BLOOMINGTON — It’s only one game, but Indiana’s decision to go with more than one quarterback is looking pretty good.
Even if the guy who started wasn’t the one Kevin Wilson expected to go with.
“I actually voted for someone else and got vetoed,” Wilson said after the Hoosiers’ 73-35 win over Indiana State in Thursday’s season opener.
Tre Roberson, who began last season as the Hoosiers’ starter before a broken leg ended his season in Week 2, got the start again this season against the Sycamores. He had been competing with Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld for the starting job.
Going into Thursday’s game, Wilson had said it was a dead heat between the three as to who would start. He expected to use all three quarterbacks against Indiana State, and perhaps throughout the season.
“We didn’t really decide until this morning (who would start),” Wilson said.
The IU coaches wouldn’t allow any of the quarterbacks to be tackled during practices this fall. So Wilson and his staff thought that Roberson, whose strength lies in his scrambling ability, might have been “playing a little bit with his hands tied.”
“The other thing, I think it was a little sentimental. Guy worked hard to come back,” Wilson said.
So Roberson got the start. But he didn’t last long, leaving the game after four drives after hurting his ribs.
The injury isn’t expected to sideline him for long — “I could go out and play right now if I had to,” Roberson said — but the way the game played out kept him from coming back in.
A 34-yard Tevin Coleman touchdown run capped Roberson’s final drive and gave IU a 21-7 lead. Sudfeld came in and threw touchdown passes on his first two attempts of the game.
“The score went to 42, we decided to stick with Nate and Cam,” Wilson said.
Good choice. Sudfeld threw a career-high four touchdown passes, finishing 12-of-17 for 219 yards with an interception.
Sudfeld admitted he was worried after his turnover, which Connor Underwood returned 31 yards for a score to make it 45-28. It was Indiana State’s third touchdown in 62 seconds around halftime.
But Sudfeld went back in and threw his final two touchdown passes.
“I tried to force it,” Sudfeld admitted of the intercepted pass. “I was glad they didn’t pull me out. Coach isn’t lying when he says he’s not going to pull you out for one mistake.”
The Hoosiers made few obvious mistakes on Thursday, but Wilson said there was room to improve — stunning, considering the Hoosiers finished three points shy of the school’s single-game scoring record.
Roberson was 3-of-6 for 71 yards and two TDs while Coffman was 2-of-7 for 29 yards and an interception. Walk-on Nate Boudreau also took snaps at quarterback, but didn’t attempt a pass.
The Hoosiers finished with 313 yards rushing and 319 passing, the first time the Hoosiers have topped 300 yards in both categories in the same game.