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Tuesday, May 21
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

IU offense collapses in 2nd half with 3 interceptions, 4 punts, 1 missed FG

IU-Iowa Football

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa’s defense did what it has done all season. In the second half, IU’s offense could do little in response.

Facing a Hawkeye team known for forcing turnovers, challenging quarterbacks and shutting down opponents to end games, IU’s offensive production all but vanished in the second half.

It disappeared even when IU’s own defense helped out.

The Hoosiers had a 21-7 lead at halftime, but the offense mustered only three second-half points and quickly surrendered its lead and the game to an opportunistic Iowa defense.

For the second straight week, the Hoosier defense created interceptions that resulted in few points. Last week, IU picked off Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka three times. This week, IU intercepted Iowa’s Ricky Stanzi five times.

The result from those turnovers: one field goal.

The most glaring example occurred midway through the third quarter. IU sophomore cornerback Donnell Jones intercepted Stanzi and returned the ball to Iowa’s four-yard line.

Three plays later, Hoosier junior quarterback Ben Chappell threw a pass that got tipped several times at the line before it was scooped up by Iowa safety Tyler Sash for an interception. He returned the ball 86 yards for a touchdown. Instead of facing a three-touchdown deficit, Iowa jumped back into contention.

IU had two more interceptions in the third quarter, but neither resulted in offensive points.

IU coach Bill Lynch’s analysis of the game was very simple.

“They made plays, and we didn’t,” Lynch said.

IU had nine second-half offensive drives – four ended in punts, three in interceptions and another in a missed field goal. The Hoosiers had only two drives last more than four plays.

The offense was especially unproductive in the fourth quarter – IU never advanced beyond midfield, went 0-for-4 on third downs, committed three penalties and rushed for negative yardage.

Chappell was quick to credit Iowa’s defense.

“They do what they do,” Chappell said. He added that the Iowa secondary locked down in man coverage on the IU receivers in the second half.

That’s exactly what Iowa has done all season. Having trailed in eight of their nine games, the 9-0 Hawkeyes have often relied on their defense to make stops. Iowa leads the Big Ten in forced turnovers with 25. Against IU, the Hawkeyes intercepted Chappell three times – twice in the fourth quarter.

“We are going to play 60 minutes,” Iowa’s Sash said. “We are not going to give up at halftime. Our backs are against the wall. We came out and we played a tough second half.”

Chappell finished 23-for-41 with 227 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

The running game wasn’t any more effective in the second half, with only 12 rushing yards after halftime and 79 total yards on the ground.

IU freshman running back Darius Willis said the offense’s ineffectiveness following turnovers spoiled several good plays from the Hoosier secondary.

“It’s very disappointing,” Willis said. “The defense gives up all those opportunities and, when we get in the red zone, we have to put it in – no matter what.”

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