Sports

Hoosiers switch up new offense to utilize Lewis

POSTED AT 11:55 PM ON Sep. 28, 2008 

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Dynamism.

Something the IU football team was able to achieve amidst its 42-29 loss at the hands of the Michigan State Spartans.

Dynamism was reached when the call came to send in backup quarterback Ben Chappell and move starting quarterback Kellen Lewis to wideout.

“It’s a blast,” Chappell said of the team’s new package. “We had been practicing it all at camp, and I had just been waiting for it. It’s fun, and hopefully we’ll continue to use it.”

With Lewis’ ability to run, throw and catch, the Spartan defense was at a loss as to what to do.

“I loved it, because it confused the defense,” Lewis said. “A lot of times when you see a quarterback line up at wide receiver, you think something is up, but we are just running our offense.”

IU employed the strategy toward the end of the first quarter, and instantly, the chains started moving on a drive that would be punctuated with a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Ray Fisher.

“Just getting the ball into No. 15’s hands is special, so that’s what we try and do,” Chappell said of having Lewis as a target.

On the drive, Lewis would make two receptions for 17 yards, complete two passes – including the touchdown strike to Fisher – and run the ball twice for 13 yards.

Getting Chappell into the game early was also advantageous, as Lewis would miss most of the second quarter and parts of the third quarter with an ankle injury suffered on a run.

Chappell came in with game experience already, and the offense hardly skipped a beat.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said in his post-game press conference he knew IU would do something different with its offense than what he had seen on tape.

“We felt like they would do something to get the ball in Lewis’ hands,” he said. “Somehow, some way, they were going to get the ball in his hands.

“I thought their quarterback, Ben Chappell, came in there and did an outstanding job when Lewis went out for a while and didn’t know if he’d be able to return. He did an outstanding job and really moved their football team.”

 

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