Eastern Illinois hoped to compete with Indiana as long as it could. Indiana had other ideas.
The Hoosiers scored on their first three possessions and defeated EIU 52-0 Saturday afternoon in the Panthers' annual FBS game. EIU is now 0-2, but still 0-1 against the FCS.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
Indiana owns line of scrimmage
This wasn't really a surprise, but it was noticeable nonetheless. The Hoosiers have a strong recent history of recruiting and developing all-conference offensive lineman. This year's group, with 86 starts among its top six players, opened up lanes for Stevie Scott and the Indiana running game with little trouble. EIU had just two tackles for loss until late in the fourth quarter.
On defense, Indiana thwarted just about every EIU attempt to run the ball between the tackles. Johnathan Brantley found some space on a couple designed QB runs and option plays, but that was it. Excluding sacks, EIU averaged 2.2 yards per rush. Brantley was sacked twice and faced steady pressure. His longest completion was 14 yards, and EIU couldn't take many shots down the field. All told, EIU averaged 2.6 yards per pass attempt. Brantley played into the fourth quarter before Harry Woodbery took over.
EIU did not commit a turnover.
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This was the defense's most concerning area of regression from Week 1 to Week 2. The Panthers missed just a couple tackles in the loss to Chattanooga. Saturday, they had trouble bringing down Indiana's receivers after the catch. They played plenty of soft coverage to keep throws in front of them, but it's a strategy that wanes in effectiveness with subpar tackling. A 64-yard touchdown to Ronnie Walker on a screen to stood out. Three EIU defenders could not bring him down along the sideline and simply tried to shove him out of bounds. Whop Philyor was consistently elusive and took a short pass 36 yards by bouncing off multiple tacklers. EIU fared a little better against Indiana's running backs. EIU's coaching staff has to hope this is an exception chalked up to playing a Big Ten team.
Special teams remains shaky
The overlooked but still crucial third phase endured a rocky start against Chattanooga, and it carried over to Week 2. EIU was called for offsides on the opening kickoff. It had a punt tipped at the line of scrimmage after its second series. Pressure came from all around on that punt, which traveled 14 yards. Josh Delgado and freshman Christian Masucci averaged just 33.3 yards per punt. Masucci handled punts in the second half, and downed his first kick inside the 5-yard line. EIU appeared to clean up its kick and punt receiving problems from Week 1, but the special teams unit as a whole remains unpolished.
Injury update: Safties Edwyn Brown and Marcus Bornslater did not play. Wide receiver Matt Reyna missed his second straight game. Linebacker Iziah Gulley was carted off the field in the first quarter.
PHOTOS: Eastern Illinois football
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Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor (1) flies into the air after being hit by Eastern Illinois safety Bryce Dewberry (2) during the first half of the Hoosier's win on Sept. 7 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor (1) makes a move with the ball on Eastern Illinois safety Iziah Gulley (7) during the first half of Indiana's 52-0 win over EIU on Saturday. The Panthers struggled to tackle and had a few coverage lapses, while their offense gained just 116 yards.
Eastern Illinois quarterback Johnathan Brantley scrambles in the backfield during the second half of EIU's 52-0 loss to Indiana on Saturday.
Chattanooga's Bryce Nunnelly runs to the end zone during his 59-yard touchdown catch as EIU's Edwyn Brown pursues during the teams' Aug. 29 season-opener. Nunnelly had 100 receiving yards and EIU lost, 24-10.
Eastern Illinois quarterback Johnathan Brantley takes a hit from Chattanooga linebacker Justin Sanders (42) during the Panthers' 24-10 loss on Aug. 29.
Eastern Illinois quarterback Johnathan Brantley (11) hands off to Courtney Rowell (22) during the Panthers' season-opening 24-10 loss to Chattanooga on Aug. 29
Eastern Illinois freshman cornerback J.J. Ross (23) defends wide receiver Ryan James in an August 2019 practice. Ross was a late arrival after a recruitment full of twists and turns, but instantly revealed why he was once held Power Five offers.
Eastern Illinois freshman running back Jaelin Hayes-Benefield (4) jogs off the O'Brien Field turf after a play in an August 2019 practice. EIU defensive coordinator Chris Bowers said of Benefield's speed: "It's that obvious. My 5-year-old son could tell you he's fast."
Eastern Illinois defensive coordinator Chris Bowers (right) coaches during a 2019 spring practice at O'Brien Stadium.
FILE: Eastern Illinois offensive coordinator John Kuceyeski coaches during a spring practice at O'Brien Stadium. EIU opened fall camp Thursday.
Eastern Illinois offensive coordinator John Kuceyeski talks with EIU's offensive players at a 2019 spring practice. Kuceyeski spent the last two years coaching offensive line at Cornell.
Eastern Illinois offensive line coach Dan Hernandez runs players through a drill during a spring 2019 practice.
New Eastern Illinois University football head coach Adam Cushing speaks to reporters after his introductory press conference on Dec. 10, 2018.
New Eastern Illinois University football head coach Adam Cushing speaks at press conference Dec. 10. Cushing is the 25th head football coach and sixth in the NCAA Division I history of the program at Eastern Illinois University.
Attendees listen to Adam Cushing at press conference Monday announcing him as the Eastern Illinois University Football head coach.
Eastern Illinois defensive tackle Terrell Greer (96) recovers a fumble in an October 2018 game against UT-Martin in Charleston. "He just lines up with his lunch pail," EIU head coach Adam Cushing said of Greer.
Eastern Illinois cornerback Mark Williams intercepts a pass during a game last year at O'Brien Field against Tennessee State. Cornerbacks coach Benny Boyd highlighted Williams as one of the standouts from spring practice.
EIU wide receiver Matt Reyna heads into 2019 in prime position to be a reliable target for the Panthers.
Contact Patrick Engel at (217) 238-6856. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickEngel_