Yes, that is not a typo. IU beat Western Michigan 23-19 in Bloomington to remain undefeated.
Western Michigan was about to take the lead late, however. The Hoosiers defense helped by committing three major penalties -- a late hite, pass interference and facemask -- that sustained the Broncos drive. But Greg Middleton forced and then recovered a fumble with Western Michigan about 10 yards away. IU could not run out the clock, thanks in part to a penalty, but took a safety and then held Western Michigan in the final seconds to secure the win.
I have to say I'm surprised at how the IU defense has stepped up late in the game two weeks in a row. It seems like they have to play better to compete on the Big Ten stage, but if they keep making big plays with the game on the line, they should be just fine.
The IU running game looked much better this week, accumulating 187 yards, including a 59 yard run for a touchdown by Demetrius McCray. Maybe more importantly, IU committed no turnovers.
Ben Chappell did not have his best game: 185 yards passing and no touchdowns, but he did enough to win. I'm still worried about the IU offense in the second half. It fell asleep again in the second half, scoring only 6 points.
The IU defense allowed only 22 yards rushing, which is impressive. The Hoosiers' defensive identity appears to be a bend-but-don't-break style. But the unit is able to get pressure on the quarterback and force turnovers.
Overall, a much better performance than last week.
Next up: At Akron, Sept. 19. The Hoosiers could head to Ann Arbor 3-0...