BLOOMINGTON — Tre Roberson threw for a career-high 280 yards and one touchdown, ran for another and led Indiana past in-state rival Indiana State 24-17 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
The win ended the Hoosiers’ nine-game losing streak.
Indiana State dropped to 0-4 all time against the Hoosiers and 0-10 against Big Ten schools.
The Sycamores were led by Shakir Bell, who ran 24 times for 192 yards including a 54-yard touchdown run for the game’s first score.
Indiana answered three plays later when Roberson and Shane Wynn hooked up on a 71-yard TD pass.
The Hoosiers took the lead for good on Stephen Houston’s 15-yard TD run in the second quarter.
Roberson opened the second half by plunging in from 1 yard out to make it 24-10, and Indiana’s defense stopped four drives in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
Saturday’s game marked the beginning of Year 2 of the Kevin Wilson era.
Wilson, the IU coach, is squarely focused on what’s ahead for the Hoosiers.
“If you look back, you’re not going to go anywhere, so we’ve been looking forward,” Wilson said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.
“This is Year 2, and we’ve moved forward to Year 2.”
The Hoosiers went 1-11 last season. The only win came against South Carolina State, a Football Championship Subdivision team.
“We’ve tried to learn from it, move forward, and try to do what’s best for us,” Wilson said. “It’s no parallels to anyone else, and we’re just trying to create a culture in our building about how to work and how to win.”
The Hoosiers had one of the youngest teams in the country last year.
IU had 32 freshmen who saw action, the highest total in the nation.
Roberson was just one of 12 true freshman quarterbacks to start in the nation last year.
“He consistently made the fewest mistakes,” Wilson said of Roberson’s fall camp. “He’s also probably, of those guys, a little bit more comfortable, being here longer.
“He’s a little bit more of a natural leader right now. But he consistently, not even close, played at the highest level in practice.”