove they deserve to be in the top 25 after this week.