Lewis' Four Scores Give Indiana Emotional Win Over Indiana State
Sept. 1, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana football team began its 2007 season with a 55-7 victory over Indiana State on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. The 55 points were the most in a season opener since IU scored 58 against Kentucky in 1969 and the margin of victory was the largest to begin a season since a 72-0 win over Fort Knox in 1944.
Kellen Lewis threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the game, while James Hardy caught a pair of 50-plus-yard scores and totaled 153 yards on three catches. Lewis also ran for 59 yards and a touchdown in the contest, while the IU defense allowed Indiana State just 176 yards of offense and just 38 rushing yards in the contest.
The 55 points were the most by IU since a 56-21 win over Northwestern on Nov. 3, 2001. Indiana improved to 3-0 all-time against the Sycamores with the victory.
The Hoosiers struck first on a 22-yard screen pass from Lewis to Marcus Thigpen with 9:08 to play to make the score 7-0. The drive was set up by strong play from Lewis, who completed a crucial third-and-15 from his own 22, finding an open James Hardy on the sideline for a 16-yard gain. On the next play, Lewis looked deep for Hardy, resulting in a pass interference penalty, and he later scampered for a 21-yard gain on the ground on the drive.
Indiana wasted no time on its next possession, as the Hoosiers took over at their own 42 and Lewis found Hardy for a 58-yard bomb down the left sideline, making the score 14-0. The TD pass was the longest of Lewis' career and moved Hardy into sixth-place on the school's all-time receiving yards list.
ISU bounced back with a long drive of its own, though, stringing together a nine-play, 56-yard drive to trim the deficit to 14-7 with 4:18 to play in the first. Reilly Murphy engineered a strong drive, but nearly lost the football for the Sycamores. On the scoring play, Reilly fumbled the ball at the one-yard line on a QB sneak, but it fell directly into the hands of Alexander Thomas, who pushed it over the goal line for the score.
Hardy and Lewis one-upped themselves early in the second quarter, when Lewis ran a play-action fake to Thigpen and tossed a deep bomb to Hardy. The junior eluded his defender and ran unabated to the end zone for a 79-yard score, the longest pass play by the Hoosiers since Blake Powers hooked up with Hardy on an 83-yard pass against Wisconsin on Oct. 1, 2005.
The Hoosiers tacked on another score in the closing seconds of the half, with Josiah Sears rumbling for a two-yard TD with 14 ticks remaining before halftime. That finished off an eight-play 46-yard drive for IU, with Ray Fisher catching a pair of 12-yard passes on the drive and James Bailey adding an 11-yard reception.
Indiana tacked on another touchdown on its opening drive of the second half, with Lewis posting his first touchdown run of the year on a three-yard bootleg to the right side. Leslie Majors got things going with a 42-yard kickoff return to set up the drive and Thigpen had three rushes for 31 yards on the five-play, 35-yard drive.
Bryan Payton added his first career touchdown later in the third, a seven-yard run with 4:44 to play in the frame. On the ensuing kickoff, J.T. Owens forced a fumble by Warren English-Malone and Majors picked it up to give the Hoosiers the ball deep in ISU territory. Three plays later, Austin Starr tacked on a 41-yard field goal to make the score 48-7.
Prior to the game, IU paid tribute to late head coach Terry Hoeppner with a special video presentation. Jane Hoeppner and members of the Hoeppner family were on hand along with Indiana University President Michael McRobbie.
Indiana is back in action next Saturday with a road trip to Western Michigan. The Hoosiers and Broncos will square off at 8 p.m. EDT in Kalamazoo, Mich. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
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