The fourth quarter began with some fireworks for the Illini as they marched towards the end zone for the game tying score when Josh Ferguson fumbled on his attempted goal line leap, but it was recovered by Corey Lewis for the game tying TD.
Would the Illinois defense stand up and get a stop to give the Illini offense a chance to take the lead, and possibly win this game?
We got the answer very quickly as Tevin Coleman burst through a seam in the line breaking attempted tackles by Mason Monheim and Earnest Thomas on his way to a 75 yard touchdown run that once again gave Indiana the lead 42-35 with 12:31 left in contest.
Illinois’ next drive was promising, but then turned into an unmitigated disaster. They took some shots down the field, and then ran a total train wreck of a fake punt from their own 36 yard line. Punter Justin DuVernois’ pass to Evan Wilson wasn’t even close as a clearly disappointed Nathan Scheelhaase watched from the sidelines.
It took Indiana only 2 plays to reach paydirt following the fake punt, this time behind 2 runs by Stephen Houston, and the Illini suddenly found themselves trailing 49-35 with 11 minutes left in the game.
At this point, Illinois could have rolled over, but they didn’t. The offense quickly took the ball down to the Indiana 33. However, on 4th and 10, trailing by 2 TD, Illinois had no choice but to go for it, and the Illini turned the ball over on downs when Austin Schmidt was caught holding an Indiana pass rusher. With 8:24 remaining, Illinois was firmly behind the proverbial 8 ball and things looked very bleak.
Indiana’s ensuing possession was another huge dosage of the rush game, as Stephen Houston once again broke a monster run down to the Illinois 8 yard line. The Illinois defense was clearly gassed at this point in the game, but they kept Indiana from punching it in and the drive ended with Indiana settling for a field goal and a 52-35 lead with 5:33 left in the game.
Despite being down by 3 scores, the Illinois offense kept fighting, but they took more of a methodical approach instead of a quick deep strike approach. After almost 4 minutes, the drive ended in the Indiana end zone when Spencer Harris failed to haul in a sure TD pass which instead found its way to an Indiana defender after being tipped.
Indiana salted away the rest of the clock and took the victory, pushing Illinois’ B1G losing streak to 19 games.
Nathan Scheelhaase had a huge day for the Illini while connecting on 38 out of 57 passes for 450 yards and 2 TD. He also rushed the ball 9 times for 45 yards and 1 TD.
Steve Hull was the primary recipient of Scheelhaase’s massive day, hauling in 9 passes for 224 yards and 2 TD.
For the Hoosiers, Nate Sudfeld tossed 3 TD passes against 1 interception, but the true stars of the game were Tevin Coleman, Cody Latimer, and Stephen Houston. Coleman carried the ball 15 times for 215 yards and 2 TD. Houston carried the ball 15 times for 136 yards and 2 TD. Latimer hauled in 11 passes for 189 yards and 3 TD.
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