BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana had something to prove Saturday. The Hoosiers didn’t disappoint.
Michael Penix Jr. threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as Indiana took advantage of two special teams touchdowns and a dominant defense to rout Idaho 56-14.
For Indiana (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten), it was a big night.
Playing in front of the biggest home crowd since Nov. 23, 2019, the Hoosiers gave the near-capacity fans plenty to cheer about. Indiana has won 18 of its past 20 home openers, perhaps none more impressively than this one.
The timing couldn’t have been better after last week’s embarrassing loss at Iowa, either. This time, the Hoosiers cleaned up the mistakes, made all the big plays and never gave the Vandals (1-1) a chance. They took a 21-0 lead after one quarter and made it 35-0 before Idaho recorded a first down.
“We were able to bounce back, address some things we needed to address and I think our guys responded in practice and the way we started,” Hoosiers coach Tom Allen said. “I thought special teams was special tonight.”
For Idaho, it was a miserable night.
A first-quarter fumble by senior quarterback Mike Beaudry led to Penix’s first scoring pass, a 9-yarder to Javon Swinton. Four plays later, Swinton scored again, returning a blocked punt 4 yards to make it 21-0. Before the first half ended, the Vandals also allowed an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
“Special teams was not good, not good at all,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “They scored 21 points on special teams. The offense wasn’t very good but we still have to find a way to get more first downs.”
Beaudry rebounded by throwing two touchdown passes to Hayden Hatten, one in each half, but it wasn’t enough.
THE TAKEAWAY — After blowing out Division II Simon Fraser 68-0 in the opener, the Vandals were overwhelmed by the Hoosiers. Idaho dropped to 0-5 against Football Bowl Subdivision teams since returning to the FCS Big Sky Conference in 2018. The Vandals are 0-4 all-time against the Big Ten, losing the last two by a combined 135-21.
STAT PACK — The Vandals had only one penalty and didn’t punt in their season opener but had eight penalties and punted seven times at Indiana. ... Hayden Hatten had 10 catches for 94 yards. ... Beaudry was 23-of-36 passing with 196 yards and two touchdowns. ... Idaho rushed 22 times for 65 yards. ... Punter Caleb Lightbourn had a second punt blocked in the fourth quarter, which also led to an Indiana score.
Idaho 0 7 7 0 — 14Indiana 21 14 7 14 — 56
IND: Carr 2 run (C.Campbell kick), 4:27.
IND: Swinton 9 pass from Penix (C.Campbell kick), 3:01.
IND: Swinton 4 punt return (C.Campbell kick), 2:05.
IND: Fryfogle 9 pass from Penix (C.Campbell kick), 3:39.
IND: D.Matthews 81 punt return (C.Campbell kick), 1:49.
IDHO: Ha.Hatten 16 pass from Beaudry (Prescott kick), :26.
IND: Penix 1 run (C.Campbell kick), 13:14.
IDHO: Ha.Hatten 23 pass from Beaudry (Prescott kick), 9:11.
IND: Barner 76 pass from Tuttle (C.Freeman kick), 13:02.
IND: Ervin-Poindexter 4 run (C.Freeman kick), 9:56.
First downs 13 20
Total Net Yards 261 338
Rushes-yards 22-65 50-179
Passing 196 159
Punt Returns 0-0 8-154
Kickoff Returns 2-41 3-112
Interceptions Ret. 0-0 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 23-39-0 13-20-0
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-17 2-16
Punts 9-39.0 4-37.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 8-65 5-50
Time of Possession 26:32 33:25
RUSHING: Idaho, Romano 4-20, Beaudry 4-15, Cummings 7-14, Carter 3-8, Jordan 1-5, R.Johnson 1-4, Borisch 2-(minus 1). Indiana, Carr 22-118, Baldwin 8-25, Childers 4-19, Ervin-Poindexter 3-17, Holloman 5-7, Ellis 2-4, Spegal 1-3, (Team) 1-(minus 1), Penix 4-(minus 13).
PASSING: Idaho, Beaudry 23-36-0-196, Jordan 0-3-0-0. Indiana, Tuttle 2-4-0-91, Penix 11-16-0-68.
RECEIVING: Idaho, Ha.Hatten 10-94, Whitney 3-14, Cummings 3-13, Traynor 2-36, Romano 2-18, Haywood 2-16, M.Noil 1-5. Indiana, Fryfogle 5-29, D.Matthews 4-21, Swinton 3-33, Barner 1-76.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: None.
Indiana 56, Idaho 14
Stars of the game
Sophomore receiver HAYDEN HATTEN continued being a breakout performer. He finished with 10 catches for 94 yards, including touchdown receptions of 16 and 23 yards. Senior quarterback MIKE BEAUDRY was 23-for-36 passing for 196 yards. Junior linebacker TRE WALKER finished with 18 tackles in the game.
Already capitalizing on a turnover for a touchdown early in the first quarter, Indiana’s Noah Pierre blocked Caleb Lightbourn’s punt at the Idaho 4-yard line. The Hoosiers’ Javon Swinton scooped up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown to make it a 21-0 Indiana lead with 2:07 to go in the period. It was downhill from there.
The Vandals next will play at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Oregon State.