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Hoosiers drop fourth in a row

(10/11/08 3:13pm)

For the fourth straight week, the IU football team found itself leaving the gridiron on a sour note as the Iowa Hawkeyes stormed into Bloomington and downed the Hoosiers with ease. Last year, playing a team like Iowa was business as usual. But as evidenced by the half-empty Memorial Stadium in the third quarter, the deflated IU sideline and the 45-9 loss, the promise Lynch instilled in the program last year continues to slowly fade away.

Lynch’s success last year still in some fans’ minds

(10/14/08 11:03pm)

It was barely into the third quarter during Saturday’s game against Iowa when the “boos” started coming down. Eventually losing 45-9, the IU football team felt its fans show their displeasure simply by leaving, making the student section as empty as the North End Zone Project. For IU student junior Rich Lesser, the 2008 football season has shown the Hoosiers are once again comfortable at the bottom of the Big Ten. “It’s what I expected,” Lesser said. “I didn’t think we’d be as good as last year, but I thought we may have a chance to be as good as last year. As of now, it doesn’t look too good.” With a lack of support in the student section throughout their current four game losing streak, IU coach Bill Lynch urged the fan base during his weekly press conference Tuesday to continue to give the Hoosiers support regardless of the team’s 2-4 record.

Hoosiers miss Middleton

(10/14/08 11:04pm)

It was all beginning to unfold – the Iowa game, the season, everything. One blow and the Hoosiers’ defense is down, lying flat on the canvas. In more cases than one, it’s unable to gain consciousness before the 60 minutes expire. Saying IU has trouble recovering from its opponent’s punches is an understatement. Whether it’s a run up the gut or a play-action pass, the Cream and Crimson’s corner is often on the losing side. We saw it especially against Ball State, Michigan State and Iowa.

IU might be without QB Lewis Saturday against Illinois

(10/17/08 1:18am)

Halting the negative momentum a four-game losing streak carries will not be easy for the IU football team (2-4). Making the task more difficult will be the possible absence of the Hoosiers’ offensive catalyst, Kellen Lewis. During practices this week, Lewis wore a protective gray immobilizing boot around his right ankle, nursing what IU coach Bill Lynch called a high-ankle sprain. “(We) went through halftime, got it re-taped and all that, and we thought that it would loosen up and we’d get him going in the second half, and it never loosened up," Lynch said of Lewis' injury sustained against Iowa. “Some athletes bounce back pretty quickly. He really hasn’t been hurt much, so we haven’t really been through this in terms of how quickly he can bounce back. Certainly, we’re hopeful that a guy like that can bounce back quicker than our 300-pound guys, just because of his body type.”

Dynamic offense awaits skidding 2-4 Hoosiers

(10/17/08 1:19am)

A missed block, a missed assignment or pouncing for the ball at the wrong time. That’s how the option can kill you.IU was on the losing end of that formula when the Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3) played Illinois (3-3, 1-2) a year ago at the Bloomington version of Memorial Stadium. Rashard Mendenhall, quarterback Juice Williams and wide receiver Arrelious Benn thoroughly exposed the IU defense, running for 288 yards.This time around, expect more of the same.

Hoosiers fall in 5th straight

(10/18/08 11:48pm)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The IU football team was outplayed in seemingly every facet of a football game possible Saturday, as they dropped their fifth straight contest. This defeat came at the hands of border rivals Illinois (4-3, 2-2), a 55-13 drubbing. The Hoosiers (2-5, 0-4) were outgained 563 total yards to 313. It is the fourth time on the skid IU allowed more than 40 points, while it has scored only 29 total in their last three games. The Hoosiers were without starting quarterback Kellen Lewis who suffered a high-ankle sprain against Iowa last weekend. Replacing him was sophomore Ben Chappell. In his first collegiate start, Chappell was 12 for 29 with 172 yards and no scores. The Bloomington native was sacked 4 times.

From Starr-struck to Starr-less

(10/21/08 11:05pm)

IU kicker Austin Starr used to be automatic. Last season especially. Experts tabbed him as one of the nation’s top kickers. A 40-yarder, a chip shot, it didn’t matter. Every boot was destined to split the uprights. This year, though, Starr’s golden foot has vanished.How could a finalist for the Lou Groza award – given to college football’s top kicker – meld into a Mike Vanderjagt? It’s perplexing, I know.

Double-threat offense rumbles into the Rock

(10/23/08 11:42pm)

The IU football team has been having a rough go at stopping opposing offenses lately. The Hoosiers (2-5, 0-4) have let up an even 100 points in their last two games, and an average of 40 points per game on their current five-game skid. “I think we got banged up a little bit mentally,” junior safety Nick Polk said. “But the guys have come together, and we have said we are going to stick together and pull through this.” Slowing the landslide of points won’t get any easier this Homecoming weekend, when the Hoosiers welcome to Bloomington the Northwestern Wildcats, a team with two dynamic facets to its offensive attack. The first head on the Wildcats’ offensive front is tailback Tyrell Sutton. Sutton comes into Saturday’s contest averaging just shy of 100 yards on the ground per game. But Sutton also comes out of the backfield to make big catches for NU. The Akron, Ohio, native has 28 grabs for 262 yards so far this season, with two touchdowns. Sutton is a smaller back – at 5-foot-9, 205 pounds – than the last two backs to run over the Hoosiers: Shonn Greene of Iowa and Jason Ford of Illinois. Greene had 115 yards and a score in Bloomington on Oct. 11, and Ford had 172 yards and three scores last weekend against IU. But senior safety Austin Thomas warned Sutton is bigger in person than what paper shows. “Wait till you see this guy’s legs,” Thomas said. “He’s a thick guy. He is a little quicker in space than Shonn Greene and Ford, who we played the other night. But he’s quick; he’s a good back.” Sutton helps to distract defenses from quarterback C.J. Bachér, who is equally formidable. After Bachér lit up opposing teams for 3,656 yards, seventh-most in Big Ten history, Sporting News named the California native the Big Ten’s “Best Player Under Pressure.” In seven games, Bachér has tallied solid offensive numbers, including a 112.6 passing efficiency, 1,545 yards through the air with 10 touchdowns. Bachér can also run – he has two rushing scores and 180 net yards.

Hoosiers pull out stunning win against Northwestern

(10/25/08 3:05pm)

For the first time since September, the IU football team and its fans know what it is like to win. The Hoosiers (3-5, 1-4) ended their five game losing streak on Homecoming, defeating Northwestern 21-19 after suffering a heartbreaking loss in Evanston, Ill., a year ago. Sophomore quarterback Ben Chappell, starting in place for injured junior Kellen Lewis, led the Hoosiers by running and throwing for a touchdown. Chappell spread the ball around well but completed the majority of his passes to freshmen Tandon Doss and Damarlo Belcher.

Limiting turnovers could be key to football's fourth win

(10/30/08 10:44pm)

Last week, the IU football players seemed to have figured out what was plaguing them during the previous five weeks. The 21-19 win against Northwestern on Homecoming was the Hoosiers’ (3-5, 1-4) first since September. Now IU looks to win back-to-back games for the second time this season as it welcomes Central Michigan (6-2, 5-0 MAC) to Memorial Stadium on Saturday. “We had a good win against Northwestern,” IU coach Bill Lynch said. “It was a game that we needed to get back on track, and I really liked the way our guys played. They played with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and really, we did the things we had to. We had to win the turnover margin.” Lynch has said all season losing the turnover battle handicapped the Hoosiers in their losses. Winning that battle against the Chippewas has proven to be nearly impossible for everyone else, however. Central Michigan is currently tied with UNLV and Florida for the fewest turnovers in the nation at six. So far this season, the Hoosiers have turned the ball more than 14 times.

6th loss comes in close contest with Chippewas

(11/02/08 9:56pm)

Completely outmatched through the air, the IU football team could not stop Central Michigan’s backup quarterback Brian Brunner in a 37-34 loss to the visiting Chippewas. Brunner threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns in the non-conference victory on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The loss was IU’s sixth of the season, dropping its record to 3-6. “We don’t feel very good,” sophomore quarterback Ben Chappell said of his team’s emotion following the game. “They played good, but we just didn’t play well enough to win.” Brunner’s 485 yards are the third-most IU has let up all time. “He did a tremendous job,” IU coach Bill Lynch said in his post-game press conference. “He is a fifth-year senior and has been in a program that has won a lot of football games. They certainly play with a lot of confidence.” To counteract Brunner’s success, the Hoosiers amped up their pass rush at the beginning of the second half.And it worked. Brunner was sacked five of his seven total times in the final half. But Brunner and the Chippewas also adjusted and found receivers left one-on-one in man coverage as Hoosier linebackers blitzed.

Football down but not feeling out just yet

(11/02/08 10:22pm)

Following a 37-34 loss to Central Michigan on Saturday, the Hoosiers are approaching the breaking point of their 2008 season. Junior linebacker Will Patterson was so perturbed by his team’s performance he somewhat called out them out following the game. “We’ve got certain guys that go out and play like warriors every Saturday,” Patterson said. “Then you’ve got the few guys that just kind of do their own thing. It showed today and we’ll get it fixed.”