Indiana Downs Eastern Kentucky in Season Opener
Sept. 3, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana's Trea Burgess ran for one touchdown, Ben Chappell threw for another and the Indiana defense met an opening night challenge by holding off Eastern Kentucky 19-13 on Thursday.
Chappell, Indiana's new starting quarterback, was productive.
He was 27-of-36 for a career-high 326 yards with one touchdown. Receiver Tandon Doss also had a career night, catching eight passes for 125 yards.
The Colonels (0-1) were led by Cody Watts, who was 12-of-16 for 171 yards.
But the Indiana offense needed help to earn its sixth straight season-opening win.
In his first game at cornerback, Ray Fisher halted an EKU drive when he jarred quarterback Cody Watts, who lost a fumble at the Indiana 5 with 11:49 left in the game.
The Colonels (0-1) also had a chance to win it in the closing minute, but backup quarterback T.J. Pryor's 40-yard heave to the end zone was batted away by Nick Polk to save the victory.
The rare weeknight game and the unveiling of the newly-renovated Memorial Stadium helped Indiana draw its largest crowd for a home opener, 36,759, since 1997.
And after a half, it looked the celebration would be festive.
Will Patterson sacked Watts in the end zone on Eastern's first series, giving Indiana a 2-0 lead, and Chappell took advantage of the free kick by taking Indiana on a 63-yard scoring drive. Burgess plunged in from the 1 to make it 9-0 midway through the first quarter.
Two series later, Chappell hooked up with a wide open Damarlo Belcher in the middle of the field for a 33-yard TD pass to make it 19-7.
Belcher just missed the century mark with a career-high 97 yards and matching a career best with six receptions. Terrance Turner added five catches for 57 yards.
Fisher led the Hoosiers with five tackles to go along with his forced fumble. The IU defense recorded sacks from Patterson, linebacker Matt Mayberry, defensive end Darius Johnson and defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr.
Nick Freeland, making his debut as Indiana's kicker, hit both of his extra points and nailed his first career field goal from 38 yards.
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