Indiana coach Kevin Wilson used all three of his quarterbacks in Thursday's 73-35 win against Indiana State in Bloomington.
He was pleased not just with their play, but their demeanor when other options were on the field.
IU went with redshirt sophomore Tre Roberson to start. He was in for all of the first quarter, but bruised his chest on the final series of the quarter.
It was Roberson's first game since a season-ending injury during Week Two in 2012. He went 3 for 6 with 71 yards two touchdowns and ran for 19 yards on five carries.
"It was a bit sentimental," Wilson said. "He was the guy that got hurt and fought hard to come back, so let's let him roll."
Sophomore Nate Sudfeld stepped in for the second quarter and played the majority of the rest of the game. Wilson decided after the score went 42-7 that it wasn't worth putting Roberson back in.
Sudfeld went 12 for 17 with a career-high four touchdowns and one interception. He also threw for 219 yards and connected with four different receivers on his scores.
The 6-foot-5 quarterback was happy he got to stay in after his first mistake: an interception that ISU returned for a touchdown during a 21-point swing. The Hoosiers' lead was cut to 45-28 after that flurry.
"Coach isn't lying when he says he isn't going to pull you out for one mistake, and I was just kind of able to redeem myself a little bit," Sudfeld said. "Coach has really been adamant that we're all gonna get a chance, and he's not just gonna pull us out for one mistake because we're all human and that's just how it is. That's how football is. It's not a perfect game."
Junior Cam Coffman went 2 for 7 with 29 yards and an interception.
Wynn's day ended by illegal hit
IU wideout Shane Wynn had a career day, with two receiving touchdowns and a punt return for a score.
But his day ended abruptly on an illegal hit during a punt return in the third quarter.
Carlos Aviles came from the flyer spot on the return and leveled Wynn after he had called for a fair catch, and well before the ball reached him. Aviles was ejected, and the team had reason to run up the score.
On the ensuing possession, senior receiver Kofi Hughes caught three consecutive passes – one for no gain, another for 48 yards, and another for a 27-yard touchdown.
"We wanted to prove that you can't just mess with one of our guys," Sudfeld said. "Kofi really stepped up on that one drive. He had a look in his eye. I was just gonna get the ball to him."
Hughes had that look to him for a reason. He was mad – even after the game.
"I felt like someone just knocked my boy out, man – just like anybody else, when your best friend just got knocked out in front of your face, but you can't fight him," he said. "I don't know if he's just not a smart football player or what was going on because I heard that they tried to hurt him before. And then seeing that, I was just like, no respect man."
The Hoosiers used the hit as a spark and put up another 21 points to reach the final score.
It could have been worse, but Wilson called his team off when it reached the 5-yard line late in the game. Hughes, like some of his teammates, wanted more.
"I was kind of upset when we kneeled the ball," the senior said, "but I'm not the coach."
Wynn, Wilson said, should be ready to go for the coming week. IU also had a player ejected during the game on an earlier play, when offensive lineman Jake Reed punched a player following the end of a play.
Cooper excels at outside linebacker
IU linebacker David Cooper made the move from middle to outside linebacker during the game, with freshman T.J. Simmons taking over the middle linebacker spot.
Cooper thrived in the new role.
Simmons lead the team with nine tackles, and Cooper chipped in eight. Both got half a tackle for loss, and Cooper also got a half-sack.
"You could put me anywhere at the linebacker position, and I'll execute," Cooper said. "It felt great playing next to a great competitor in T.J. and Flo (linebacker Forisse Hardin) on the other side, and all the rest of the linebackers."
Tim Bennett made his debut at cornerback after moving over from safety, and he also excelled.
Bennett had three pass breakups and was IU's best corner during the rout.
Defensive end Nick Mangieri also had a standout day, with 1.5 sacks in the first quarter. He finished with five tackles.
Simmons said much of the success against ISU came from a game plan that focused on stopping the run. The Hoosiers knew they had the Sycamores outmatched in the secondary, so stopping the rush would shut ISU down.
"We did pretty well against the run," the freshman said. "They popped a couple explosion plays, and we just want to limit that to zero. I think we just got to make our play. Sometimes we'll get to the point of attack and not make our play."
Coleman rushes for career high
Sophomore running back Tevin Coleman replaced senior Stephen Houston atop the depth chart entering Thursday's contest.
Coleman proved that was a good move.
The Illinois native ran for 169 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns. He averaged 12.1 yards and reeled off a career-long 58-yard run during the win.
"I know they're gonna miss if I hit it full speed," Coleman said. "Just hit it with full speed and velocity, and just be physical."
Coleman said the game boosted his confidence and showed he can be even better when he plays at full-go. That could put the sophomore in line for more carries as the season continues.
Houston got eight carries for nine yards as a backup.
"I made a real big impression," Coleman said. "Last year, I really didn't play that much, and I really didn't like know my plays and stuff. Now, I come out here and I know everything, and I just hit the holes with velocity."
IU played eight true freshmen, six on defense. ... The win against ISU gave the Hoosiers the most touchdowns they've had at Memorial Stadium, the most points they've scored at Memorial Stadium, the most points IU has scored in a half since the stat started being kept in 1949 and gave the Sycamores their biggest loss since 1921 ... IU had 313 rushing yards and 319 passing. It was the first time in program history the team put together more than 300 yards in both offensive categories. The 632 yards of total offense were the most by IU at Memorial Stadium, and led to a Memorial Stadium record of 10 touchdowns for the Hoosiers.