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On their final home game of the season, everyone inside Memorial Stadium was treated to one more blowout.
Losing to Wisconsin 55-20, the Hoosiers officially lost the chance to
become bowl eligible long before the final whistle blew. Down 21-20 at
the end of the first half, the Badgers rolled off 34 unanswered points
in the second half.
Decimated by injuries, IU failed to capitalize after winning the
turnover battle and effectively hanging with Wisconsin in the first
half. For the first two quarters, it was a back-and-forth battle
between the two teams, and as the half came to a close it appeared as
if the Hoosiers might head into the locker room with the lead.
Driving inside the Wisconsin 10-yard line, sophomore quarterback Ben
Chappell took an injury to the head, fumbled and the Hoosiers
metaphorically fumbled away their season as the Badgers never looked
When Rick Greenspan cleans out his Assembly Hall office at the end of
December, he’ll leave four emotional years and plenty of memories –
good and bad – behind him.
He’s saddened by the loss of his colleague and friend, former IU
football coach Terry Hoeppner, to cancer. He’s frustrated by the IU
football team’s regression in 2008, a season many expected to end with
a second-straight bowl appearance.
Most of all, Greenspan regrets that he won’t be a Hoosier when that program prospers and reclaims Big Ten relevancy.
But he’ll also leave the foundation upon which that program must be built, something many fans have overlooked.
Inundated with criticism mainly attributed to the sanctions levied on
former IU men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, Greenspan announced
his resignation June 26, effective at the end of the calendar year.
Even with the cloud hovering over IU athletics, Greenspan’s decision to resign shocked many co-workers.
“I didn’t think Rick was going to step down, and neither did a lot of
us,” Mark Deal, associate director of football operations, said. “To
say Rick Greenspan’s legacy is the whole Kelvin Sampson saga is about
one-hundredth of all the good things he’s done here.”When Greenspan stepped foot on the Bloomington campus in 2004, he faced
a struggling athletics department welcoming its third leader since 2001.Prior to his arrival, the IU football team wasn’t the primary focus
of the department, despite being the top revenue-generating sport at
most schools. The program was also in the midst of a lengthy postseason
Last week, both the IU and Penn State football teams had dreams dashed.
IU lost its seventh game of the season, making it impossible for them
to go to a bowl, while Penn State had its undefeated season busted,
likely knocking the team out of contention for the national
STATE COLLEGE, PENN. – It was a different week for the IU football team, but it was the same story as had been reported after seven of their 10 games this season.
One year ago, senior Austin Starr was Bloomington’s hero.
Back then, Hoosiers everywhere rejoiced when the then-junior sent a
49-yard field goal through the uprights in the season’s penultimate
moment. His celebrated kick sent the Hoosiers to their first bowl berth
since 1993 and seemingly revitalized the program.
But now, in a downtrodden year marked by disappointment, Starr and his team have sunk back to the bottom of the Big Ten.
But they’ll get one last shot at redemption Saturday.
“It is kind of surreal, but it hasn’t gone too fast,” Starr said,
reflecting on his upcoming final game. “I’ve been taking it in.”
Injuries and inconsistencies have plagued the 2008 Hoosiers, and Starr
is no exception. A nagging hip injury prohibited him from putting up
the same performance throughout his senior campaign that he displayed
as a junior. A year ago, Starr kicked 21-of-23 field goals, hit all 48
extra points and, at one point, nailed 15 field goals in a row.
With more than nine seconds remaining the game, IU made its first defensive stop of the day.
In the 84th annual battle for the Old Oaken Bucket, IU was dominated in every facet of football en route to a 62-10 pounding.
The Hoosiers managed just 214 total yards as their defense let up 596.
Jammie Kirlew was lost for words.
And to be honest, I felt for the Hoosier defensive end. I really did.
Brown is the epitome of the blue-collar football player. He brings his lunch pail to every game and does everything in his power to help the team win. Taunting is not in his vocabulary.
IU announced March 17 that Jordan Marquette has signed a National
Letter of Intent and will play football for the Hoosiers in the fall.
IU coach Bill Lynch vows to improve the Hoosier offense. Among his new implementations, Lynch said the Hoosiers must gain respect in its
running game. Bolstering the backfield attack will
alleviate a lot of pressure off quarterbacks Kellen Lewis and Ben
If IU has any shot to beat any conference foes in its challenging
schedule, Chappell, Lewis and Payton must set the tone early and take
control when things go into disarray. Don’t be alarmed if you see the
ball in their hands when the game is on the line, either.
The loss of No. 1 running back Marcus Thigpen, an unsettled quarterback
situation and the movement of Ray Fisher, one of last year’s most
productive wide receivers, to corner back all have the IU offense in
Senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew, last season’s team MVP, said he likes doing things people don’t expect him to do and setting an example for others.
Moving junior Ben Chappell to the primary quarterback position this spring seemed to be working well.
Last season, IU suffered the injury bug so bad, it was almost OK to use it as an excuse for the disappointing 3-9 record. Not this year, though – not with this rigorous schedule that boasts many bowl teams. The Hoosiers’ defense must step up even more than the offense.
The Spring Game, which is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial
Stadium, will mark the end of the offseason practice schedule for the
Hoosiers. The IU men’s basketball team will sign autographs at the
event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
IU coach Bill Lynch stressed last week the importance of an improved rushing attack.
The Hoosiers’ renewed emphasis on the backfield was evident Saturday
afternoon, as Demetrius McCray and Darius Willis led the Crimson team
to a 28-27 win in the Spring Game.