The Hoosiers won and won big. It was a game that allowed Nate Sudfeld and his pass catchers (hello tight ends) to get back on track. It was also a game for the defense to take a step forward, just as they did against Missouri, following the problems against Maryland.
This game went into garbage-time when D’Angelo Roberts ran in the touchdown on 3rd and 3 in the 3rd quarter. This occurred with 7:25 left in the quarter. Therefore, everything prior to (and including) this play is included in the “close” stats. Everything afterwards is not. Sorry Chris Covington. You did a very nice job though.
- The Hoosiers dominated the field position battle. A 15-yard margin? Pretty huge. Major props to the defense, particularly Tegray Scales and Chase Dutra, on their interceptions which set up the offense deep in North Texas territory.
- Even excluding the drives that followed the interceptions, Indiana still held an 11 yard field position advantage.
- Indiana ran 21 of their 49 plays in non-garbage time in North Texas territory.[ref]And another 3 more that were on the 50 yard line.[/ref] By contrast, North Texas only ran 11 of 42 non-garbage plays in IU territory.
- Indiana was constantly moving forward. Their leverage rate was high as was the IU success rate.
- North Texas had a slightly higher explosive rate[ref]Defined here as passes 20 yards or more and runs of 10 yards or more. Brian Knorr uses 15 and 12 yards, respectively. Using his metrics, IU allowed 8 explosive plays. His goal is 6 or less per game. I’d really prefer that he use a ratio to adjust for tempo and the variance of play amounts game-to-game, but you know, he gets paid to do what he does. Using his metrics though, both teams were roughly at 12%.[/ref]
- While North Texas had a slightly more explosive rate, when Indiana was explosive, they were far more explosive. Wynn TD’s of 45 and 76 yards, a D’Angelo Roberts TD of 47 yards, and a Coleman run[ref]He was caught from behind?![/ref] of 74 yards will do that. Indiana’s PPP and IsoPPP[ref]A measure of PPP on successful plays only. Basically, if you were successful, how successful were you?[/ref] were both significantly higher. In fact, Indiana’s IsoPPP was twice as high as North Texas. Indiana’s highlight yards per opportunity was really high. The aforementioned 47 and 74 yard runs were a big factor.
- North Texas came in with a top 10 rush defense and left with a 53rd ranked rush defense? What changed? Well for one, other than Texas, the Mean Green hadn’t played anyone this year. All statistics can be misleading, but the NCAA statistic rankings can been particularly misleading due to pace of play, opponent, etc. Also, the Mean Green faced the Indiana rushing core which happens to be really good. Coleman and Roberts both ended up over 100 yards.
- Even without Jason Spriggs, the offensive line opened up room for the IU rushers. The Hoosiers averaged over 4 line yards[ref]Essentially gives the line credit for rushing yards 0-4 and 50% of 5-10.[/ref] and didn’t allow a sack to the nation’s top sacking defense.[ref]Again, a misleading NCAA stat. They had 10 against Nicholls State. However, the Hoosiers did a good job of projecting Sudfeld.[/ref]
- As evidenced by the quarter S&P, Indiana came out strong in the 2nd half following a lackluster 2nd quarter. In Q2, Indiana had 2 punts and an end-of-half drive. In Q3, Indiana put the game away with 3 touchdowns.[ref]Coach Wilson always says on the jumbotron that they’ve made their adjustments. Sometimes I am skeptical. But he wasn’t lying this time[/ref]
- As usual, Indiana was better rushing the ball than passing. This is not a slight against the passing offense, which had a great game, but the Indiana rushing attack is the better unit. As the rushing offense goes, so does the offense.
- Indiana forced 5 negative plays on defense and had 3 on offense.
- Indiana forced 2 turnovers, but the single most costly turnover was Damon Graham’s fumble on the kick return. Laray Smith did that last year and he got moved to defense!