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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

All night long, Hoosiers raise red flags

There were plenty of red flags being raised in “The Rock” on Thursday night, but very few were being waved by a burly cheerleader in the end zone.

The unveiling of a new stadium and experience created quite a buzz around Bloomington for the summer months, and the IU football team treated their fans to a much-expected victory over Eastern Kentucky.

However, the first question that will come from the mouths of the IU faithful is “So?”

Who can blame them?

All summer, we have had three points stressed to us out of IU camp: The offensive line is experienced, Ben Chappell is the unquestioned leader of the team and the heralded defensive line is poised for redemption.  Coming out of their week-one victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision school in EKU, the validity of all three points are brought under scrutiny.

All night long, the offensive line was flagged for false starts and holding penalties, killing momentum and putting the team in an unnecessary hole.  

All night long, Chappell missed plays he should have made and converted on ones he shouldn’t have, leaving Hoosier nation scratching its head.

T.J. Pryor and Cody Watts had all day in the EKU pocket to find receivers, forcing fans to send out a missing persons report on senior defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton.

Yes, throughout the game, the previously mentioned sore spots showed signs of brilliance. The offensive line gave Chappell plenty of time to throw for 326 yards, and Kirlew recovered a game-altering fumble near his own goal line.

However, it’s important to consider the source.  

While everyone wearing cream and crimson will tell you that "a win is a win,” fans are not going to be impressed with a six-point win over Eastern Kentucky.

The sign hung between sections 22 and 23 asking “EK-Who?” is all the evidence you need.

Now, IU has a week and change to prepare for an even tougher opponent in Western Michigan, and they have an awful lot on their plate to chew.

Chappell’s 300-plus yards passing pale in comparison to the numbers he could have had if he had hit his open receivers consistently, including one bomb intercepted in the end zone.

The offensive line needs to find a way to keep the penalties down to a minimum – or at least wait until the ball is snapped to commit their infraction.

Kirlew and Middleton need to get their names in the sack column, rather than watch the ball whizz past their ears.

On a night when Hoosier fans could have been out celebrating the start to a new year, they are instead left up all night shaking their heads.

Next time, they need to find a way to make them jump around and sleep like babies.
 
Don’t forget about wearing out the cheerleaders, either.

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