For the first time in 25 years, the Indiana Hoosiers are 4-0.
Indiana held off a late charge by Wake Forest to hang on for a 31-24 win, a win that while again wasn’t the prettiest sight kept the Hoosiers unbeaten.
Up against the perennially weak Demon Deacons, the Hoosiers got on the board early with the first of Nate Sudfeld’s two touchdown passes. The next came about 10 minutes later to give Indiana a 14-7 lead, and the Hoosiers went to the locker room with a 17-10 edge.
Jordan Howard, who had a big day with 168 rushing yards, scored in the third quarter to make it 24-10, and Tony Fields returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown to make it a three-touchdown lead at 31-10.
But Wake had some fight left in it, scoring twice over a four-minute stretch near the end of the game to come within a touchdown. The Deacons recovered an onside kick and made it all the way to the Indiana 32-yard line, but they turned it over on downs to end their threat.
It was another survival for Indiana, which has made that the way it’s won most of its games this season. The Hoosiers previously sweated out a 48-47 season-opening win over Southern Illinois and a 38-35 win over Western Kentucky last weekend. With Saturday’s 31-24 final score, three of Indiana’s four wins have come by a combined 11 points.
Surprisingly, the 31-point output was Indiana’s lowest of the season. But it was still a good offensive day for the Hoosiers, with Sudfeld throwing for 205 yards and the pair of touchdowns. Howard’s 168 yards were part of a 211-yard rushing day for Indiana.
The Indiana defense, much maligned, intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown and held Wake Forest to just 99 yards rushing, 363 yards total.
The 25-year drought between 4-0 starts for Indiana might not be the only drought ended by this year’s team. The Hoosiers are two thirds of the way to the requisite six wins to reach the postseason with struggling teams Rutgers, Maryland and Purdue still remaining on the schedule. Indiana hasn't been to a bowl game since 2007, the program's only bowl appearance since 1993.