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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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BG drops first loss against Indiana, looks to improve for Murray State

Anthony Malinak

Fred Coppet sets to block an Indiana defender in Saturday’s loss.

Bloomington did not seem to be Falcon-friendly Saturday as BG fell short to the Indiana University Hoosiers 42-10.

“We got beat bad,” head coach Dave Clawson said. “We got whipped in every aspect of the game. They ran the ball, they threw the ball, they make big plays. Credit to Indiana, they made plays and we didn’t.”

The Falcons performed well on the defensive side of the ball in the first quarter. The BG defense started the game by stopping Indiana on a goal line stand on the first drive of the game.

Though the Falcons drove down the field and missed a field goal by take an early lead, they were able to redeem themselves with a blocked punt on Indiana’s next drive. Linebacker Paul Senn was the BG player who ended up with the ball and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown.

“I actually wasn’t designed to block the punt,” Senn said. “We were expecting another blocker. One blocker got blocked out, I saw a chance, I took it. And like what [Clawson] said, we needed big plays against a Big Ten team and that’s what I was trying to do.”

Senn’s blocked punt return marked BG’s only touchdown of the game.

The Hoosiers’ final drive of the first quarter was ended by the Falcon defense on another goal line stand, which ended with a fumble at the half-yard line.

BG drove down the field and scored three points from a 45-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Tate.

Following the field goal that put the Falcons ahead 10-7 with 11:06 left in the second quarter, defensive back BooBoo Gates forced a fumble on the following kickoff.

After a false start, two incomplete passes and 14-yard pass completion on third down, the Falcons lined up to go for the first down on fourth down. However, the Hoosier defense was ready for the designed quarterback draw play and pinned quarterback Matt Johnson back five yards, resulting in a turnover-on-downs for the Falcons.

Indiana’s offense scored two touchdowns in the second quarter including a 43-yard rushing touchdown by running back Tevin Coleman and an eight-yard pass from quarterback Nate Sudfeld to wide receiver Kofi Hughes.

Following the two Indiana touchdowns, BG had the chance to tack on three points before halftime but the field goal attempt was no good and the Falcons went into half time down 21-10.

Following halftime, BG came out to minimize the score lead but Indiana had different plans in the second half of play.

The Falcons had two drives during the third quarter but the Hoosiers forced them to turn the ball over on both drives with an interception on the first and a failed fourth down conversion attempt on the second.

Indiana was able to convert the interception into its only touchdown drive of the quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Indiana forced BG to turn the ball over three times, the first on a fumble and turnover-on-downs on the second and third drives.

Despite having 409 total offensive yards, the Falcons were unable to score an offensive touchdown for the first time since the 37-0 loss at Virginia Tech this past season.

“[Indiana] did a good job,” Johnson said. “They forced two turnovers on us. We never really found our rhythm, I don’t think.”

The defense started off very well but as the game went on, the defense continued to give up big plays both on the ground and in the air.

“We prepared for everything,” linebacker Paul Swan said. “Everything we saw we prepared for all week and we just didn’t come out and execute it. It was just sloppy, guys weren’t doing their own thing. It’s just frustrating.”

The 2-1 Falcons will begin to prepare for their first of three-straight home games in practice this week. BG hosts the Murray State University Racers Saturday, the University of Akron Zips on Sept. 28 and the University of Massachusetts Minutemen Oct. 5.

“We’re going to pick it up next week,” Senn said. “Hopefully we’re going to bounce back.”

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