Hoosiers Open 2010 Campaign with Thursday Tussle Against Towson
Aug. 30, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana kicks off its 126th year of football on Thursday, Sept. 2, as the Hoosiers welcome the Tigers of Towson to Bloomington. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams and the second straight Thursday season opener for IU. Indiana downed Eastern Kentucky, 19-13, in the first Thursday evening game in Memorial Stadium history on Sept. 3, 2009.
Matt Devlin will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Derek Rackley and sideline reporter Stacy Paetz. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Buck Suhr (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.
Bill Lynch is entering his fourth season as Hoosier head coach. Indiana returns 14 starters from 2009, including eight on offense, four on defense and two on special teams. The Hoosiers are multiple on both offense and defense.
The Tigers have held a quarterback battle during preseason camp after an injury-plagued 2009, which saw them average 146.5 yards through the air and 251.1 total yards of offense per game. Senior Hakeem Moore returns as the team's most experienced receiver, posting 28 receptions, 286 yards and one score a year ago.
Sophomores Tremayne Dameron and Dominique Booker led Towson's rushing attack (104.6 per game). Dameron paced the squad with 588 yards on 177 carries (3.3 average) and eight touchdowns, while Booker averaged 4.0 yards per carry with 218 yards.
Towson returns three starters on the defensive line, including preseason All-CAA selection Yaka Ibia. The defensive tackle led the team with 11.5 tackles for loss to go along with 52 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year. In the secondary, Jeremy Gardner (28 starts) and Ollie Thomas (27 starts) return for their fourth seasons as starters. The Tigers surrendered 364.2 yards per game last season, including 185.0 passing and 179.2 rushing.
Rob Ambrose is in his second season at Towson. Ambrose spent nine seasons as an assistant with the Tigers and seven years at Connecticut before taking over the helm at his alma mater. He began his playing career as a quarterback before moving to wideout.
"It wasn't that we weren't good enough, that we couldn't block that guy or cover that guy; we simply didn't execute," Lynch stated at IU's Media Day. "I'd show the play and ask, `Can we make that play?' `Yes.' `Can we make that play?' `Yes.'"
To hammer the point home, the team finishes every huddle saying "FINISH," has FINISH printed in big red letters on the back of their work-out shirts and FINISH appears on most everything the players receive from their coaches.
IU lost three of its conference games by a total of seven points. The Hoosiers fell by three in Ann Arbor against Michigan, by a field goal at home vs. Wisconsin, and lost a 29-28 heartbreaker at Northwestern. Indiana also held a 10-point fourth-quarter edge against Iowa in Iowa City before falling short.
In each of their first three Big Ten road games against Michigan, Northwestern and Iowa, the Hoosiers held leads at the end of the first half and at the end of the third quarter. It marked the first time that Indiana held a halftime lead in three conference road games since 1994. IU entered the break tied with the Nittany Lions in its final road test and trailed by one score entering the fourth.
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