Indiana 1-0 headed to UMass
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)
Indiana already has matched its win total from last season with a 24-17 victory over Indiana State.
The Hoosiers now have the opportunity for their first Football Bowl Subdivision win since 2010 when they travel to play at Massachusetts on Saturday.
Second-year coach Kevin Wilson said Tuesday he wants his team to just get a road win. He knows a 2-0 start won't make the Hoosiers Big Ten contenders.
''It'll be good to go on the road and win,'' Wilson said. ''It'll be good to get No. 2. To me, we're trying to get W's.''
Indiana went 1-11 last year and is in the infancy of a rebuilding project. Indiana was the lone program in the nation to go winless against a Bowl Subdivision team. The last FBS victory was against Purdue, 34-31 in overtime, in the 2010 season finale. The last FBS win against a non-Indiana opponent was a 38-21 victory against Western Kentucky on Sept. 18, 2010. The Hoosiers had one Big Ten win in each of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons.
''We're going to play six games on the road,'' Wilson said. ''We have to have success on the road to have a good year. So we're just using this as an opportunity, no matter the letter of who they are. We just need to be a team to take one win and learn how to handle success, and show that we can be a team to take our business on the road and play harder than we played and still play with some discipline and get win No. 2.''
UMass moved to the FBS this season and opened with a 37-0 loss to Connecticut. It was the first time the Minutemen have been shut out since 1995. UMass managed just three first downs and 59 yards on 47 plays.
A road game against a Mid-American Conference team that is still developing on this level could be a realistic next step for growing Indiana program.
''They're working out the kinks and I'm sure we're going to get their best shot,'' Indiana co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler said. ''Just in their overall program, the history of UMass football, they've been a powerhouse in I-AA for a long, long time. They've got a fantastic tradition. ... Every week's a new chapter. A new round.''
The Indiana coaching staff raved about the practices Monday and Tuesday. It's all part of the process as the team only had one chance to learn off a win in 2011.
''Today was the best practice since I've been here,'' Wilson said. ''There was some great juice for a Tuesday practice. ... What we've got at this place is guys don't keep doing what they're supposed to do. They get off track. They don't stay hungry. They don't stay driven. They don't stay focused.
''That's the growing pains for being a good team. The biggest difference still between us being a good team and not is learning how to compete.''