Offense Shines in Scrimmage
August 16, 2003Bloomington, Ind. - The Indiana football team took to the brand new AstroPlay surface of Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a 123-play scrimmage (the first of fall camp), with several highlights coming from the contest.
The game pitted the offense against the defense (as opposed to mixed teams), so score was not kept.
"We worked hard," Head Coach Gerry DiNardo said. "We got a lot of snaps and we got them in situations we wanted."
Headlining the game for the offense was quarterback Matt LoVecchio and true freshman running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. LoVecchio connected with fullback John Pannozzo for a 56-yard touchdown pass in the number one offense's second series. Later in the contest, LoVecchio found Glenn Johnson for a 75-yard pass that set up a three-yard Chris Taylor touchdown run. LoVecchio wasn't through, however, finding Travis Haney for a 33-yard touchdown in the second half. LoVecchio completed 14 of his 31 passes in the contest for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
"Overall, I thought today was kind of average," LoVecchio said. "We're starting to come along, but we still have a lot to improve on in the two weeks before the first game. The enthusiasm is there, and guys want to learn and get better."
As for Green-Ellis, he burst into the game with a 15-yard run, a seven-yard run and a 16-yard run on his first three carries in the contest before the defense could begin to contain him. Green-Ellis carried the ball 18 times for 94 yards on the day.
"BenJarvus played well for his first scrimmage," DiNardo said. "He has looked good all the way through camp, but this was his first big game experience."
"I was just waiting for the holes to open up and then exploded," Green-Ellis said. "I just have to let the game come and take advantage of the opportunities as they come."
Green-Ellis also contributed by picking up a blitzing Josh Moore with a thunderous block that enabled LoVecchio to find Courtney Roby with a 50-yard strike.
From the defensive perspective, newcomer Eric McClurg had a knack for making big plays. The Center Grove HS product had an interception and forced a fumble in the contest. Also coming up big with interceptions were Leonard Bryant, who picked off a Graeme McFarland pass and took it into the endzone for a touchdown, and Herana-Daze Jones, who picked off a LoVecchio pass after it deflected off the hands of the intended receiver.
"There is no question we are further along this year than last year," defensive coordinator Tim Kish said. "We have upgraded athletically and our overall speed has gotten better. We need to be more sound. We can't give up big plays like we did today."
The Hoosiers take a much-deserved break on Sunday before hitting the practice field again Monday.
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