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Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana loses OT heartbreaker to Duke, refs

If that wasn’t the most B1G way to start bowl season….Well, we’ve probably seen it a hundred times or so. A team with a perfect chance to win the game finds not one, but two opportunities to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This time it was the Indiana Hoosiers’ turn to join the Big Ten bowl tradition, turning a 7-point lead with under four minutes to play in to a 44-41 overtime loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

If you’re all-in on offensive slugfests and craziness, then the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl likely set you’re bar high for this bowl season. For the rest of the crowd…well, at least it had a little bit of something for everyone.

Let’s take a look at the in’s and outs, the ups and downs of the Hoosiers’ loss to Duke.

The Good: Devine Redding

If you’ve paid attention to Hoosiers football beyond the casual reading of the score, chances are you know the name of backup running back Devine Redding. However, this is likely the first time most in Big Ten country and the rest of the nation were introduced to him. Boy did he do it up big on the big stage.

Redding took control when the Hoosiers passing game couldn’t get it done, and added an extra bit of flair to the offense when said passing game was going well. He ended the day rushing for 228 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries, leading four total running backs over the 100-yard mark between the two teams.

It is just a shame it was all for not, as the Hoosiers’ special teams came up empty when needed the most…or the officials depending on your perspective.

The Bad: Replay Rules

Field goals and kicks above the uprights aren’t reviewable? What is the logic behind that crap rule…I can’t wait to hear the head of officiating come out with some crap statement.

I get that it would be a judgement call, but there are all sorts of judgement calls made and reviewable throughout the game. Don’t tell me this shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s especially the case when you have a replay that is right under the goal post showing the ball seemingly sneaking inside the upright and good — forcing a second overtime and more free entertainment for your dollar.

Perhaps it was the karma gods striking back, as the Blue Devils did get royally screwed by the refs in a “loss” to Miami that was nothing short of a victory if the refs actually knew the rules.

The Ugly: Defense

If you are a fan of defensive football — sorry, this game wasn’t for you. The stat sheet is something you’re going to want to shield your eyes from.

However, words simply can’t do justification to the incredibly awful defense that was witnessed during the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl.

Entertaining? Yes.

Quality football? No.

Big Ten Bowl Record: 0-1

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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