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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

2nd-half slumps persist for IU football

IU-Eastern Kentucky Football

Having been outscored 208-75 in the second half of its games last season, IU entered Week 1 against Eastern Kentucky with hopes of high scoring in all four quarters.

Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, nothing has changed.

In their five offensive drives during the final 30 minutes of Thursday’s game, IU began with an interception and followed with four consecutive punts.

The result? Zero points.

IU junior quarterback Ben Chappell went into halftime 16-19 with 214 yards, but was only 11-17 for 112 yards in the second half. In addition, the Hoosier running backs totaled just 25 total yards over that period.

“It’s just a matter of executing,” Chappell said. “There are several little things I think we need to fix. The third quarter, we did not play as well. In the fourth quarter, we moved the ball real well ... But didn’t finish like we needed to.”

Although there is room for improvement, IU offensive coordinator Matt Canada said he is pleased with how Chappell performed last Thursday night.

“He threw for 75 percent, but just had some critical misses,” Canada said. “He has to take better care of the football, move his feet a little bit better and we have to make those adjustments. You can’t miss those big ones when they are there.”   

IU had five games in 2008 – Ball State, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Penn State – where they did not score a single point in the second half. The Hoosiers were within eight points of their opponent at halftime in all of those games and did not capitalize in the remaining time.   

Canada said the game against the Colonels was a different circumstance compared to the previous season.

“Last year we had some matchup issues that caught up with us at times,” Canada said. “But make no excuses – this past Saturday we did not make enough plays, we didn’t score points and there were points there to be scored. We have to do a better job.”

For the Hoosiers to be successful on Saturday against Western Michigan, they must be able to hang with a high-powered Bronco offense for all four quarters.

Western Michigan is a team coming off a nine-win season and a Texas Bowl appearance, despite only scoring seven points against Michigan this past weekend.
Their team’s leader is 6-foot-5 senior quarterback Tim Hiller, who threw for 3,725 yards and 36 touchdowns a season ago.

IU junior wide receiver Terrance Turner said intelligence is the key to putting points on the board against Western Michigan.

“We need to improve on executing and discipline,” Turner said. “Every game we play, it’s going to take four quarters to win. You have to be able to produce in the second half. That’s what we’re working on.”

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