Indiana State scored 21 unanswered points in just over one minute of game time around the halftime break and scored the most points by an Indiana State team in five all-time games versus the Hoosiers, but Indiana turned the Sycamores back with a 73-35 victory on a hot and humid night in front of 40,278 fans at Memorial Stadium.
The Sycamores fell to 0-1 on the season while the Hoosiers will begin the 2013 campaign with a 1-0 mark.
Shakir Bell went over 100 yards rushing for the 20th time in his career and the 17th time in the 109 year history of the program during a season opening contest as he amassed 113 yards on the ground on 18 carries. Bell left the game near the end of the first half after suffering a separated shoulder after a 45 yard scamper. He told Sports 10 after the game that he will be back sooner than later, but could barely move his injured arm.
Freshman Sampson Levingston and junior transfer Kyani Harris each hauled in touchdown passes for the Sycamores while Calvin Burnett returned a fumble for a touchdown and Connor Underwood had his first interception return for a touchdown as the Sycamores reached the end zone four times and scored a record 28 points in five all-time meetings wiht Indiana.
Jamar Brown was the Sycamores' leading receiver with four catches for 50 yards, including a long of 21 yards which helped set up Indiana State's first touchdown of the contest.
Indiana State trailed 45-7 late in the second quarter but were sparked just before the half. The Sycamores went 78 yards on seven plays and Perish found Kyani Harris for a 17-yard touchdown reception with 19 seconds on the clock to cut the IU advantage down to 45-14. George Cheeseborough forced a Hoosier fumble on the ensuing kick-off and Calvin Burnett pounced on the ball in the end zone with 10 seconds on the clock to send both teams into the half with the Sycamores trailing 45-21.
Indiana State continued a scoring run by netting its third consecutive touchdown of the game in the first minute of the second half. With 14:17 left in the third quarter, Connor Underwood returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown to cut the Indiana lead down to 45-28.
Robert Tonyan, Jr., found Demory Lawshe for a 57-yard touchdown pass with 8:36 remaining to close out the scoring for both teams.
The Sycamores took to the field first in the game with junior quarterback Mike Perish leading the offense, but Indiana State was forced to punt. The Sycamores' Jordon Stangler had his knee on the ground as he attempted to field the snap, which set up the Hoosiers with an 18-yard field. It took them just three plays, including a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tre Roberson to Ted Bolser with 12:32 left in the first quarter to stake IU to a quick 7-0 lead.
Indiana State responded with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive to even the score at 7 with 8:27 on the clock in the first quarter. Sampson Levingston, making his Sycamore debut, hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Perish after Shakir Bell had 27 rushing yards on the drive.
Indiana State's defense stopped the Hoosiers on fourth-and-one inside Sycamore territory after the touchdown, but were not able to move the ball and Indiana was able to counter with a 43-yard touchdown pass to Shane Wynn off the arm of Roberson with 3:44 remaining in the first quarter to give Indiana a 14-7 advantage. Following a Bell fumble, Indiana went 41 yards on four plays to take a 21-7 lead at the 2:46 mark of the first quarter on a 34-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman.
The Hoosiers scored twice in the first two minutes of the second quarter as Bolser reached the end zone for the second time in the game, a 9-yd reception from Nate Sudfeld with 14:47 on the clock. Shane Wynn followed with a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown with 13:15 left before the half for the 35-7 Hoosier lead.
After Indiana State scored 21 unanswered points in less than a minute of game time around halftime, the Sycamores surrendered a pair of third quarter touchdowns as the Hoosiers reclaimed a 59-28 lead.
The Sycamores return to action when they travel to their second Big Ten foe of the campaign on Saturday, September 7 at Purdue.
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