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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers pounce on Wildcats for win

Defense, offense 'feed off each other' in victory

With less than five minutes remaining in Saturday's contest with Northwestern, many of the 26,000 at Memorial Stadium got up from their seats and made their way to the parking lot. With the Hoosier offense compiling 316 rushing yards, 246 passing yards, six touchdowns and a defense that stumped the Northwestern offense four times inside the IU 10 yard line, what else was there to watch?\nWhat the IU faithful got was a Hoosier squad coming off a bye week and a 42-28 loss two weeks earlier in Iowa City put up 562 yards total offense in a 56-21 blow out of Northwestern. \nMuch like the rest of the season, junior fullback Jeremi Johnson, senior running back Levron Williams and senior quarterback Antwaan Randle El accounted for a majority of the Hoosier offense, with Randle El leading the way with 324 total yards -- 78 rushing and 246 passing -- and three touchdowns. Williams lead all rushers with 130 yards on 26 attempts and two touchdowns. Johnson backed them up on 94 yards on 15 carries and two scores. \nJust ask Randle El how good this feels after losses to Illinois, Iowa and rumblings that the win at Wisconsin earlier in the season was a fluke.\n"Feels good," he said. "I can't really express it right now, because I'm tired, but it was good."\nEspecially since the Illinois native has played against some of the Northwestern players in high school competition.\n"Bragging rights and everything," he said. "The whole nine yards. Especially (Northwestern quarterback Zak) Kustok."\nThe day began like many others, with IU receiving the kick off and then going three and out with several missed passes to senior wide receiver Henry Frazier capitalizing the drive that failed to move the ball 10 yards. Frazier would soon redeem himself.\nAfter an opening drive that resembled their opponents, Northwestern was forced to punt the ball back to the Hoosiers. In four plays, the Hoosiers would have the lead. In the fourth play of an 80-yard scoring drive, Randle El connected with a wide open Frazier for a 47-yard touchdown pass after abusing the Northwestern defender. \nNorthwestern got the ball back after the extra point, but the Wildcats would have to wait until the second quarter before they could move the ball more than 10 yards, as the Hoosier defense held their opponents to zero first downs in the first quarter en route to shutting out their opponents for the first half.\nThe Hoosier offensive players credited the defense for getting them going and scoring 42 points in the first half.\n"We came out with the same energy that we did with Wisconsin, and we brought it to the game today, and that's why we played so good," Johnson said. "Plus we got some other guys stepping up to the plate, playing good who haven't been playing a lot. They brought that energy to us to help us. The defense set the tone of the game, and the offense just fed off of the defense."\nCoach Cam Cameron didn't give any credit to the fact that the Hoosiers are coming off a bye week, mainly because all the changes in the IU defense were made only a few days before the game.\n"I told our defensive staff that if we do what we've always done, we're going to get what we've always gotten," Cameron said. "We took a gamble, and you guys won't believe this, but we made all these changes basically on Wednesday."\nCameron gave credit to defensive players such as freshman Herana-Daze Jones, senior Justin Smith, sophomore Steve Williams and freshman John Lumpkin, but it was senior Marcus Floyd who stepped up big for the Hoosiers. \nTwice Floyd recovered Northwestern turnovers, both in the red zone. The first turnover was a fumble recovery after Williams forced the ball loose from Northwestern running back Damian Anderson, and then an interception and 40-yard return with the score 49-21 off an errant pass by Kustok.\n"We watched a lot of film during the week, and we kind of knew what they like in certain situations, and I saw the slant route and I knew there was a chance he could run a slant and go," Floyd said. "I was patient, I stayed on the up-field shoulder and I didn't jump until I saw the ball thrown and I was able to get in front and make a play."\nFloyd also got into special teams play after a skewed punt return by Randle El ended up in his lap. After breaking a couple of tackles, Randle El found his way heading toward the ground, but before his knees hit, he switched hands and tossed the ball to a streaking Floyd, who then carried the pigskin for another 30 yards.\nDespite what it appeared, the play was not scripted and had never been practiced.\n"It just happened. I really don't even now how to explain it," Randle El said. "If you look at Marcus, Marcus was kind of ready for it. It wasn't planned, but he played tailback before. He played tailback three years ago, and he knows that." \nThe win moves the Hoosiers into eighth in the conference with four games remaining. In order to get into bowl contention, IU must win all of the remaining games on schedule, including road games at Michigan State, Penn State and home games against Purdue and Kentucky.\nThis isn't something the Hoosiers have overlooked. \n"We're going to try and take this win, and now we're thinking about Michigan State," Johnson said. "We're not going to get the big head it seemed like it did after Wisconsin. We're just going to keep the same mindset and come out for Michigan State"

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