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Badgers blow away IU 55-20

(11/08/08 3:20pm)

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 back.

Alvarez: Greenspan good for IU football

(11/14/08 12:50am)

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 drought.

Coming to the end

(11/20/08 11:11pm)

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.