The Associated Press
---- — BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana’s Nate Sudfeld threw four touchdown passes, and Tevin Coleman rushed for 169 yards and two more TDs in Thursday night’s record-breaking 73-35 victory over Indiana State.
The Hoosiers (1-0) scored 45 points in the first half, their highest total since the school started keeping records in 1949, and broke the Memorial Stadium scoring record by topping the 69 points Nebraska scored in 1978.
They made it look easy, too. The Hoosiers used only 3 minutes, 57 seconds to score six first-half touchdowns. Ted Bolser caught two TD passes to extend his own school record for tight ends, and Shane Wynn added three more with TD catches of 43 and 3 yards and a 58-yard punt return.
Shakir Bell ran 18 times for 113 yards for Indiana State (0-1) but left late in the first half with a separated right shoulder that could keep him out a couple of weeks.
Indiana delivered on its promise Thursday night. They were better than last year.
The Hoosiers showed how much they’ve improved during the offseason by dominating overmatched Indiana State in the record-breaking season-opener.
Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld each threw touchdown passes, while Shane Wynn and Ted Bolser each scored twice and the Hoosiers’ usually maligned defense forced two turnovers and constantly harassed the Indiana State quarterbacks. And that was just in the first 30 minutes.
Indiana (1-0) produced its highest first-half point total (45) since the school started keeping track in 1949, broke the Memorial Stadium scoring record (69) by Nebraska in 1978 and would have broken the school’s all-time scoring record (76) if the Hoosiers hadn’t taken a knee four straight times inside the Indiana State 20 in the closing minutes.
While most analysts figured Indiana’s explosive offense would score points by the dozens, few expected the Hoosiers to make it look this easy. They consumed only 3 minutes, 57 seconds on six first-half touchdowns.
And they dominated this game in every possible facet.
Wynn caught a 43-yard TD pass from Roberson and scored on a 58-yard punt return, Indiana’s first since Tracy Porter seven years ago. He added a 3-yard TD catch in the third quarter, his only other catch of the night.
Bolser extended his school record for TD receptions by a tight end with scoring catches of 12 and 9 yards.
Tevin Coleman broke free for a 34-yard TD run on fourth-and-1, and finished with 14 carries, 169 yards and two scores.
But what everyone came to see was whether the Hoosiers revamped defense was any better than the one that yielded 35 points per game a year ago.
They were. After allowing Indiana State to tie the score at 7 in the first quarter, Indiana stopped the Sycamores nine straight times — enough to give ticket-holders at the game a discount at a local watering hole. Half of the 28 points weren’t even the fault of the defense. Indiana State scored on a fumble return just before the half ended and an interception return just after it.
Shakir Bell led the Sycamores with 18 carries for 113 yards before leaving late in the first half with a separated right shoulder. The two-time Walter Payton finalist is expected to miss a couple of weeks.
The game also was marred by two ejections. Indiana’s Jake Reed was thrown out in the first half after officials spotted him throwing a punch, and Indiana State defensive back Carlos Aviles was tossed out in the third quarter for hitting Wynn win helmet-to-helmet on a punt return.