Sykes alive: Late fum­ble re­cov­ery keeps Hoosiers’ bowl hopes alive

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - Sports - By Michael Marot As­so­ci­ated Press

BLOOM­ING­TON — Pey­ton Ram­sey threw two touch­down passes, Lo­gan Jus­tus made the go-ahead field goal with 2:32 left and In­di­ana re­cov­ered a fum­ble in the fi­nal minute Satur­day to pre­serve a 34-32 vic­tory over Mary­land.

The Hoosiers (5-5, 2-5) ended a four-game los­ing streak and kept their bowl hopes alive with the vic­tory.

“We talked very openly to our team about the stakes. I didn’t do that last year,” coach Tom Allen said. “A bowl game, that’s what we’re play­ing for.”

Anthony McFar­land rushed for a ca­reer-high 210 yards in re­lief of the in­jured Ty John­son but the Ter­rap­ins’ post­sea­son plans took a big hit with their third con­sec­u­tive road loss.

Mary­land (5-5, 3-4) had a chance to rally for the win­ning score af­ter Jus­tus’ 42-yard field goal gave the Hoosiers a 34-32 lead. But backup quar­ter­back Tyrrell Pi­grome lost the ball on a sack near mid­field with 52 sec­onds left and Nile Sykes re­cov­ered the fum­ble for In­di­ana.

“We left some plays on the field,” Mary­land in­terim coach Matt Canada said. “I’ve got to coach those plays bet­ter, clearly, be­cause we had op­por­tu­ni­ties. Our play­ers know that. So if you’re not mak­ing the plays, that falls on me.”

It sure wasn’t easy for In­di­ana.

The Hoosiers ap­peared to be cruis­ing when Jus­tus’ 23-yard field goal made it 31-15 mid­way through the third quar­ter.

Mary­land c h a rg e d b a c k quickly.

Javon Leake re­turned the kick­off 47 yards then scooted right and sprinted 27 yards down the side­line for a touch­down. Pi­grome’s 2-point con­ver­sion pass to McFar­land made it 31-23.

The Ter­rap­ins cut the deficit to 31-26 on Joseph Petrino’s 39-yard field goal early in the fourth and re­took the lead when Pi­grome hooked up with Je­shaun Jones on a 15-yard TD pass with 4:54 to go. But the con­ver­sion run came up short.

Scott then broke through for a 27-yard run on In­di­ana’s next play to set up Jus­tus for the de­ci­sive field goal.

Ram­sey com­pleted 16 of 28 passes for 243 yards and one in­ter­cep­tion.

McFar­land car­ried 29 times, do­ing most of his work af­ter John­son left in the first quar­ter with an undis­closed in­jury.

Pi­grome com­pleted 10 of 13 passes for 146 yards and one TD af­ter re­plac­ing Kasim Hill, who left with what ap­peared to be an in­jured left leg in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Hoosiers got just what they needed to stay in the bowl hunt — though they still face an up­hill bat­tle. Af­ter play­ing at No. 4 Michi­gan next week, they will host sur­pris­ing Pur­due in the Old Oaken Bucket game.

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