LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Indiana football will win a bowl game again, one day, maybe soon.
The Hoosiers could have won one on Thursday night in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl but lost a golden opportunity when Tennessee came from 13 down in the final 4½ minutes to win, 23-22.
A missed extra point, a failure to cover an onside kick and a missed 52-yard field goal that perhaps shouldn’t even have been attempted were the culprits in the first FBS comeback from a deficit of 13 points or more in 472 games this season.
The Hoosiers came into the game looking to make history, but not that kind. A bowl win would’ve been their first since 1991. It also would’ve been their ninth win of the season, something no Indiana team has done since the Rose Bowl season of 1967.
Indiana battled to a 6-3 halftime deficit after holding Tennessee out of the end zone on three red zone visits, including a goal-line stand for a fourth-down stop on the Vols’ first possession.
The Hoosiers went up 10-6 with 9:29 left in the third quarter on a 12-play, 69-yard drive capped by a 1-yard plunge by quarterback Peyton Ramsey, then took a 16-6 lead less than a minute later on a 63-yard interception return by Jamar Johnson. Logan Justus missed the extra point attempt, however.
After a Tennessee field goal, IU got back-to-back field goals from Justus, but the Indiana defense couldn’t get big stops after that.
Tennessee drove 82 yards in 10 plays to pull within 22-16, then Tennessee recovered an onside kick and needed just three plays to go 52 yards for a 16-yard TD run with 3:51 left.
The Hoosiers got a couple more chances but couldn’t get themselves into field goal range. The finish the season 8-5 but saw their bowl losing streak grow to five.
More history will have to wait.
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