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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

IU hopes to contain WMU in second season game

Nineteen points might be enough to beat a Football Championship Subdivison opponent, but will that work against Western Michigan, one of the top teams in the Mid American Conference?

IU offensive coordinator Matt Canada doesn’t think so.

“Offensively, we have to improve at every spot,” Canada said. “We have to run the ball better, throw the ball better, do everything better. We have to make plays when the opportunity presents itself.”

And against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 3, the Hoosiers were unable to accomplish this for all four quarters.

IU junior quarterback Ben Chappell was inconsistent at times against the Colonels.

Despite completing 16 of 19 passes in the first half for 214 yards with a touchdown and interception, he could not lead his team to any second half points.

The running backs did not help Chappell’s cause, either. The four-player rotation earned only 71 yards on the ground – an average of 2.5 yards per carry.

For IU coach Bill Lynch, the rushing attack needs to be much more productive on Saturday afternoon.

“There are two things with the running game,” Lynch said at a press conference on Wednesday. “Up front, the movement by the defensive line, we didn’t stay with our blocks well enough. The second part of it was with our running backs. There were some seams in there that we didn’t hit.”

“Here’s the biggest thing that I’ve said to the team and the staff: ‘all the things that happened are correctable.’”

IU will try to showcase its adjustments this weekend when the Hoosiers welcome Western Michigan to Memorial Stadium.

Although the Broncos fell to Michigan 31-7 last Saturday, they are coming off of a nine-win season and a Texas Bowl appearance.

Western Michigan quarterback Tim Hiller passed for 3,725 yards and 36 touchdowns a year ago and is recognized as one of the top passers in the nation.

The Broncos also boast one of the conference’s best running backs in Brandon West.

West was a third-team All-MAC selection last season and was Western Michigan’s leader in rushing yards and all-purpose yards.

IU defensive coordinator Joe Palcic said while Hiller is very talented, there are ways to contain him.

“This quarterback is not going to try to run – he has had a couple of knee surgeries – and is not known to be mobile,” Palcic said. “The key to slowing him down is to get pressure on him. We have to turn our defensive ends loose.”

Palcic also said the way to beat Western Michigan is by limiting the “big plays.” He said these include a run more than 15 yards or a pass more than 22 yards and IU  gave up seven last game, compared to their goal of two.

IU junior cornerback Richard Council said IU will be successful on Saturday if they correct their mistakes.

“Our motive this week has been eliminating the big plays,” Council said. “We know we could play a lot better. We are ready to get back this week and prove what this team can really do.”

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