- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Indiana is well beyond moral victories.

Indiana played three top-10 teams in the past six weeks and went into the fourth quarter with a chance to win all three. But after losses in those three games, and five in a row overall, the frustrated Hoosiers want to be more than competitive.

Indiana (4-5, 0-5 Big Ten) will have another chance against a top-15 opponent this week when the Hoosiers host No. 15 Michigan (7-2, 4-1) Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said Monday that it’s not enough for this program to simply be competitive anymore. He said that Indiana needs to find a way win a close game.

“We need to do it this week and it’s critical,” Johns said. “Our guys are working hard out there but you’ve heard that. Our guys are playing at a high level and I know that you’ve heard that, too. We’re just not doing it consistently throughout the entire game. That’s what it is coming down to.”

Indiana lost to No. 1 Ohio State 34-27 on Oct. 3, to No. 7 Michigan State 52-26 on Oct. 24 and to No. 10 Iowa last week, 35-27. This is the first time since 1979 that Indiana has played at least three top 15 teams in a single season and the fourth comes this week.

“This is a game against another great opponent that if we play well we’ll have a chance for a strong outcome,” said Indiana coach Kevin Wilson. “But Michigan is playing very, very good football. We’re going to need all three phases to contribute against a really good football team as we finish the home slate with three to go.”

Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld knows all too well what it means to be finishing the home part of the schedule. It means this will be the final home game of his college career. The senior leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game at 278.6.

Sudfeld has thrown for 6,535 yards and completed better than 60 percent of his passes for the Hoosiers. He has a school-record 49 career passing touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

“I still feel like even though I’m a senior with just a few games left, I don’t feel like I’ve played my best ball my any means,” Sudfeld said. “I feel like there’s still a lot to accomplish for myself and this team. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of how good I can be.”

Johns has been Sudfeld’s quarterback coach at Indiana since the day Sudfeld stepped on campus. He said while it’s difficult to grasp the thought of Sudfeld playing his last game at home, Johns said that’s not something he can afford to think about right now.

“We’re just not close to even having that mindset yet because we just feel like we have so much left to do and so much left to accomplish as we work to get to a bowl game,” Johns said. “So for me it’s not quite the end just yet. It’s sad that it’s the last time he’s going to walk out of that locker room but at the same time we’re going to have more practices and more games together.”

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