Sept. 7, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Before the Indiana football team heads off to Kalamazoo for this weekend's showdown with Western Michigan, IUHoosiers.com takes a look inside the game. The Hoosiers (1-0) and Broncos (0-1) will kick off at 8 p.m. EDT Saturday at Waldo Stadium (30,200) and the game will be televised by ESPNU. Dave Armstrong will handle play-by-play duties and Mike Gottfried will serve as analyst.
Scouting Western Michigan
Western Michigan opened the 2007 season with a 62-24 defeat at No. 3/6 West Virginia on Sept. 1. WVU racked up 542 total yards of offense, including 316 yards on the ground and seven rushing touchdowns. WMU netted 245 yards through the air but just 32 rushing yards. Junior wide receiver Jamarko Simmons hauled in 144 of those passing yards on 14 receptions and scored twice.
The Broncos finished the 2006 campaign at 8-5 with a 6-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference West. WMU advanced to the International Bowl, where it dropped a 27-24 decision to Cincinnati. Seven starters return on offense and eight on defense for head coach Bill Cubit. Cubit is in his third season at Western Michigan and holds a 15-10 mark.
Simmons led all Bronco receivers with 61 catches for 668 yards last year and is the team's biggest threat. Sophomore signal-caller Tim Hiller got the start against West Virginia and threw for 160 yards, completing 16 of his 25 attempts with two interceptions.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Broncos play a 4-3 scheme and return the team's 2006 defensive player of the year, Dustin Duclo. The junior linebacker turned in 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks last year. Also returning is 2006 first team All-MAC cornerback Londen Fryar. The junior picked off five passes a year ago and recorded 52 tackles.
Last Time vs. WMU
Indiana kicked off the 2006 season with a 39-20 victory over Western Michigan at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 2. The Hoosier defense held the Broncos to just 72 rushing yards and IU rolled up 323 total yards of its own.
Cornerback Christopher Phillips
returned an interception 66 yards, while Tracy Porter
raced a punt back 86 yards. IU forced three Western turnovers en route to its fourth season-opening victory in five years.
Blake Powers completed 16-of-28 attempts for 192 yards, and back-up Graeme McFarland completed four passes for 60 yards. On the ground, Josiah Sears led the Hoosiers with 35 yards on eight carries. James Hardy paced IU in receiving yards with four receptions for 86 yards, and James Bailey finished the night with 51 yards on five catches.
IU vs. Western Michigan
Indiana and Western Michigan are squaring off for the fourth time. The Hoosiers are making their first trip to Kalamazoo. IU downed the Broncos, 39-20, in last season's opener on Sept. 2. Indiana also holds victories over Western in 1998 (45-30, Sept. 12) and 1995 (24-10, Sept. 9).
IU vs. The MAC
The Hoosiers have won their last 17 meetings against MAC opponents, three of which have come on the road. Last season, Indiana knocked off MAC foes Western Michigan in Bloomington (39-20, Sept. 2) and Ball State in Muncie, Ind., (24-23, Sept. 9).
This is the third straight season IU has hit the road to face a MAC opponent. The Hoosiers dropped Central Michigan in 2005 (20-13, Sept. 2) and Ball State last season. Indiana owns a 29-4-1 (.868) all-time record against MAC opponents.
Nine players on the IU roster hail from The Wolverine State. Junior wide receiver James Bailey (Detroit/Denby High School), sophomore defensive lineman Emile Bass (Detroit/Sterling Heights), freshman running back Darius Johnson (Highland Park/Highland Park), junior defensive lineman Isaac Price (Southfield), freshman linebacker Ian Reeves (Ferndale/Ferndale), junior running back Marcus Thigpen (Detroit/Mumford), sophomore defensive lineman Terrance Thomas (Detroit/St. Martin De Porres), redshirt freshman wide receiver Terrance Turner (Auburn Hills/West Bloomfield) and sophomore defensive lineman Brian Zematis (Bloomfield) all came to Bloomigton from the state of Michigan.
Tightening The Screws
Indiana's defense shut the door on Indiana State after the Sycamores cut the Hoosier lead in half at 14-7 with 4:18 remaining. IU would go on to score 41 unanswered points, and the defense held ISU to just 176 total yards of offense, including 130 through the air and 46 on the ground. The last time an Indiana defense held an opponent under 200 yards came on Oct. 9, 1999 against Northwestern (194), and the last time it held a team under 50 yards rushing came last season against Ball State (41, Sept. 9).
The Total Package
In his last eight games, Kellen Lewis has thrown for 15 scores, rushed for five, averaged 232.9 yards through the air, 45.9 yards on the ground and thrown only six interceptions. He has eclipsed the 250-yard passing mark on five occasions and surpassed 300 yards of total offense four times.
Against Indiana State, Lewis threw for 285 yards and three scores, completing 12 of his 21 passes. The 285 yards were the third-highest total of his career. He also led the team with 59 rushing yards and a TD on the ground. The contest marked the third time in his career Lewis accounted for four touchdowns in a game. He had three touchdown passes and a touchdown run against Iowa (Oct. 14) and five TD passes and one rushing score against Michigan State (Oct. 28) last season.
Home Run Ball
James Hardy caught three passes against Indiana State, but two of them went for 58- and 79-yard scoring strikes. The junior wide receiver caught both passes from sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis, who became the first Hoosier since Antwaan Randle El to throw two 50-plus-yard touchdowns in the same game. Randle El threw a 57- and 70-yarder against North Carolina State on Sept. 9, 2000.
Welcome To The Show
True freshmen Mitchell Evans and Tyler Replogle made their Hoosier debuts against Indiana State. Evans saw action at safety and on special teams, while Replogle received time at linebacker. Although they were the only true freshmen to take the field, they were just two of 20 players to make their Indiana debuts.
Sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton, fifth-year senior center Ben Wyss, redshirt freshman wide receiver Terrance Turner and fifth-year senior punter Michael Hines earned their first career starts. Sophomore Nick Polk made his first career start at safety.
On The Right Foot
Junior kicker Austin Starr continued to show Hoosier fans the kicking game is on good footing. He hit his first two field goals of the 2007 season against Indiana State, connecting from 34 and 41 yards. The 41-yarder is the second-longest kick in his career and pushed him to 2-for-2 over 40 yards. Starr is 14-for-17 in his career and 10-for-11 over 30 yards. The Logansport, Ind., native also hit all six of his extra point attempts, setting a new career-high.
Across The Board
Seventy-one of the 105 players on the Hoosier roster saw action against Indiana State. Twenty-six players registered at least one tackle, eight Hoosiers caught at least one pass and six received at least one carry. Additionally, six different players found their way to the end zone.
Indiana enjoyed great success in the red zone last season and continued that rate in the opener, going 6-for-6 against Indiana State. The Hoosiers rushed for four scores and kicked a pair of field goals. IU is 20-for-23 (87 percent) in its last seven games in red zone situations. Indiana has crossed the goal line 14 times (7 rush, 7 pass) and kicked six field goals.