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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Hoosiers put win in the past

Antwaan Randle El plays a lot of roles on the football team. He's the quarterback, the team's second-leading rusher, the punt returner and sometimes a punter.\nRight up there with his football duties are his off-the-field tasks. One of those is being a captain, which requires keeping his teammates level-headed.\nAfter IU's 56-21 victory against Northwestern Saturday, Randle El said that some of the Hoosiers got "fat" after the team's blowout victory at Wisconsin. This week, he's trying to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again.\n"We told them right after the game, we reminded them what happened after the Wisconsin game," he said. "And I told them that we cannot dwell on this win too much longer. I said to take it in stride, but you've got to kind of get it out of your head and move on.\n"We started doing that yesterday, so, we'll be prepared for Michigan State."\nTaking it vertical\nWhile Randle El's moves have been as shifty and deceptive as ever this season, he hasn't encountered much success as a punt returner.\nHe tackled the task for the first time this season, but faking a defensive end on the option isn't the same as dodging a defender with a 40-yard head start. Through seven games, Randle El has returned 12 punts for an average of 8.8 yards; his longest return was 15 yards.\nNot terrible numbers, but are they good enough to satisfy Randle El?\n"No, man," said the senior quarterback, whose moves can be even quicker on the turf at Michigan State. "I gotta get out of the gate one of these games and just hit it. And why not do it on turf? I gotta find a lane and get vertical more.\n"It's not like the option. It's a punt return; if you hit it vertical, then you have a chance."\nComparing and preparing\nIU gave up 513 yards against Northwestern, but the Hoosiers did limit the Wildcats to three touchdowns and cause four turnovers. Much of that success stemmed from preparing for Northwestern's spread offense and making according defensive adjustments.\nNow the Hoosiers must prepare for Michigan State's T.J. Duckett, who's fresh off a 211-yard rushing performance against Michigan.\n"He's a faster Ron Dayne is what he is," coach Cam Cameron said. "Everybody in the country knows, especially everybody in the Big Ten, this kid could have played and started in the Big Ten as a junior in high school. You talk about guys going from high school to the NBA, here's a guy that could have given up his high school career and gone ahead and played in college.\n"He was that good in high school."\nIn preparation for Duckett, who's ran for 844 yards this season, IU might turn to junior tailback Jeremi Johnson.\nAt 5-foot-11, 265 pounds, Johnson is the Hoosiers' closest match to the 6-1, 249-pound Duckett. Johnson said he wasn't sure if he'd be called on to imitate the Spartans' leading rusher, but he'd be happy to help.\nHe, too, had his opinion on Duckett's worth.\n"He's pretty similar to me, but he's a tailback and runs the ball about 25 times a game," said Johnson, who has 284 yards and three touchdowns rushing. "I think he's a great back. I think he's better (than Dayne), to me. I've seen him just flat-out out-run people. He's a great athlete from what I've seen."\n40-40 club\nWith three passing touchdowns against Northwestern, Randle El became the first player in NCAA Division I history to pass for 40 touchdowns and score 40 touchdowns.\nThe three passing strikes upped Randle El's career touchdown total to 40, and his nine-yard touchdown run was the 41st of his career. He's also caught a touchdown pass.\n"I didn't even know about it till after the game," Randle El said. "Then they told me it was on ESPN, Chris Berman, L.A. Times and all that. I guess that's part of it. I've been blessed to do a lot of different things as far as stats go.\n"I'm still staying away from it until the season ends as far as looking back at it and all that. I thank God for the seasons that I've had, but let's try to get the 50-50 club before it's over with. We gotta do some scoring"

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