Sep 24, 2022; Boone, North Carolina, USA; James Madison Dukes head coach Curt Cignetti walks the sideline during a game against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Indiana to hire James Madison’s Curt Cignetti as coach

Indiana is finalizing a deal to make James Madison’s Curt Cignetti the school’s next coach, multiple media outlets reported on Thursday.

Cignetti, 62, was named the Sun Belt coach of the Year on Thursday after guiding the Dukes to an 11-1 record in their second season at the FBS level.

He will replace Tom Allen, who was fired on Sunday after posting a 33-49 record over seven seasons as coach of the Hoosiers. Indiana had dropped a 35-31 decision to Purdue the previous day to finish the campaign with a 3-9 overall record and a 1-8 mark in the Big Ten.

Cignetti owns a 52-9 record and 31-4 mark in conference play at JMU between the Sun Belt and Colonial Athletic Association. He reached the 2019 FCS national championship game and the FCS semifinals in both 2020 and 2021.

His father, Frank, was a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen reacts during the second half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Indiana fires Tom Allen, owes coach $20.8M

Indiana fired head coach Tom Allen after seven seasons, multiple media outlets reported on Sunday morning.

The reported move comes one day after the Hoosiers dropped a 35-31 decision to Purdue. Indiana finished the season with a 3-9 overall record and 1-8 mark in the Big Ten.

Under Allen, Indiana was 3-24 in Big Ten games since the Hoosiers went to bowl games in 2019 and 2020.

Allen, 53, posted a 33-49 overall record and 18-43 mark in Big Ten play.

His high-water marks came after posting an 8-5 record in 2019 and a 6-2 mark during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

Indiana rewarded Allen in March 2021 with a seven-year contract that increased his salary to $4.9 million annually and included a buyout of $20.8 million if the university elected to fire him prior to Dec. 1, 2023.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2023; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Cam Allen (10) intercepts a pass intended for Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Andison Coby (0) during the first half at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue stays resilient, gets past Indiana 35-31

Hudson Card went 21-of-34 passing for 275 yards and three touchdowns to lead Purdue to a 35-31 home win over Indiana on Saturday.

Card also rushed for 85 yards on 12 carries with another TD to help Purdue (4-8, 3-6) win the Old Oaken Bucket for the fifth time in the last six years.

Brendan Sorsby went 17 of 31 for 226 yards, three TDs and three interceptions for Indiana (3-9, 1-8).

Trailing for all but a 12-second stretch in the game, Purdue went on top for good with 2:39 remaining when Card scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to give the Boilermakers a 35-31 advantage.

Indiana drove to the Purdue 35-yard line but was stopped on downs with 1:17 remaining and the Boilermakers were able to run out the clock.

Trailing 28-18 going into the fourth quarter, Purdue cut the deficit to 28-25 with 14:53 remaining on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Card to Devin Mockobee.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Purdue took a 15-14 lead with 13:14 to go in the third after a 33-yard field goal by Ben Freehill.

But Indiana had an immediate answer when Jaylin Lucas returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to give the Hoosiers a 21-15 lead.

Following a 44-yard field goal by Freehill that cut Indiana’s lead to 21-18 with 10:37 left in the third. Indiana then took a 28-18 lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to Josh Henderson with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

Indiana took a 7-0 lead with 34 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brendan Sorsby to DeQuece Carter.

Purdue cut the Indiana lead to 7-6 with 12:07 left in the second quarter on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Card to George Burhenn. The extra point failed.

With 8:59 left in the second quarter, the Hoosiers took a 14-6 lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to Donaven McCulley.

Purdue then made it 14-12 with 12 seconds to go in the first half after a 16-yard touchdown pass from Card to Drew Biber. The 2-point conversion failed.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini running back Reggie Love III (23) eludes the tackle of Indiana Hoosiers defensive back Louis Moore (20) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois holds off Indiana in overtime

John Paddock threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams in overtime to give Illinois a 48-45 win over Indiana in a Big Ten crossover on Saturday.

With Illinois facing third-and-6, Paddock scrambled from pressure to his right and hit a wide-open Williams for the game-winning score.

Paddock finished 24-of-36 passing for 507 yards and four touchdowns for Illinois (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten).

Brendan Sorsby went 22 of 33 for three touchdowns in defeat for Indiana (3-7, 1-6).

Indiana got the ball first in overtime and took a 45-42 lead on Chris Freeman’s 41-yard field goal.

Indiana had trailed 42-34 in regulation but tied the game at 42 with 28 seconds left on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to DeQuece Carter and a subsequent two-point pass from Sorsby to E.J. Williams.

Trailing 27-26, Illinois took a 33-27 lead with 5:18 left in the third quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Paddock to Isaiah Williams.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Reggie Love scored on a 37-yard touchdown run to give the Fighting Illini a 39-27 lead as the conversion attempt failed.

Indiana responded, cutting the Illinois lead to 39-34 with 12:25 left on Sorsby’s 5-yard touchdown run.

Illinois then took a 42-34 lead with 5:04 remaining on Caleb Griffin’s 21-yard field goal.

The first half was full of offense, with the teams combining for 53 points.

Indiana scored two straight touchdowns to take a 27-12 lead.

Donaven McCulley caught his second 6-yard touchdown pass of the game from Sorsby with 8:22 left in the second quarter, and then Sorsby scored on an 18-yard touchdown run with 5:44 to go until halftime.

Illinois answered with back-to-back touchdowns, first cutting Indiana’s lead to 27-19 on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Paddock to Casey Washington with 3:05 remaining in the second quarter.

Paddock hit Pat Bryant on a 13-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds remaining in the second.

–Field Level Media

Nov 4, 2023; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana's Brendan Sorsby (15) scores a touchdown during the first half against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Janzaruk-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana ends skid with victory over Wisconsin

Brendan Sorsby threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, and host Indiana held on for a 20-14 win over Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, Ind.

Sorsby completed 19 of 31 passes for 186 yards and a score for Indiana (3-6, 1-5), which snapped a four-game losing streak. Donaven McCulley had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Braedyn Locke completed 21 of 41 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns for Wisconsin (5-4, 3-3). Bryson Green and Will Pauling had one touchdown reception apiece.

Indiana knocked off Wisconsin for the second time in a row, including a victory in the previous meeting in 2020. The Badgers lead the all-time series 41-20-2.

The Badgers got the ball at their own 25-yard line with 1:10 remaining and down by six points. Locke completed one first-down pass in the series but Wisconsin fumbled the ball on a desperation play as time expired.

Indiana opened the scoring with a touchdown on its first possession. Sorsby decided to keep the ball on an option play and scored on an 8-yard run.

The Hoosiers increased their lead to 10-0 on a 27-yard field goal by Chris Freeman midway through the second quarter.

Wisconsin pulled within 10-7 with 4:11 to go in the second quarter. Locke zipped a short pass across the middle to Green, who weaved through defenders and found green space down the left sideline as he raced for a 54-yard touchdown.

Indiana responded on the next possession to grab a 17-7 lead at the half. McCulley made a spectacular, one-handed catch along the left side of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown.

The Badgers cut the deficit to 17-14 on their first drive of the second half. Pauling hauled in an 18-yard pass for his team-high third receiving touchdown of the season.

A 50-yard field goal by Freeman increased Indiana’s advantage to 20-14 with 1:10 to play.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin walks on the field during warmups before the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Penn State holds off upset-minded Indiana

Drew Allar connected with KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a go-ahead, 57-yard touchdown with 1:46 remaining to lift No. 10 Penn State to a 33-24 victory over Indiana on Saturday afternoon in State College, Pa.

The Nittany Lions (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) saw a 10-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter when the Hoosiers’ Brendan Sorsby threw a 26-yard scoring strike to Omar Cooper Jr. and Chris Freeman made a 35-yard field goal to tie the game 24-24 with 2:58 remaining.

But Allar saved the day, and Penn State’s Dani Dennis-Sutton then strip-sacked Sorsby at his own 25 and watched as the ball bounce all the way out of the back of the end zone for a safety that sealed the victory.

Allar completed 20 of 31 passes for 210 yards, three TDs and his first collegiate interception for the Nittany Lions, who avoided losing back-to-back regular-season games for the first time since Oct. 23, 2021.

Lambert-Smith finished with six catches for 96 yards and the decisive score, while Kaytron Allen led the rushing attack with 81 yards on 18 carries.

Sorsby threw for 269 yards, three touchdowns and a pick on 13-for-19 passing for Indiana (2-6, 0-5), which lost its fourth straight game.

DeQuece Carter had three receptions for 104 yards and a TD for the Hoosiers.

Momentum shifted in the Nittany Lions’ favor late in the second half when Nicholas Singleton ran to the end zone from 2 yards out to tie the score 14-14 with 2:15 remaining until halftime.

Jaylen Reed then picked off Sorsby and, seven plays later, Alex Felkins drilled a 50-yard field goal to allow Penn State to take a 17-14 edge into the break.

The Nittany Lions opened a 10-point lead at 24-14 thanks to Allar’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Theo Johnson with 8:39 left in the third quarter.

After the first four drives of the game ended with punts, Sorsby opened the scoring emphatically, connecting with Carter for a 90-yard touchdown.

Penn State went three-and-out on its ensuing drive but recovered a muffed punt, turning that takeaway into Allar’s 9-yard scoring strike to Khalil Dinkins that knotted things at 7-7.

But the Nittany Lions’ secondary broke down again shortly after, as Sorsby found Donaven McCulley for a 69-yard TD with 13:26 left in the second quarter to reestablish a seven-point edge.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) looks to throw as the action reflects off his visor during the first half against the Towson Tigers  at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana hoping to find cracks in Maryland’s defense

Unbeaten Maryland’s stingy defense looks to stifle Indiana’s sputtering offense in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday in College Park, Md.

The Terrapins (4-0, 1-0) forced five turnovers in their first road game of the season last Saturday at Michigan State to secure a 31-9 win, their sixth straight victory dating back to last season.

After tallying four takeaways in the fourth quarter of its 42-14 win over Virginia on Sept. 15, Maryland immediately wreaked havoc against the Spartans. The Terps notched takeaways on Michigan State’s first three possessions to spring ahead 21-3 by halftime, and snagged two more interceptions in the second half.

“Anytime you can win on the road in the Big Ten, that’s huge,” Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. “For us to come up here and do something that hasn’t been done since 1950, which is to win here in this stadium, I’m definitely proud of the team.”

Locksley’s defense has been vital to Maryland’s second 4-0 start in the three seasons.

The Terps have forced 11 turnovers, tied for the second most in the NCAA. Their defense surrenders 12.3 points per game, good for 11th-fewest in the nation.

Maryland’s stinginess presents the Hoosiers (2-2, 0-1) with a hefty challenge in their first road test this season.

Indiana’s offense has struggled the year. Its 282-yard output in the Hoosiers’ 29-27 four-overtime win over Akron last Saturday elicited more frustration than celebration.

“The offense was out of sync and performed poorly,” coach Tom Allen said. “It was not good enough. Not even close. It was below the standard.

“There’s not a lot to be fired up about that side of the ball.”

Tayven Jackson completed just 11 of his 26 pass attempts for 190 yards and paired a touchdown pass with an interception. Meanwhile, Indiana’s ground game needed 34 carries to churn out 92 rushing yards.

The Hoosiers are scoring 21.8 points per game, tied for 103rd in the nation.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Jeff Brohm watches warmups before facing off against the Murray State Racers at L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville vies to ignite high-octane offense vs. Indiana

It’s no surprise to see a Jeff Brohm-coached team scoring a lot of points.

His Louisville squad is lighting up the scoreboard, following up a 39-34 season-opening win at Georgia Tech on Sept. 1 by blanking FCS opponent Murray State 56-0 on Sept. 7.

The Cardinals (2-0) step up in class on Saturday with a trip to Indianapolis for a non-conference matchup with Indiana (1-1). The Hoosiers’ defense has looked very good in holding No. 6 Ohio State to 23 points and stifling FCS foe Indiana State on Sept. 8.

Louisville has shown a good run-pass balance so far. Cal transfer Jack Plummer threw for 247 yards and a touchdown against Murray State, while running back Jawhar Jordan piled up 135 yards and a pair of scores on just seven carries.

“I thought we came out and did exactly what we needed to do, which was execute better, find ways to score points and keep them out of the end zone,” Brohm said. “We have to get ready for a tough stretch of games and understand everything from here on out will be a dogfight.”

Meanwhile, the Hoosiers have shown signs of improvement after a disappointing 2022 that saw them start 3-0 and lose eight of the last nine games. After making Ohio State work for a full 60 minutes, they routed Indiana State 41-7 last week with the Sycamores’ only touchdown coming on a fumble return.

Indiana limited its punchless in-state opponent, which was blanked in its first game, to eight first downs and 93 total yards. The Hoosiers rolled up 558 total yards with quarterback Tayven Jackson completing 18 of 21 passes for 236 yards.

That was enough for Jackson to win the starting job from Brendan Sorsby. The two were battling for the job throughout the preseason and the first two games.

“It’s been hard going through a quarterback battle but that’s life,” Jackson said. “It was a relief.”

This is the first meeting of the two schools since 1986, when Indiana blanked the Cardinals 21-0. The Hoosiers own a 2-0 lead in the series.

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2023; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Josh Henderson (26) runs the ball in the first half against the Indiana State Sycamores at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylin Lucas scores twice to lead Indiana’s rout of Indiana State

Jaylin Lucas rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns and Indiana’s two quarterbacks combined to throw for 344 yards as the Hoosiers defeated the visiting Indiana State Sycamores 41-7 in Bloomington, Ind., on Friday night.

Lucas scored on a pair of 25-yard runs in the first six-plus minutes of the game, and quarterback Tayven Jackson added a 10-yard touchdown burst late in the first quarter as Indiana built a lead that the FCS Sycamores were helpless to overcome.

Jackson went 18 of 21 passing for 236 yards, and teammate Brendan Sorsby completed 9 of 16 for 108 yards. The Hoosiers (1-1), who had 11 plays that gained at least 16 yards, finished with 558 total yards to 93 for the Sycamores (0-2).

Josh Henderson finished with 60 yards rushing and a fourth-quarter score, and Christian Turner added a 1-yard touchdown run for Indiana. Omar Cooper Jr. led the team with seven receptions for 101 yards.

Down 21-0 going into the second quarter with just 22 total yards, Indiana State’s offense showed signs of life.

The Sycamores went 67 yards, including 54 on the ground, to get to the Hoosiers’ 13-yard line. On fourth-and-8, however, Evan Olaes’ pass was intercepted in the end zone by Nicolas Toomer.

Then Indiana State’s defense did what its offense hadn’t done this season: score. Maddix Blackwell returned a fumble 75 yards after teammate Jack Sherman jarred the ball loose from Lucas. That play pulled the Sycamores to within 21-7 with two minutes left in the half.

The Hoosiers had enough time to add to their lead, going 10 plays before settling for Chris Freeman’s 28-yard field goal with 17 seconds to go for a 24-7 lead.

They had 340 yards in the half to 83 for the Sycamores.

Olaes went 3 of 9 passing for 21 yards.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) celebrates a first down catch during the first half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

No. 3 Ohio State begins title quest at Indiana

Ohio State and Indiana don’t have much in common. The No. 3 Buckeyes are annually vying for a College Football Playoff spot while the Hoosiers linger at the bottom of the Big Ten East Division.

But when they open their seasons Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., each will have question marks at the quarterback position.

For the Buckeyes (11-2, 8-1 Big Ten last season), coach Ryan Day announced Tuesday that junior Kyle McCord won the battle over redshirt freshman Devin Brown for the unenviable task of replacing two-year starter C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft who was named starter for the Houston Texans.

Day said Brown will play against the Hoosiers: “I’d like to get him meaningful snaps and let him go. We have confidence in both of them.”

McCord was viewed as the frontrunner following spring practices, in part because Brown did not participate due to a broken finger. McCord was able to hold off his challenge.

“It’s not a sizable gap, but it’s enough to be named the starter,” Day said.

“Devin made a real strong push about 10 days, two weeks ago, and Kyle responded with some really consistent play.”

The Hoosiers (4-8, 2-7 last season), will counter with Tennessee transfer Tayven Jackson, the younger brother of Indiana basketball All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, or Brendan Sorsby. They have thrown a combined 10 passes in college.

“Both are guys we can win with,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said.

Either might be a placeholder as the Hoosiers await the return of Dexter Williams II, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the 2022 finale against Purdue.

The Buckeyes are replacing three starters on the offensive line but have a deep pool of running backs, and Marvin Harrison Jr. heads a premier receiving corps.

Their defense, led by Tommy Eichenberg, who Allen said is the best linebacker in the country, will test the Hoosiers’ inexperienced QBs.

Asked what he needs to see from those quarterbacks, Allen said: “I just want them to be confident and play with decisive decision-making. Preparation creates that confidence. There’s nothing you can do. You’ve got to play the game. There’s no other way around it.

“In that position, you’ve got to be in the fire and be able to have those opportunities.”

Allen hopes Ohio State’s unfamiliarity with his quarterbacks is an advantage but he also realizes the same can be true in trying to defend the Buckeyes.

“The unknown to me, when you think about quarterback-wise, I think it’s not very many times that we’ve had a (Ohio State) quarterback that we don’t really know a lot about,” he said. “So, I think that makes it unique.”

McCord, a teammate of Harrison’s at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, has completed 41 of 58 passes for 606 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in his career. He started against Akron his freshman season when Stroud was injured.

Brown played 15 snaps in two games with a run for a yard last season.

The last time the Buckeyes had a quarterback competition was 2017 when Dwayne Haskins was tabbed by Urban Meyer over Joe Burrow, who broke a bone in his hand less than a month before the opener.

–Field Level Media