The Indiana Hoosiers (1-0) began the 2016 season with a solid 34-13 victory over the Florida International Golden Panthers (0-1).
These two teams squared off for second consecutive year. The Hoosiers won the first meeting 36-22, and strangely, the second meeting looked a lot like the first.
In the first matchup, the Hoosiers trailed early in the fourth quarter. Thursday, they trailed 13-12 entering the fourth quarter.
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Last year, the Indiana outscored FIU 15-0 in the fourth quarter. This year, Indiana outscored FIU 22-0 in the final quarter in route to a 34-13 win.
The Hoosiers’ defense played a huge role in the team’s win. The defense forced FIU quarterback Alex McGough to throw three interceptions. Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns.
Indiana did an excellent job covering the Golden Panthers’ receivers all night. McGough only completed 50% of his passes (23 of 46 completed) and his longest pass went for 40 yards.
On top of the brilliant pass defense, the Hoosiers’ defense also caused a safety and held the Golden Panthers to 64 yards rushing as a team.
This game was also the first start for Richard Lagow in a Hoosiers’ uniform. The junior college transfer completed 18 of his 27 pass attempts for 240 yards and a passing touchdown. He also scored a rushing touchdown.
Also, running back Devine Redding recorded 133 rushing yards on 21 carries. He did have a lost fumble so that is something that needs to be cleaned up for the next game.
Overall, it was not a perfect win, but it was still a very good win. Indiana’s offense looked good at times, and the defense shut the door in the fourth quarter.
The offense will get better as Lagow continues to grow as the team’s main signal-caller. Meanwhile, the defense will continue to improve too.
The Indiana Hoosiers’ next game will be their home opener against the Ball State Cardinals. It is another matchup Indiana will be favored to win, but again, this is another deceptively good opponent.