BLOOMINGTON – Stevie Scott did the heavy lifting Saturday. Peyton Ramsey played the perfect conductor.
Together, they kept Indiana in complete sync.
Scott ran for 114 yards and scored twice in his second career start while Ramsey threw for 173 yards and ran for another touchdown to lead the Hoosiers past Ball State 38-10.
“When the line creates holes, I just have to explode through them,” Scott said. “We’ve just got to keep it up, just consistency, just dominate every opponent we have and just play hard.”
He needed only 18 carries to follow last week’s near-record performance with another 100-yard game. He’s the fastest true freshman in school history to top the 100-yard mark in consecutive weeks.
And this time, Scott had plenty of help.
Ramsey was 20 of 27 and ran six times for 43 yards including a 5-yard score with 22 seconds left in the first half.
Freshman Ronnie Walker Jr. had an 18-yard TD run on the first carry of his college career, while Indiana’s defense forced eight punts and allowed just 347 total yards.
Even the special teams got involved, with J-Shun Harris returning a punt 86 yards for the third touchdown return of his career and nearly scoring again early in the fourth quarter.
As a result, the Hoosiers are 3-0 for only the second time in a decade and will start 2019 with a six-game regular-season winning streak against non-conference foes.
Coach Tom Allen couldn’t have created a better starting script.
“Huge to get the first three,” he said. “The way the offense did some great work in Week 1, defense really came back in Week 2, sealed the win. Week 3, all three phases came together and played well. That’s what you’ve got to do.”
Ball State (1-2) failed to finish on another resounding note. It has now lost five straight to Big Ten schools and back-to-back games against in-state foes.
And after taking a 3-0 lead, the Cardinals never got close.
“When I say that’s not Ball State football, that’s not taking anything away from Indiana and the way they executed,” coach Mike Neu said. “But for us, that’s not what we’ve seen from our football team through training camp and through the first couple of weeks, so we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.”
Indiana tied the score on a 21-yard field goal, took the lead on Scott’s 1-yard TD plunge and started pulling away when Harris returned the punt for a TD to make it 17-3 early in the second quarter.
Ramsey’s scoring run made it 24-3 at halftime and the Hoosiers quickly closed it out when Walker made it 31-3.
Even the Cardinals’ lone touchdown came with a near blunder as a replay review was used to see if James Gilbert dropped the ball before crossing the goal line on a 27-yard TD run. The officials didn’t have enough evidence to overturn it.
Scott closed out the scoring with an 11-yard run.
“He just continues to impress me,” Allen said.
Riley Neal was 12 of 24 for 115 yards for Ball State, while Gilbert ran 16 times for 89 yards.