Lynch Pleased with Spring Scrimmage No. 2
April 11, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - With several injured players returning to practice this week, the Indiana football team upped its Friday scrimmage at Memorial Stadium to 75 plays. As was the case with the first spring scrimmage on April 5, the Hoosiers mixed in some punt and kick drills along with some 7-on-7 periods.
"Today was another step," head coach Bill Lynch said. "Just standing here and watching, we did some things better than we did last week. For the most part, I thought it was pretty clean. We had a few turnovers we can't have, but then again, you have to give credit to the defense. Overall it was a good, clean scrimmage."
Quarterback Ben Chappell battled the heavy winds to finish the afternoon 16-of-22 for 135 yards. He also added the scrimmage's lone score, an eight-yard QB keeper on a fourth-and-5 during the 12-play, 70-yard opening drive.
In the two spring scrimmages, Chappell is 34-of-43 (79.1 percent) for 272 yards with one passing strike, one rushing TD and no interceptions.
"I think it went well today," Chappell said. "It was a little windy out there, but we still executed. I think I'm getting more comfortable with the pace and everyone is really coming together. We are starting to mesh as an offense."
Junior Ray Fisher led all receivers with six catches (40 yards), while redshirt freshman Matt Ernest added five catches for 25 yards. Redshirt freshman tight end Max Dedmond hauled in a team-high 44 yards on three catches, including an acrobatic 20-yarder from Chappell. Dedmond tipped the ball in the air and caught it over two defenders.
"I thought Dedmond, we are using his ability to get down the field and catch the ball a little bit more, made some terrific plays in traffic," Lynch said. "We are getting him involved in the passing game a little bit more."
Junior Bryan Payton led all rushers with 52 yards on 11 carries, good for 4.7 yards per carry. Redshirt freshman Zach Walker showed some promise, posting 15 yards on three carries in the fourth scrimmage period.
"I ran better today than I did last week, which I'm happy about," Payton said. "I'm ready to get in the film room and critique myself. I feel more confident after today and I'll carry that over into next week."
The defense stiffened after the first drive, forcing two interceptions, one fumble and one sack. IU's offense could not find the end zone the rest of the afternoon, and the defense posted five three-and-outs over the final 30 plays.
Freshman defensive end Kyle Kozak turned in a big day, recovering the fumble and collecting his first sack of the spring. Sophomore cornerback Richard Council picked off a pass at the 1-yard line to keep the offense off of the scoreboard, and redshirt freshman linebacker Darius Johnson pulled in the team's second pick in team play.
"I think I can still play a lot better than I am right now," Kozak said. "It was good to get after it today. We just need to get out there and work a little harder next week and have a good scrimmage to close the spring."
Additionally, fifth-year senior Jerry Williams snared an INT during 7-on-7s.
All in all, Coach Lynch was pleased with what he is seeing on both sides of the ball.
"I really like the play of our young corners," Lynch said. "Donnell Jones made some plays and Richard Council made some plays. Adrian Burks and Chris Adkins have done a good job all spring. Some of the young kids on the offensive line keep improving. They have really handled the no-huddle well."
The team ran approximately 15 full team plays with work on the punt and kicking game mixed in after the first and third drives. Following drives No. 2 and 4, the Hoosiers ran about a dozen 7-on-7 plays.
Indiana returns to the practice field on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons next week before it concludes the spring at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 19.
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