Indiana does just enough to defeat Western Kentucky
Stephen Carr rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns and quarterback Michael Penix added a season-high 373 yards passing, lifting Indiana to a 33-31 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday night in Bowling Green, Ky.
Up 26-24, Indiana put together a 14-play, 86-yard drive in the fourth quarter, capped by Carr’s 1-yard touchdown with 4:27 remaining. The Hoosiers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten) bounced back from a home loss to Cincinnati with a critical road win before the start of Big Ten play.
Bailey Zappe passed for 365 yards and two scores for Western Kentucky (1-2), which played before a record 25,071 fans at Houchens-Smith Stadium.
Indiana scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the game for touchdown. Carr completed an 11-play, 79-yard drive with a 1-yard run, putting Indiana up 7-0. Then, Penix capped an 11-play, 81-yard possession with a 1-yard run, extending Indiana’s lead to 14-0 with 5:02 left in the half.
Western Kentucky responded by putting together a long touchdown drive on its second offensive series, with Adam Cofield capping a 15-play, 77-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run with 14:27 left in the second quarter.
Indiana rebuilt its lead to 20-7 with 46- and 37-yard field goals from Charles Campbell. Western Kentucky then put together a seven-play, 72-yard drive late in the first half, with Zappe connecting with wide receiver Daewood Davis to cut Indiana’s lead to 20-14 with 55 seconds before intermission.
Indiana still had enough time to drive down to the Western Kentucky 7-yard line, sparked by two completions from Penix and a 21-yard run from Carr. But after two failed pass attempts in the end zone, the Hoosiers settled for a 25-yard field goal from Campbell as time expired, putting Indiana up 23-14 at halftime.
Western Kentucky cut Indiana’s lead to 23-21 in the third quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Zappe to Dalvin Smith.
Campbell’s 48-yard field goal extended Indiana’s lack back to 26-21, but Western Kentucky responded with a 34-yard field goal from Brayden Narveson, cutting the Indiana lead to 26-24 with 5:53 left in the third quarter.
Indiana starting wide receiver/punt returner D.J. Matthews left the game in the first half with an apparent leg injury after recovering his own muff on a Western Kentucky punt.
–Field Level Media