BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana's fans wanted more than a victory Thursday night. They wanted to see history.
After watching the Hoosiers break the Memorial Stadium scoring record, set a school mark for first-half points and play well enough to give the ticket-holders a complimentary hot dog, the smattering of remaining fans booed when the Hoosiers decided to kneel down four straight times inside the Indiana State 20. They weren't ready to settle for some plain, old 73-35 victory over Indiana State. They wanted the Hoosiers to break the school's all-time scoring record of 76.
The players wanted it, too.
"I was mad about that," receiver Kofi Hughes said. "But you know, the coaches got their respect."
For the Hoosiers (1-0) it was a dramatic turnabout from last season when they struggled to hold off the Sycamores 24-17. Back then, Indiana couldn't quite get a handle on finishing drives, stopping Shakir Bell or finishing off a Football Championship Subdivision foe.
They had no trouble doing any of that Thursday.
Tre Roberson started the game after coach Kevin Wilson was outvoted by his assistants, and threw for two touchdowns in the first quarter before being replaced by Nate Sudfeld, who finished 12 of 17 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
The Hoosiers scored six touchdowns in the first half, consuming just 3 minutes, 57 seconds off the clock and finished with 45 points -- the highest first-half total since Indiana started keeping records in 1949.
Shane Wynn scored on a 43-yard reception in the first half and a 3-yard catch in the second, his only two catches of the night, and also scored on a 58-yard punt return, Indiana's first since Tracy Porter in 2006. Ted Bolser extended his school record for TD receptions by a tight end with scoring catches of 12 and 9 yards.
And Tevin Coleman broke free for a 34-yard TD run on fourth-and-1, and finished with 14 carries, 169 yards and two scores.
Indiana's usually maligned defense played better, too.
After allowing Indiana State to tie the score at 7 in the first quarter, the Hoosiers 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 came on a fumble return and an interception return when the defense wasn't even on the field.
But for Wilson, that wasn't good enough.
"There's a lot of positives, but there's a boatload of negatives," he said. "We've got some stats that are cool, but when we see the tape..."
Wilson is sure to find some miscues.
It was a strange game, too.
Between the 108 points, the highest combined point total in this five-game series or the 298-game history of Memorial Stadium, there were plenty of twists and turns.
Two players were ejected.
Hoosiers offensive lineman Jake Reed was tossed out in the first half after officials spotted him throwing a punch. Indiana State's Carlos Aviles was thrown out in the third quarter after hitting Wynn directly in the head, the result of the NCAA's new "targeting" rule. Wynn stayed on the ground briefly but managed to leave the field without help.
Bell departed with 1:20 left in the first half after landing hard on his right shoulder at the end of a 45-yard run. He was diagnosed with a separated shoulder at halftime and spent the second half dressed in street clothes. He finished with 18 carries for 113 yards but is expected to miss at least a couple of weeks.
"The good news is that they did an X-ray and there is nothing broken," coach Mike Sanford said after making his Indiana State debut. "We're going to wait and see the severity of it as we go along."
And just when it seemed Indiana was cruising, with a 45-7 lead late in the first half, the Sycamores somehow made it a game by scoring two touchdowns in the final 19 seconds of the first half and opening the second half with a 31-yard interception return to make it 45-28.
But the hit on Wynn refocused the Hoosiers, who responded with three more touchdown drives.
The only thing they didn't do was break the 76-point barrier.
"We talked about would we just come out and play as hard as we can play and take all the effort in practice and do it on the game field, because it's hard. It's the same stuff, but now the stakes were higher," Wilson said. "It's probably the first time since I've been here that I can say we played pretty hard across the board."
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