News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

August 31, 2013

FROM THE PRESS BOX: No need for Indiana State fans to panic

BLOOMINGTON — When Indiana led Indiana State 45-7 with 11 minutes left in the second quarter at IU’s Memorial Stadium on Thursday in both teams’ football opener, it was understandable for anyone who swears by ISU blue to let that sinking feeling creep in.

It never really got better. ISU had a brief revival, fueled by some lackadaisical IU mistakes to fight back to within 17 just after halftime, but the Hoosiers were not seriously threatened and could have scored more if it hadn’t taken its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter.

As it was, IU’s 73-35 victory was sickening enough for the Sycamores, especially a year after a near-miss 24-17 loss at IU.

When a program gives up its highest point total since Woodrow Wilson was President, you don’t simply file it away as a bad day. It was sobering for ISU. It was a wake-up call. It was a reminder that this team still has plenty of inexperience and a lot of moving parts trying to learn new systems on both sides of the ball.

But as hard as it was to watch, Thursday’s game is no cause for panic. Concern? Sure, but not panic.

Credit needs to first be given to IU. The Hoosiers are better. The Hoosiers are bigger. The Hoosiers are faster. The Hoosiers had something to prove after the Sycamores nearly embarrassed them a year ago.

IU also took maximum advantage of a perfect storm of ISU errors. A bad snap on a punt, a Shakir Bell fumble and a Mike Perish interception were all converted into points early which took the game out of ISU’s hands in lightning-quick fashion. It’s a combination of events isn’t likely to trip up the Sycamores on a week-to-week basis.

There were good things. ISU’s offense gained 306 total yards. Sure, much of it was when the game was out of hand, but ISU’s offense looked decent at times against IU’s No. 1 defense, especially during its game-tying scoring drive in the first quarter.

ISU’s defense is very much a work-in-progress. Mike Sanford and defensive coordinator Brian Cabral were dealt a bad hand matchup-wise in the opener. IU’s potent offense was not the ideal opponent to unveil ISU’s more aggressive defensive schemes and it showed. Blitzes were taken advantage of and several ISU corners weren’t up to snuff in man-to-man coverage.

But IU’s 319 passing yards were of less concern to me, however, than the Hoosiers’ 313 rushing yards. That’s a sign of ISU’s linebacker inexperience.

But we knew that. One hopes inexperienced players come up to speed quickly, but it usually takes time and some stubbed toes along the way. That goes for inexperience on both sides of the ball.

A litmus test for ISU can’t fairly be applied until it plays against its level. Get ready to wait.

ISU plays next Saturday at Purdue. It’s followed by the home opener against Division II Quincy on Sept. 14 and then ISU has a bye week.

Neither of those games will give much indication how ISU will stand in the Missouri Valley Football Conference — unless it rises up to compete or beat Purdue, or conversely, if ISU allows Quincy to compete, or God forbid, win, on Sept. 14. If that were to happen, you could press the panic button to your heart’s content.

But not yet. ISU won’t play FCS competition until Sept. 28 when the Sycamores travel to Tennessee Tech. The MVFC season starts a week later when Youngstown State visits. With Bell likely out with his shoulder injury until mid-month, it drives home the point even further than we won’t truly know the Sycamores’ level in these early contests.

So don’t panic. ISU has time to make Thursday’s blowout an outlier instead of a baseline for its season. A good start would be to show progress against a Boilermakers team trying to find its feet too next week.

n Football games are too long — Baseball is our national pastime, and when it comes to our most prominent sports, it’s also our national whipping boy.

Among the grievances lobbed at baseball are the length of its games. Three hours? Four hours? Too long say the naysayers!

They aren’t wrong. Some baseball games are too long, especially ones that feature a certain team from New York and another from Boston.

But here’s what gets me. How come no one complains about King Football and the length of its games?

I’ve covered two games so far — West Vigo’s opener at Evansville Harrison and ISU’s loss at IU. The West Vigo game approached three hours in length. The ISU-IU game? It was longer than Lawrence Of Arabia as it clocked in at nearly four hours.

Besides the haltime bands, I was waiting for the intermission overture to kick in.

I was off Friday night, but I know several games that were even longer than those in the opening week, including Terre Haute South’s 28-24 victory over Terre Haute North which ended at 10 p.m.

Part of the game length was due to measures taken to avoid heat-related problems. I understand that, but high school games are approaching the three-hour mark even without emergency measures. College games have long breached the four-hour mark.

There’s a national discussion about the damaging effect of concussions in football, as well there should be, but the physical punishment that football players take over a three or four-hour period is never discussed. With the rise of spread offenses, etc., more plays equals more punishment.

Not only that, but for every compelling four-hour game, there’s at least two that are snoozers, with stubborn coaches throwing to the bitter end. It’s not entertaining for viewers or ticket-buyers to slog through it.

It’s time to change the clock rules to reduce the wear and tear on players and get the game moving. Keep the clock rolling when someone runs out of bounds, or, keep it rolling on an incomplete pass outside of the last five minutes of the halves. Or both.

Football is great. But three or four hours of football? It’s too much of a good thing.



Todd Golden is sports editor of the Tribune-Star. He can be reached at (812) 231-4272 or todd.golden@tribstar.com. Follow Golden on Twitter @TribStarTodd.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Local Interest
High School
College
Truebytower.jpg

Soccer team visits the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports
Terre Haute Rex
Colts
SPT 010414 LUCK LOOK.jpg

Tribune-Star/Joseph C. Garza Improving: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck looks for an open receiver during the Colts' win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 4 in Indianapolis.

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: Massive Explosion in Gaza City Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Obama Signs Workforce Training Law NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress
NDN Video
CDC Director Warns Of A World Where Antibiotics No Longer Work Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News