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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Offense falls short in 16-7 loss this weekend

MINNEAPOLIS – Converting on only one of 10 third downs and recording just a single score, the IU football team’s offense sputtered to a 16-7 defeat on the road at Minnesota.

The loss shoots IU’s record below .500 at 2-3, and marks the team’s second straight Big Ten loss to open conference play at 0-2.

Marcus Thigpen was the lone star for the Hoosiers as he recorded his second straight game with a touchdown of more than 77 yards after a 78-yard run and a 79-yard catch, both for scores, against Michigan State last weekend.

Saturday’s touchdown came courtesy of a Ben Chappell loft, which found Thigpen wide open with just more than two minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Thigpen finished the day with 88 receiving yards. Those receiving yards put the Detroit native over the 1,000-yard mark for his career, making him the first player in IU history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving, rushing and returning.

With turnovers, numerous offensive penalties and dropped balls serving as flat tires, the Hoosiers struggled to get deep into Minnesota territory.

In all, the offense would record 293 yards, was sacked four times and turned the ball over three times.

“It seemed like we would sustain a drive but then we would end up killing ourselves with a penalty or a sack,” Thigpen said of IU’s offense. “It was tough with all of our three-and-outs and mental mistakes to keep something going.”

On the other side of the ball, IU’s defense was bendable, letting up 274 yards through the air, but weren’t breakable.

“I thought our defense played hard and played well against a good offensive team,” IU coach Bill Lynch said. “They gave us a chance, they just didn’t do enough on the offensive side.

“We didn’t keep ourselves on the field, and as a result there was a huge disparity in the number of plays we had, and in the time of possession.”

Despite being on the field for nearly two-thirds of the game, the Hoosiers kept the score within a touchdown up until Minnesota’s final field goal in the game’s closing minutes.

“They had a pretty good defense,” Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker said. “They played well. They put a lot of pressure on (Gopher quarterback Adam Weber) and he did a good job of getting out of the pocket and making plays downfield. We left a lot of yards on the field, but give Indiana’s defense credit.”

Decker was the Gopher’s only real offensive threat. He set personal bests in receptions and receiving yards at 13 and 190, respectively.

The Hoosiers return to action Saturday, as they welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to Memorial Stadium.

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