Offensive has the best play but needs TD instead of FG

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Charles Campbell usually doesn’t need a second chance.

The IU star kicker has missed only once in his college career, but his first kick against Western Kentucky – at 51 yards – failed. Western Kentucky, however, was ruled offside. The kick was advanced five yards and Campbell tried again. This time it was perfect. He’s been perfect this season, now 7-7 on his baskets.

“I’m a great golfer and believe in a breakfast ball,” said Campbell. “I’m so grateful that it happened on my first field goal. “

And in a game he won by just two points, 33-31 against Western Kentucky, IU needed that second chance.

Insider:IU lifts the weight of his shoulders on a narrow breakaway

When a team has a kicker like Campbell, they are able to find a little more leeway for some red zone ineffectiveness. Take UI’s offense against Western Kentucky and look at the stats sheet. This will show that IU was perfect, 6 of 6, in his scoring opportunities in the red zone. Still, that doesn’t tell the whole story of a team that struggled to finish their runs in the end zone and left them at risk of being upset on the road in Bowling Green, Ky.

“We scored too many baskets,” said IU head coach Tom Allen. “But hey, Charles did them all.”

IU beat Western Kentucky, barely, 33-31 on Saturday night. It took Campbell’s whole leg and his own perfection on the pitch.

The Hoosiers’ red zone offensive is ranked 74th in the country according to the NCAA statistics database. He had 19 red zone attempts and only scored touchdowns on 11 of them. Five attempts in the red zone resulted in baskets, leaving three without result.

This leaves 84% ​​UI in the red zone. More than 40 FBS teams have red zone percentages greater than 90%.

In a Big Ten conference not really known for its offensive prowess, the 84% UI in the red zone ranks sixth. Although some teams with worse rates than IU found the end zone more frequently – like Nebraska.

In many ways, it was IU’s best attack all season. He has accumulated more than 500 meters of total infringement. Michael Penix recorded a high of 373 passing yards and a career high of 35 completed passes. He looked as comfortable and as confident as he has had all season.

But one thing was missing. Penix did not pass for a touchdown.

IU scored touchdowns on each of his first two discs. Both were 11-game discs of about 80 meters. There were just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter when IU scored his second touchdown.

He wouldn’t return to the end zone until 4:27 in the fourth quarter. That’s about a 45 minute gap.

“We finished every practice even though it was a field goal,” said running back Stephen Carr. “We just had to dot the board somehow.”

During this period, IU was able to put points on the board. Twelve of them. All field goals. But that meant that IU had practices where he moved the ball well suddenly ended on the 29, 20, 7, and 31 yard lines in Western Kentucky.

And that’s something most coaches would agree with. Points are points. But with the way West Kentucky jumped offensively and IU’s inability to stop it, IU needed seven and he was getting three.

“Definitely need a few more touchdowns than that,” Allen said. “But obviously those field goals made the difference in the game.”

Maybe that’s what makes Campbell such an important piece. In a game like Saturday where IU’s offense was still finding its way, its pace and its confidence, that the inability to complete training in the end zone will cost them nothing.

IU struggled in the red zone last week as well, but that didn’t give Campbell a chance to even put three on the board – one of the many things that cost IU.

Against Cincinnati, IU was 3 of 6 in the red zone. He returned the ball three times. Once on some downs at the Cincinnati 10-yard line, another when Michael Penix threw a bad interception in the end zone and the third came on a Tim Baldwin fumble at the 4-yard line.

While IU’s struggles to score touchdowns against Western Kentucky didn’t cost him the game, three red zone turnovers against Cincinnati certainly did.

UI’s 92nd overall offense – 10th in the Big Ten – and the 65th overall scoring offense made progress on Saturday night. A trip to Beaver Stadium is looming next week – where IU will need seven.


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