Hoosiers Take Part in Annual Fan Day Scrimmage
Aug. 18, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana Hoosiers football squad conducted its first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
The 100-play scrimmage, which was open to the public, allowed head coach Bill Lynch and his staff to put the team through the paces in game-like conditions, including its pregame routine and the use of referees. The coaches also put themselves through game scenarios as offensive coordinator Matt Canada called in plays from the press box. Co-coordinators Brian George and Joe Palcic ran the defensive unit from the field.
"I thought we were real solid today," Lynch said. "It was about what I expected for this time of camp. We were pretty crisp on both sides of the ball and got a real close look at a lot of kids. All in all, it was good to scrimmage and we got what we wanted out of it."
The scrimmage began with Kevin Trulock (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli) and Nick Ford (LaPorte, Ind./LaPorte) practicing their kickoffs from the new 30-yard spot. They then alternated with two drives followed by special teams work.
Quarterback Kellen Lewis (Jacksonville, Fla./Mandarin) showed his ability to dazzle with his feet on the first drive, ticking off a 17-yard run to set up a 38-yard field goal from Austin Starr (Logansport, Ind./Logansport). Lewis also had a 26-yard completion to Terrance Turner (Auburn Hills, Mich./West Bloomfield) in the series.
"This was probably like everyone's first scrimmage...a couple of fumbles and a couple mistakes," Lewis said. "But we looked alright because we didn't have many mistakes besides me putting it on the ground. The protection was really good today. But, like I said, it was probably just your average first scrimmage with the mistakes and the anxiousness, but we were at 100 percent tempo and 100 percent energy."
On a first-and-10 play from the 30, Lewis completed a screen pass to Demetrius McCray (Brandon, Fla./Armwood) who broke free for a 37-yard gain. He also connected with Turner on a 16-yard completion with Turner making a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch.
Lewis accounted for the only touchdown on the afternoon, capping off a four-play drive that began at the 20-yard line with a four-yard run. The key play on the drive was a 13-yard run from McCray off left tackle.
Lewis finished the day 8-of-18 for 119 yards through the air. He also ran the ball eight times for 38 yards and a touchdown.
Fans came out to see preseason All-American Marcus Thigpen (Detroit, Mich./Mumford) and the junior running back did not disappoint. During a punt return session, Thigpen found an open seam and raced 72 yards to the endzone. Thigpen carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards, with a long of 12. Most of Thigpen's yardage came through the air as he caught two balls for 38 yards. Sophomore Ray Fisher (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) also had a stellar day on special teams, returning a punt 73 yards and a kickoff 89 yards, going all the way to the endzone on each.
"I think it started off kind of sloppy and we have a lot of work to do," Thigpen said. "So we just have to get back out here starting tomorrow and fix a few things."
Ben Chappell (Bloomington, Ind./South) nearly had the play of the day on a 42-yard bomb to Turner at the 1-yard line, but Turner's momentum carried him out of bounds before he could get a foot down. Just one play later, Chappell hit Thigpen on a dump pass, and a key block from offensive lineman Mike Reiter (Chesterfield, Mo./Parkway Central) allowed Thigpen to race down the right side for a 32-yard gain.
The defense managed to make its way into the backfield several times, with defensive lineman Jammie Kirlew (Orlando, Fla./Cyprus Creek) chasing Lewis out of the pocket on several occasions. Safety Nick Polk (Milwaukee, Wis./Vincent) forced a fumble on the first drive of the day, and Eddie Miller (Madison, Ind./Madison) came up with a block on a Chris Hagerup (Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay) punt.
Overall, the kicking game looked solid with Starr going 4-of-6, including a 49-yarder from the right hash after missing one from the same spot earlier in the day. Turlock connected on four of five attempts with a long of 33 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, true freshman Mitchell Evans (West Milton, Ohio/Milton Union) had eight tackles, while classmate Jeff Boyd (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) had five tackles and a sack. Justin Carrington (Leesburg, Va./Liberty) and Adam McClurg (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) each added five tackles, while Major Ramsey (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) had the only interception of the day, picking off a pass from Teddy Schell.
The day ended with an autograph session on the field, as fans got a chance to meet their favorite players from the Hoosier squad.
The Hoosiers are just two weeks away their season opener on Sept. 1 against Indiana State. For a limited time, fans can take advantage of a great deal on following the Hoosiers this seasons thanks to the Touchdown Ticket Offer. IU faithful may buy two season tickets for all seven home games for $199, or purchase a single game ticket for the ISU game for $20. For more information, visit the IU Athletics Ticket Office in Assembly Hall or call 1-866-IUSPORTS (487-7678).
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