With Indiana’s kicking situation in flux entering Saturday’s game against Maryland, redshirt freshman Griffin Oakes made his case for the starting nod in the 37-15 loss to the Terrapins.
After kicking three field goals, including a school-record 58 yard shot, Oakes appears to have a handle on the job. But he’s not taking anything for granted.
“I don’t feel like anything is set in stone, especially where I’m at now,” Oakes said. “I’ve done nothing to prove myself. I had one good game. (That) shouldn’t have cemented it at all. I gotta come out next week in practice and try to do it again.”
The 58-yarder broke Scott Bonnell’s previous school best of 55 at Michigan in 1989. It is tied for the 10th-longest in Big Ten history and stands as the league’s longest since 2009.
Oakes, who also hit from 38 and 48 yards, is the first Hoosier to connect on three in a game since Mitch Ewald did so at Penn State in 2012. Oakes missed on a 54-yard attempt in the third quarter.
He was also outstanding on kickoffs, finishing with touchbacks on all three of his attempts.
“It’s a good feeling to go out there finally and perform,” Oakes said. “It was good to be out there and show what I can do.”
Maryland threw for 361 yards, Indiana found the red zone only twice and watched the Terrapins take the Big Ten opener, 37-15, Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Indiana failed to turn last week’s upset of No. 18 Missouri into any tangible momentum, instead turning in a disappointing performance against the Terps in their conference introduction.
The Hoosiers didn’t find the end zone until the game was out of reach, settling for a four-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman with 9:29 left in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman kicker Griffin Oakes accounted for all of Indiana’s offense in the first half, connecting on field goals of 38, 48 and a school record 58 yards.
Indiana had two touchdowns called back on penalties, including a block in the back call on Laray Smith that negated a Shane Wynn punt return for a score. Later in the second quarter, a holding call on offensive lineman Dan Feeney brought back a 50-yard touchdown run by Coleman.
Maryland quarterbacks C.J. Brown and Caleb Rowe each combined for 361 yards, with Rowe taking over for the injured Brown in the second half. Rowe threw for two touchdowns to create late separation for the Terps. Despite not scoring a first-half touchdown, the Hoosiers trailed only 20-9 at halftime but stalled behind an offense that never seemed in rhythm.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was uneven all afternoon, completing only 14 of 37 passes for 126 yards.
Against the Big Ten’s worst rush defense, Coleman managed 122 yards on 22 carries. His fourth-quarter score set an Indiana record for 13 consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. Coleman also leads the nation with six consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts.
Maryland outgained Indiana 484-332. Penalties were a factor for both teams, with the Hoosiers and Terps combining for 17 flags for 138 yards.
Terps receivers Deon Long and Stefon Diggs both had big days. Long caught 10 passes for 108 yards, while Diggs made six receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Maryland kicker Brad Craddock added three field goals.
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Consecutive 100-yard games for Tevin Coleman, tied for the longest streak in the nation.
10: Maryland takeaways, second in the Big Ten and tied for 11th nationally.
12: Straight games with a touchdown for Coleman, tied for the longest streak in the nation and in school history (Anthony Thompson, 88-89).
73: Touches for Tevin Coleman, 25 of which have gone for first downs or TDs.
79: Years since Maryland and Indiana have met on the football field.
199.2: Average rushing yards per game yielded by Maryland’s defense.
HOW THEY MEASURE
Indiana | Maryland
Points Scored: 33.7 | 36.8
Rushing Yds.: 310.3 | 163.2
Passing Yds.: 236.7 | 237.8
Total Yds.: 547.0 | 401.0
Total Plays: 82.7 | 69.0
First Downs: 28.7 | 20.0
Time of Possession: 30:33 | 28:29
3rd Down Conversion: 37.2% | 41.7%
Red Zone Scores: 9-12 | 11-13
Red Zone TDs: 8-12 | 8-13
Kick Return Yds.: 15.0 | 25.3
Punt Return Yds.: 9.0 | 26.8
Points Allowed: 27.3 | 21.0
Rushing Yds. Allowed: 126.0 | 199.2
Passing Yds. Allowed: 287.0 | 261.2
Total Yds. Allowed: 413.0 | 460.5