BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The idea of Indiana competing for a Big Ten title got a little bit more realistic Saturday night.
The first task was knocking off Iowa and Cameron Coffman threw for 315 yards on 21 of 33 passing and three touchdowns to lead Indiana on Saturday to a 24-21 win over the Hawkeyes.
Now Indiana has had a chance to tie Wisconsin in the Leaders Division when they host the Badgers next week.
But, it's still not good enough for Indiana coach Kevin Wilson.
"Our business right now is we're a 4-5 football team, we're 2-3 in the Big Ten and that's not very good," Wilson said. "We're going to keep working hard to get better. That's not coach-speak, that's what the kids hear every second that they're in here."
Cody Latimer, who had 113 yards on seven receptions for Indiana (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten), caught all three of Coffman's touchdown passes, including the 31-yard go-ahead score with 10:58 left to give the Hoosiers a 24-21 lead.
"We're just getting better every single day," Coffman said. "We just slowly keep getting better and keep getting better and if feels good to see it finally start paying off."
Iowa's James Vandenberg was 21 of 34 for 249 yards passing and a touchdown for Iowa (4-5, 2-3).
Damon Bullock ran for 83 yards on 25 carries for the Hawkeyes, who played without running back Mark Weisman.
The Hoosiers took a 17-14 lead Hawkeyes regained the lead early in the fourth quarter on a Bullock 4-yard touchdown run to give Iowa a 21-17 advantage.
Penalties hurt the Hawkeyes early, but it didn't take long to recover. Two penalties in the first drive set the Hawkeyes back and forced a punt.
Indiana and Iowa each had seven penalties. The Hawkeyes for a loss of 51 yards and Indiana 50 yards. That included Indiana's third quarter seven plays, 80-yard scoring drive that saw a 77-yard pass from Coffman to Stephen Houston. There were four penalties inside the 5-yard line alone before Indiana scored.
The start of the Hawkeyes' second drive of the game didn't look promising either. They were called for their third penalty before Vandenberg threw for 10 and 21 yards and Indiana was called for a 10-yard penalty to set up Iowa's first score.
A 7-yard run by Bullock put the Hawkeyes at the Indiana 24-yard line and Vandenberg threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley to give Iowa a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
Things didn't get any better for Indiana.
Iowa's Christian Kirksey picked off Indiana's Nate Sudfeld - who was 10 of 16 for 91 yards passing - on the first play and returned it 18 yards to give Iowa a 14-0 lead midway through the first.
"We got off to a great start," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "I think all-in-all our guys really played hard and competed hard, but the bottom line is that we didn't play well enough to win."
Indiana settled for a 45-yard field goal on their next drive to make it 14-3.
The Hoosiers forced the Hawkeyes to go 3-and-out on the next two drives. After the second punt the Hoosiers took over at the 50-yard line and eventually faced 4-and-1 on the 8-yard line, but then lost 4 yards on a run and turned the ball over on downs.
The Hoosiers got good field position a second time after forcing a punt, starting at the Hawkeye 30-yard line.
Sudfeld was sacked and threw an incomplete pass before the Hoosiers missed a Mitch Ewald 38-yard field goal attempt midway through the second quarter.
The Hawkeyes were forced to punt again after two incomplete passes and short run plays and the Hoosiers took over at their own 13-yard line.
This time they got down to business.
Coffman came in at quarterback and threw for first downs on each of the first three plays of 16, 22 and 21 yards.
The Hoosiers eventually scored on a 15-yard pass from Coffman to Latimer with 47 seconds left in the first half, but the Hoosiers still trailed 14-10 at halftime.
Indiana snapped their 11-game Big Ten losing streak a week ago when they beat Illinois. The last time the Hoosiers won two straight was in 2007. That too included a win over Iowa and also included a win over Minnesota.
A win over Wisconsin would be three straight, a task that hasn't been accomplished by Indiana since 1993.
"Wisconsin's awfully good and we'll need to play better," Wilson said. "We needed to play better today than we did last week and I think we did. We have to keep making strides."