Season Opener Nears (8-28-03)
August 28, 2003Bloomington, Ind.- As the minutes tick closer to Saturday, the adrenaline starts to pump faster with the nearing of 2003 season for the Hoosiers. On Saturday, Indiana will not only have the task of taking on a team that finished last season on a four-game winning streak, but also a squad opening a new $91-million, 40,000-seat stadium.
"I see (UConn) as the same team as us, and same talent level as us," Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said. "I think the University of Connecticut does a tremendous job with the commitment to their athletic programs. I think the state is the same way; obviously the new stadium they built is rallied around the university. To make a move from I-AA conference team to a BIG EAST I-A team, to beat Iowa State, to be 6-6 in this infant stage of their I-A development is extraordinary. I don't think a coach, or athletic director can do that by himself, I think it's intuitionally controlled. It is very impressive what they have done. They are a good football team. We are a match-up opponent."
Saturday will not only mark the debut for UConn's new facility, but also the Hoosiers new quarterback. After transferring to Indiana following the 2001 season, junior Matt LoVecchio will make his much anticipated debut for the Hoosiers. LoVecchio is one of only four quarterbacks currently in college football to start a Bowl Championship Series game.
"It's going to feel good the first time," LoVecchio said. "At practice you watch the guys run by you after you throw the ball, and you think to yourself, on Saturday after I throw the ball, that's going to be a hit. It's a part of playing quarterback, and come Saturday I am ready for it."
The Hoosiers match-up with UConn will be at 11:00 a.m. on August 30, 2003. The game will be aired on WFSB Hartford as well as over the radio on the IU Radio Network.
Indiana junior quarterback Matt LoVecchio makes his Hoosier debut after sitting out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules (LoVecchio transfered to Indiana from Notre Dame following the 2001 season. LoVecchio started at quarterback for the Irish as a freshman in 2000, taking them to the Fiesta Bowl while establishing a school record for interception avoidance.
Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo starts his second year at the helm of the Hoosier football program. In his second year as head coach at LSU, he led the Tigers to a three-win improvement from the year prior.
Indiana junior linebacker and Hamden, Conn., native Josh Moore (Valley Forge Military Academy) returns to his home state to make his collegiate debut.
In addition to Moore, freshman defensive lineman Charlie Emerson (Weston, Conn./Staples HS), and freshman linebacker Cleo Harbison (Nashville, Tenn./Milford (Conn.) Academy), nine other Hoosier players hail from either Connecticut, New York or New Jersey. When the coaching staff is included, 15 Hoosiers will be returning to their native region of the country.
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