Dienhart: My thoughts on Indiana's opening win

Throughout Saturday’s Week 1 action, I offered my snap reactions to all the Big Ten games. Here are my thoughts from the Big Ten’s early games and the afternoon games. Under the lights, Indiana held off instate foe Indiana State to match its 2011 win total, while Michigan was no match for reigning national champ Alabama. See my snap reactions to Indiana’s victory in this post.

Indiana 24, Indiana State 17

1. QB Tre Roberson looked good in his debut running the new pass-oriented attack. He hit 26-of-36 passes for 281 yards with a touchdown. That’s a 72.2 percent completion percentage for an attack that tallied 462 yards. And that’s the completion percentage goal of new coordinator Seth Littrell. But more points are needed.

2. The defense had its moments holding down what is a solid FCS program. Indiana State had just 385 yards of offense. And the defense came up with a big stop late in the fourth quarter to squash Indiana State’s run at a potential game-tying touchdown. But the run defense still is leaky. The Sycamores had 179 yards on the ground, averaging 5.4 yards per attempt. That number must be trimmed.

3. Mistakes were limited. The Hoosiers didn’t commit a turnover, but they did commit nine penalties. Still, this is a nice start for an Indiana program that won just one game in 2011. Games at UMass and vs. Ball State are next before an off week. So, yes, the Hoosiers could start 3-0.

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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