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Friday, Dec. 1
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Limiting turnovers could be key to football's fourth win

Senior safety Brandon Mosley, junior linebacker Will Patterson, and junior wide receiver Ray Fisher join students in the stands to celebrate the 21-19 victory over Northwestern Saturday at Memorial Stadium.  The Homecoming win ended a five game losing streak for the Hoosiers.

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 turnover margin.”

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.

Last weekend against Northwestern, however, the Hoosiers didn’t turn the ball over once while taking it away five times.

“We went into last week’s game when Northwestern had been on the plus side of the turnover margin, and it had been a reason for their success,” Lynch said. “We talk about that all the time with our football team, and not only do we have to take care of it, but we’ve got to knock it loose. We did a much better job last week, and we’re going to have to do the same thing this week.”

Not only do the Chippewas take care of the football, but they move the ball around the field at nearly a 400-yard average per game.

Leading their offense is Dan LeFevour, who last season threw for more than 3,000 yards while running for more than 1,000, the only player not named Vince Young to do so in FBS history.

“I think when you have a great quarterback who takes care of the ball, that goes a long way toward winning football games,” Lynch said in his weekly press conference Tuesday. “He’s a big, physical guy, and he’s played a lot now, so you know he doesn’t throw interceptions, and he takes care of it, and he runs the ball a lot.”

LeFevour has thrown three interceptions against 11 touchdowns. He also ranks No. 19 in the country in total offense individually, due in large part to spreading the ball to many different Chippewa players. In all, 13 different receivers have receptions for Central Michigan.

But for as many yards and points as LeFevour and the Chippewas earn, they give up the same defensively.

On the season, Central Michigan has been out-scored and out-gained by its opponents, a trend the Hoosiers hope to continue.

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