College Football

Hoosiers chasing elusive 6th win but not talking bowl bid

(AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

By MICHAEL MAROT

AP Sports Writer

At Indiana, the countdown is in full swing.

The Hoosiers have chalked up five wins in five consecutive seasons for the second time ever, and now they have five chances to get their elusive sixth win for the first time since 2017.

Around campus, where classes resumed Monday following a brief fall break, everyone knows the story. But inside the locker room, nobody's talking about numbers.

"We'll be asked about it, we talked about it this morning in that regard," coach Tom Allen said during his weekly news conference. "But it's about having a focus - that's the mental toughness it takes to be great in our program. I want it to be a point where that's part of the expectation. I understand it, I understand where we are, what's in front of us, and so do our players."

Indiana gets its first shot Saturday with a rare trip to Nebraska (4-3, 2-2).

Nebraska has won five straight in the series, most recently in 2016 in the only game between the schools since 1978. But Nebraska could be short-handed.

Coach Scott Frost didn't say Monday whether last weekend's bye allowed starting quarterback Adrian Martinez to recover sufficiently to return to the lineup. He missed the Oct. 12 loss at Minnesota because of an injured left knee. Odds-makers have pulled the game off the betting line.

If Martinez can't play, Noah Vedral will make his second career start. Vedral was 14 of 23 with 135 yards, had 15 rushes for 49 yards and was sacked four times against the Golden Gophers.

Nebraska hopes to prove its last game was an aberration.

"We weren't the most physical team on the field at Minnesota," tight end Austin Allen said. "That started shifting gears last week when we went good-on-good. We came off the ball firing on all cylinders, and that's going to carry over against Indiana."

This game also could be a program-changing moment for the Hoosiers (5-2, 2-2).

Indiana hasn't been above .500 in conference play since starting 1-0 in 2016, hasn't won consecutive Big Ten road games since the end of 2015 season, hasn't won three straight league games in the same season since 1993 and hasn't won in Lincoln since 1959.

"I want to change the way this program is viewed in the lifetime of our current players," Tom Allen said. "I just want to be able to create that change. And I've used the word breakthrough and that's a foundational vision I have. It has different layers and different meanings, but that hasn't changed."

Like Nebraska, Indiana may be without its starting quarterback. Michael Penix Jr. left in the first half last week at Maryland and did not return. Allen didn't disclose the injury following the game and didn't shed any more light Monday on what happened to Penix , other than to say he will be a game-time decision.

If Penix doesn't play, Peyton Ramsey, a two-year starter who lost the job to Penix this summer, would likely make his third start of the season.

If so, Ramsey would get a chance to do something neither he nor the Hoosiers achieved the last two years - win No. 6.

"It's a little different dynamic than we have been in the last two years," Tom Allen said. "But you talk to any of our players, there's no mention of winning six. Obviously you win the next game, you win your sixth game and we understand what all that means. But to me the objective is for us to be at our very best and play our best football in Lincoln, Nebraska."

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AP College Football Writer Eric Olson in Lincoln, Nebraska, also contributed to this report.

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More AP college football coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Updated October 21, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA MBB
Elon   8:30pm
North Carolina  
NCAA FB
NC State   Thu 8:00pm
Georgia Tech  
Mercer   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Duke   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Teams Score Time
Chattanooga   6:30pm
Florida State  
Alabama State   7:00pm
Tennessee  
Delaware State   7:00pm
Virginia Tech  
Eastern Washington   7:00pm
Boston College  
Georgia Tech   7:00pm
Georgia  
USC Upstate   7:00pm
Louisville  
Cornell   7:30pm
Syracuse  
Little Rock   8:00pm
Memphis  
Elon   8:30pm
North Carolina  
Missouri State   Thu 11:30am
Miami (FL)  
Villanova   Thu 11:30am
Middle Tennessee  
Teams Score Time
NC State   Thu 8:00pm
Georgia Tech  
Illinois   Sat 12:00pm
Iowa  
Liberty   Sat 12:00pm
Virginia  
Minnesota   Sat 12:00pm
Northwestern  
Oklahoma State   Sat 12:00pm
West Virginia  
Penn State   Sat 12:00pm
Ohio State  
Samford   Sat 12:00pm
Auburn  
Western Carolina   Sat 12:00pm
Alabama  
Boston College   Sat 2:30pm
Notre Dame  
Texas State   Sat 2:30pm
Appalachian State  
Mercer   Sat 3:30pm
North Carolina  
Michigan   Sat 3:30pm
Indiana  
Pittsburgh   Sat 3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
SMU   Sat 3:30pm
Navy  
Texas A&M   Sat 3:30pm
Georgia  
Texas   Sat 3:30pm
Baylor  
Memphis   Sat 4:00pm
South Florida  
Purdue   Sat 4:00pm
Wisconsin  
Syracuse   Sat 4:00pm
Louisville  
Arkansas   Sat 7:00pm
LSU  
Miami   Sat 7:00pm
Florida International  
Temple   Sat 7:00pm
Cincinnati  
Duke   Sat 7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Oregon   Sat 7:30pm
Arizona State  
TCU   Sat 8:00pm
Oklahoma  
Utah   Sat 10:00pm
Arizona  
Boise State   Sat 10:30pm
Utah State  
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Knicks   7:00pm
76ers  
Spurs   7:00pm
Wizards  
Hornets   7:30pm
Nets  
Cavaliers   7:30pm
Heat  
Warriors   7:30pm
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Bucks   7:30pm
Hawks  
Magic   7:30pm
Raptors  
Pistons   8:00pm
Bulls  
Jazz   8:00pm
Timberwolves  
Rockets   9:00pm
Nuggets  
Celtics   10:00pm
Clippers  
Teams Score Time
Colts   Thu 8:20pm
Texans  
Teams Score Time
Senators   7:30pm
Canadiens  
Capitals   8:00pm
Rangers  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT MIAMI
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 18 Kyle Busch 4
2 19 Martin Truex Jr 3
3 20 Erik Jones 16
4 4 Kevin Harvick 2
5 22 Joey Logano 5
6 14 Clint Bowyer 10
7 6 Ryan Newman 15
8 3 Austin Dillon 22
9 88 Alex Bowman 12
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT MIAMI
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 2 Tyler Reddick 1
2 00 Cole Custer 2
3 98 Chase Briscoe 5
4 9 Noah Gragson 10
5 20 Christopher Bell 7
6 36 John Hunter Nemechek 6
7 22 Austin Cindric 3
8 19 Brandon Jones 4
9 8 Jeb Burton 18
FORD ECOBOOST 200
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 16 Austin Hill 5
2 88 Matt Crafton 9
3 51 Christian Eckes 2
4 45 Ross Chastain 3
5 24 Brett Moffitt 4
6 13 Johnny Sauter 6
7 98 Grant Enfinger 7
8 4 Todd Gilliland 11
9 2 Sheldon Creed 12