Third Quarter Dooms Hoosiers' Upset Bid

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    September 6, 2003

    Seattle, Wash.- The Indiana Hoosiers looked as though they might have had a chance to upset 22nd-ranked Washington and become only the sixth non-conference team in 20 years to win at Husky Stadium. After a Brian Robertson field goal at the 11:07 mark gave Indiana a 13-10 lead, the Huskies scored 28 unanswered points to end the third quarter and pick up a 38-13 win. Indiana drops to 0-2 overall, while Washington improves to 1-1.

    "I felt that the first half of today's game was the best half out of the four halves we've played," Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said.

    After going to the half tied at 10, Indiana took the second half kickoff and drove down to the Washington 22-yard line before the drive stalled. One of the big plays on the drive was a 25-yard Matt LoVecchio scramble on third-and-10 to give Indiana a first down at its own 40-yard line. One play later, Washington was called for a pass interference on a throw to junior wideout Courtney Roby. After the drive stalled out, Robertson booted his second field goal of the game to give IU the lead, 13-10.

    Washington started its next drive on the Indiana 16-yard line. Four plays into the drive, UW's senior quarterback Cody Pickett hit wideout Reggie Williams on a slant. Williams broke two tackles and took the ball 70 yards to put Washington on top for good at 17-13. The catch at the time was only his second of the game. He would finish with four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

    Indiana looked as if it would respond as LoVecchio hit sophomore running back Chris Taylor out of the back field for 33 yards on a screen pass down to the Washington 35-yard line. Two plays later, LoVecchio tried to swing the ball to Taylor. The ball was ruled a lateral, and resulted in a Washington fumble recovery at its own 46-yard line.

    Highlighted by a 15-yard screen pass to Rich Alexis from Pickett, Washington drove the ball down to the Indiana 34-yard line. The Hoosiers appeared to have the Huskies stopped, but as Evan Knudson was about to kick a 51-yard field goal, Indiana called time out. Coming off the time out, Washington changed its mind and decided to punt. During the punt, Indiana was flagged for illegal participation allowing the Husky drive to continue.

    After a 23-yard pass form Pickett to Charles Fredrick, Shelton Sampson took his first career carry into the end zone to put Washington up 24-13. Sampson finished with a pair of touchdown runs on the day. Pickett would finish the game 18-of-26 for 290 yards and three touchdowns.

    Washington tacked on two more scores before the end of the third quarter. Sampson scored from four-yards out on a seven-play drive. Less than a minute later, Williams caught a jump ball from Pickett from six yards out. All four touchdown drives in the third quarter for Washington were less than two minutes with two drives being set up by Indiana turnovers.

    Despite giving up 490 yards of total offense, the youthful Hoosier defense did force three Washington turnovers. Indiana was also able to stop Washington on its first position, which was something they only did once all last season. True freshman safety Will Meyers led the Hoosier charge with 13 tackles, one for loss, a fumble forced and a fumble recovered. Junior strong safety Herana-Daze Jones also finished with 13 tackles, including two for loss. Sophomore Kyle Killion and junior Josh Moore were the other Hoosier tacklers in doubles digits with 10 and 12 tackles, respectively.

    Things looked bright for the Hoosiers early. After Washington opened the scoring with a 23-yard TD pass from Pickett to Fredrick, Indiana drove the ball 76 yards in 14 plays to tie the game up at seven. Taylor capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown burst. The Hoosiers made a big gamble on the drive that paid off. Facing fourth-and-one from their own 49-yard line, the Hoosiers went for it and gained a first down on a two-yard gain from Taylor. LoVecchio was four-of-four on the drive for 50 yards.

    "I'm accustomed to doing that," Dinardo said of going for it on fourth-and-one. "I did it last year at Kentucky. I've done it at Vanderbilt and LSU. That's my style. I like our odds in that situation. It's good strategy."

    After the Hoosier defense forced a Washington three and out, the Hoosier offense got going again. Indiana drove inside the Washington 20-yard line before Washington came up with a stop. Robertson hit from 34 yards out to give Indiana it's lead of the game. LoVecchio again highlighted the drive as he racked up 54 yards on five-of-five passing. The Franklin Lakes, N.J., native finished the day 16-of-29 for 199 yards and one interception.

    "We did a good job protecting the quarterback," LoVecchio said. "I felt like I came out throwing hot. The energy dominos from the offense to the defense. At the beginning we were moving the ball, we were efficient, we were being smart defensively. It trickled down from that and it got things going; we just have to be able to keep that momentum."

    Washington evened it at 10, and it looked as though the Hoosiers would go into the half with a lead. After Indiana punted and Washington took over on their own 46-yard line, Killion intercepted a Pickett pass and returned it to the Washington 49-yard line. Indiana drove to the Washington 23-yard line, before LoVecchio was sacked on third-and-10. The kick team was forced to run on to the field because Indiana had no timeouts remaining. Robertson's 49-yard attempt as time expired was rushed and went short left. Prior to the miss, Robertson had made 10 of his last 11 field goal attempts.

    Junior Courtney Roby finished the game as IU's leading receiver with seven catches for 77 yards, while senior wideout Glenn Johnson had four receptions for 46 yards. Taylor had a career-high 46 yards receiving on two catches and a career-long 33-yard reception.

    The Hoosiers will return to the field for their home opener next Saturday, Sept. 13, against the Indiana State Sycamores. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. and will be the first Hoosier game played on the new AstroPlay turf at Memorial Stadium.




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