Big momentum shift
Nebraska took a quick 10-0 lead Saturday, scoring a touchdown only 2 minutes, 34 seconds in and then kicking a field goal 5:20 later.
“I went back and visited with the kids and we were pretty comfortable,” Claeys said. “They came out and ran a little bit of option on us and they hit the one big play-action pass [a 42-yard completion to Kenny Bell] and got behind Eric Murray, and then the rest of the day he did a nice job on Bell and kept control of him. I didn’t sense any panic at all. I think the offense coming back and getting that big drive and getting the game to 10-7 gave us a chance to get the defense settled down, and it changed some things. From that point on, I really feel like we got after them and controlled the game.”
It was to the Gophers’ benefit that defensive end Ra’Shede Hageman decided to play the best game of his career against the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska had lost its best offensive lineman to injury last week in right guard Spencer Long, and Hageman took advantage.
“That’s the side that the way they line up Ra’Shede he would have been on him the most,” Claeys said. “I’ll tell you what, 1-on-1, I think you rate players by [if] you’d want to play against them or not, and I can tell you that I would not want to play against Ra’Shede in any 1-on-1 situation.”
Bad Hoosiers history
Despite the fact that Indiana has been a noncompetitive football team over the years, the Hoosiers have been able to beat the Gophers at home in recent years. The Gophers are 6-17-2 in Bloomington and only 2-16 in their past 18 visits there dating to 1969.
Their toughest loss to the Hoosiers came in 2000 when they had started the year 5-2 and just defeated No. 6 Ohio State on the road, ending a 16-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. The Gophers were ranked No. 22 in the nation. Indiana was 2-4 on the season and had just lost 58-0 at Michigan. But the Gophers lost that game 51-43 and finished the season at 6-6 after such a promising start.
Then in 2004 the Gophers were once again 6-2 going to play at Indiana and ranked No. 24. The week before, they had defeated Illinois 45-0. Indiana was 2-5 at the time and had just lost 30-7 to Ohio State, its fifth loss in a row. The Hoosiers would defeat the Gophers 30-21 and Minnesota would lose its final three Big Ten games.
This year’s Hoosiers are 3-4 and coming off a bye, but they were giving up tons of points before then. They lost to Michigan 63-47 two weeks ago and Michigan State 42-28 Oct. 12. Still the Hoosiers did beat Penn State at home 44-24 and are averaging 42.4 points per game.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. firstname.lastname@example.org