The IU athletic department may be wishing it didn't have to pay the travel expenses to Charlottesville, Va. The Hoosiers didn't play like they deserved the trip, losing 44-0 to Virginia heading into the fourth quarter.
I look like an idiot for predicting a convincing IU win. The Hoosiers lost the game on the first drive, when, after five plays, they turned the ball over. Virginia turned it into a touchdown four plays later. Virginia rolled up 337 yards 30 points in the first half.
Indiana never appeared a part of this game. And the defense appeared totally unprepared or unable to handle the UVA offense. Every Virginia receiver caught a pass with no defenders in the area and every running back had wide holes to run through. Simple plays went for big yards every time.
Meanwhile, every IU receiver caught a pass with five defenders ready to tackle him and every running back struggled to gain more than a yard. Quarterback Ben Chappell did not have much time to throw because on nearly every play defenders were running at him untouched.
This was a clunker at a time when the Hoosiers could not afford one. I'm afraid the Hoosiers may already have peaked this year and now are declining to the finish. This level of play will not win another game this season.
Maybe the talent levels are finally settling out for the season. IU was playing above their level the first five weeks, while Virginia was playing below it.
Next game: against Illinois 7 p.m. Oct. 17.
Update: Final score: UVA wins 47-7. Total yards: UVA-536, IU-267.