BLOOMINGTON -- The Indiana offensive line got beat badly by Missouri's defensive line. There was no way to sugarcoat it.
"Bottom line," IU coach Kevin Wilson said, "they just kicked our tails up front."
Sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld was pressured on nearly every snap, and redshirt sophomore Tre Roberson, his replacement at the position, also had some trouble despite being a bit speedier in the pocket. The Tigers smothered the Hoosiers in the run game, as well, giving up just 98 yards on 26 carries.
"Their defensive line did a very nice job against us," Wilson said. "We didn't get a lot of quarterback pressure – they for sure did."
Neither Roberson nor Sudfeld were sacked, but the two completed just 54.7 percent of their 53 combined attempts.
IU went to a mostly aerial attack as it fell behind early, and the offense was very unbalanced. The Hoosiers threw twice as much as they tried to run against the Tigers, and much of that, Wilson said, came from a 14-0 deficit after the first quarter.
"We can't fall behind, spot points, be a one-dimensional team," Wilson said. "We've worked a lot on getting our running game going."
Road gets harder for Hoosiers now
After the loss, an IU team that looked bowl-worthy before the start of the season has a tough road to get to six wins.
Indiana will play at home against Penn State; on the road against Michigan State; at Michigan; home against Minnesota; home against Illinois; at Wisconsin; at Ohio State; and home against Purdue during the Big Ten schedule. The Hoosiers will need four wins out of that slate to go to a bowl, and going 4-4 in the conference will be tough given the matchups.
"The open day comes at a good time," Wilson said. "We're sitting here at 2-2. I think we played a pretty good nonconference schedule, but again, it's disappointing to be at 2-2, and that's the one stat that counts."
Purdue and Minnesota are winnable, and Illinois has been inconsistent through the first few weeks but is strong offensively. Penn State is in the midst of a down year and might also be a winnable game at home.
But games against Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State on the road will be very difficult, and the Hoosiers could need to steal one in those hostile environments.
All told, the prospects for a 13th game in the 2013 season turned much bleaker after the loss Saturday.
"We'll see if we can do some self-evaluation," Wilson said. "We'll look at ourselves, look at some things we have to clean up."
Cody Latimer became the first IU receiver with back-to-back games of more than 100 receiving yards since James Hardy in 2007. Latimer had eight receptions for 136 yards and a score in the loss. … Junior wide receiver Shane Wynn reached 100 career receptions Saturday and became the 19th IU player to do so. … IU was without junior left guard Bernard Taylor on Saturday. Taylor was questionable for the game. The Hoosiers got junior right tackle Peyton Eckert and sophomore defensive tackle Alex Todd back for the matchup against Missouri. Both practiced for the week before the game, but were out of the lineup in Week 3 after injuries. … Missouri quarterback James Franklin's 343 passing yards were a career high. Franklin was 32 for 47 with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran in a score.