Tigers thrash slow-starting Hoosiers
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent September 21, 2013 11:13PM
Missouri's James Franklin (1) runs for a 1-yard touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Indiana Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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Updated: September 21, 2013 11:54PM
BLOOMINGTON — The common denominator in Indiana’s two losses this season?
Two weeks ago against Navy, the Hoosiers fell behind 17-0. Saturday night against Missouri, it was a 14-0 hold that IU found itself in.
And even after rallying to tie the score, a sluggish third quarter prevented IU’s chances at a comeback.
Missouri (3-0) gouged the Hoosiers for 623 yards in a 45-28 victory that wasn’t even that close.
“Bottom line, they just kicked our tails up front,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said.
After punting five times in the first three games, the Hoosiers (2-2) punted on each of their first four drives against the Tigers, then punted on all four possessions in the third quarter.
“We started off slow and didn’t come out ready to play,” IU receiver Cody Latimer said.
Latimer had eight receptions for 136 yards, but had just one catch for two yards after halftime. And five of his catches came on IU’s two scoring drives.
The Hoosiers’ defense had kept the score close, with Greg Heban intercepting James Franklin twice inside IU’s 5. IU added a third takeaway when Marcus Oliver forced a Marcus Lucas fumble which Tim Bennett recovered.
Nate Sudfeld targeted Latimer five times on the ensuing drive, connecting with him four times, including a 10-yard touchdown pass. On the next drive, Latimer turned a short Sudfeld pass into a 77-yard gain, setting up Tevin Coleman’s 2-yard TD run.
That tied the game at 14-14, but Missouri answered with a seven-play, 75-yard drive capped by Franklin’s 1-yard scoring run. And on IU’s ensuing possession, Sudfeld’s quick slant intended for Latimer was instead intercepted by defensive lineman Kony Ealy, who returned it 49 yards for a touchdown.
“A slant, might have been miscommunication on my part,” Sudfeld said. “The guy made a heck of a play.”
Sudfeld finished 21 of 39 for 229 yards, one TD and three interceptions. Missouri has now intercepted three passes in each of its games this season after picking off just seven passes all of last season. Tre Roberson relieved Sudfeld, throwing for 148 yards and a touchdown on 8 of 14 passing and rushing for 22 yards and a score on five attempts.
“I think our defense responded well and did some really, really good things,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who improved to 8-2 against Big Ten teams as Tigers coach.
Franklin was 32 of 47 for a career-high 343 yards, two TDs and two interceptions for Missouri. Lucas, with 10 receptions for 101 yards, and Green-Beckham (8 for 105) both were over 100 yards receiving for the Tigers. Russell Hansbrough ran for 104 yards on 13 carries, including a 45-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. Missouri finished with 343 yards passing and 280 yards rushing, gouging the Hoosiers for 33 first downs.
Shane Wynn became the 19th Hoosier with 100 career receptions. He scored on a 68-yard pass from Roberson.