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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“(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.”
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.
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.
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
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
“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
How do the Hoosiers initiate change? Glad you asked.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
No crystal ball, no tarot card, not even Ms. Cleo could have correctly hypothesized IU’s season up to this point.
2008, as we all know, was supposed to encompass the resurgence of Hoosier football.
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.”