Statistically impressive, Indiana’s trip to Boston was nonetheless costly Saturday afternoon.
The Hoosiers moved to 2-0 on the season, dispatching of a hapless UMass team 45-6 in a game as one-sided as the score suggests. But in doing so, the Hoosiers lost the services of starting quarterback Tre Roberson for the rest of the season.
Outstanding in his first start last week, Roberson led Indiana’s hot start with touchdown runs of 50 and 40 yards in the first quarter. He appeared as comfortable as he was a week ago, spraying the ball around the field to a number of different receivers. He finished the game with 203 total yards and three touchdowns.
But a horrific-looking injury early in the second quarter saw Roberson carted off in an ambulance. Scrambling toward the goal line, Roberson appeared to have his left leg fallen upon. He was quickly taken off the field, and sophomore junior college transfer Cameron Coffman replaced him.
IU coach Kevin Wilson confirmed after the game that Roberson had broken his tibia and fibula and would miss the rest of the season.
“Some did his leg,” Wilson said, indicating Roberson had scrambled because the short route meant to come open on that particular play was covered. “He just had a tib/fib break.”
Wilson said rehabilitation would take “several” months, but that he expects Roberson to return fully next season. Because he was still just in the second game of the season, Roberson is believed to be eligible for a medical redshirt, should he pursue such an opportunity. That status is, as yet, unconfirmed.
Indiana scored 17 more points in the first half after Roberson’s injury, putting up 427 total yards in the first half, 237 of them on the ground. Stephen Houston, Isaiah Roundtree, Tevin Coleman and D’Angelo Roberts each got touches in the first half.
Coffman appeared poised in replacing Roberson, although he was not so directly prolific. He marshaled Indiana’s running game efficiently in the Hoosiers’ last two scoring drives of the first half.
For the game, Coffman was solid throwing the ball. He completed 16-of-22 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, and he led three touchdown drives.
As a team, Indiana tallied 606 total offensive yards, the program’s highest total in more than 10 years. UMass only put up 264 total yards of offense, though the Minutemen did not force any turnovers.
Late in the game, freshman Nate Sudfeld entered the game at quarterback, an initial indication that Roberson’s injury could keep him sidelined for an extended period of time.
For the afternoon, Indiana had 11 players catch a pass and eight lodge a carry. Indiana’s four top running backs — Coleman, Houston, Roberts and Roundtree — combined for 42 carries, 217 yards and two scores.
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