Football

    Hoosiers Welcome Broncos to Memorial Stadium

    Go Hoosiers! Sophomore Damarlo Belcher pulled in a career-high 97 yards and a touchdown against Eastern Kentucky.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Sophomore Damarlo Belcher pulled in a career-high 97 yards and a touchdown against Eastern Kentucky.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Sept. 7, 2009

    Western Michigan Weekly Release (9-12-09) Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Following its season-opening victory over Eastern Kentucky, the Indiana football team (1-0) hosts Western Michigan (0-1) at Memorial Stadium (52,692) on Saturday, Sept. 12. Kickoff is set for noon EDT and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

    Former Hoosier players and coaches will return to Bloomington this weekend in celebration of the 125th year of IU Football. All of the former Hoosiers will be honored on the field during the game.

    Matt Devlin will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Anthony Herron and sideline reporter Larra Overton. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    New Stadium, New Experience
    After two years of construction, the North End Zone Student-Athlete Development Center is complete. The 138,000-square-foot facility opened in August for football and administrative personnel. At the heart of the new structure is the largest strength and conditioning center in the country. The 25,000-square-foot area is located at field level and provides student-athletes in every varsity sport with access to brand new weight training and cardio equipment.

    The Hoosier Football program enjoys spacious new offices, position and staff meeting rooms and a team auditorium, all equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Indiana's Henke Hall of Champions celebrates Hoosier greats from all sports and is located on the top level of the North End Zone Student-Athlete Development Center. It features museum-quality displays and a large banquet area where Hoosier fans can gather to celebrate the past, present and future of IU Athletics.

    In the seating bowl directly in front of the Henke Hall of Champions, the 425-seat club section is sold out for the 2009 season. Fans can enjoy the chairback seating and food, beverage and all the amenities the Henke Hall of Champions offers. For more on the improved gameday experience please visit page six.

    The Western Michigan Series
    Indiana owns a perfect 4-0 record against Western Michigan, including three triumphs at Memorial Stadium. The last time the teams met came on Sept. 8, 2007, in Kalamazoo, Mich., where the Hoosiers earned a 37-27 victory. IU also downed the Broncos in 2006 (39-20, Sept. 2), 1998 (45-30, Sept. 12) and 1995 (24-10, Sept. 9).

    IU vs. The MAC
    This marks the first of back-to-back Mid-American Conference opponents for the Hoosiers. IU heads to Akron, Ohio, for a showdown with Akron next weekend. Indiana owns a 32-6-1 (.833) all-time record against MAC foes.

    Scouting Western Michigan
    In 2008, Western Michigan posted the third nine-win season in program history en route to its fourth bowl appearance. The Broncos opened the 2009 campaign with a 31-7 loss at Michigan on Sept. 5. U-M outgained WMU, 439-301, and held a 242-38 edge on the ground.

    Broncos All-MAC quarterback Tim Hiller passed for 259 yards on 22-of-38 with one touchdown and two interceptions. The senior holds WMU single-season records in attempts (522), completions (339), yards (3,725) and touchdowns (36) and is one of only two quarterbacks to reach the 3,000-yard plateau twice in a career.

    Senior Brandon West paced the Broncos with 41 yards on 13 carries against the Wolverines. An All-MAC selection a year ago, West became the 15th running back in program history to break the 1,000-yard barrier (1,026). He also returned 28 kicks for 637 yards and became the school's all-time all-purpose yardage leader.

    Hiller's favorite target in the opener, Juan Nunez, caught seven balls for 151 yards and a 73-yard score. The junior earned All-MAC honors in 2008 after sharing the team lead with seven touchdowns in addition to 57 receptions for 701 yards.

    The Broncos return 32 letterwinners overall and seven starters on offense, but just three on the defensive side of the ball. First team All-MAC honoree Austin Pritchard is one of those starters. The senior linebacker led the team with 12.5 tackles for loss in 2008 and opened the year with a game-high 11 tackles, eight solo, and one forced fumble.

    University of Miami transfer, Doug Wiggins, made his WMU debut against the Wolverines a good one. The junior safety added nine tackles, five solo.

    Bill Cubit is 29-21 in his fifth year at the helm of Western Michigan. He has led the Broncos to two bowl appearances in the last three seasons, facing Rice in the 2008 Texas Bowl and Cincinnati in the 2007 International Bowl.

    1-2 Punch
    Tandon Doss and Damarlo Belcher flashed moments of brilliance as true freshmen last season and after the 2009 opener, it appears more is on the way. Doss matched a career high with eight receptions against Eastern Kentucky and set a new career best with 125 receiving yards, his second career 100-yard receiving game. Belcher matched his career best with six receptions and racked up a career-high 97 receiving yards.

    With their 222 combined yards, the duo eclipsed its combined high from last season of 189, which set an Indiana true freshmen record, in the team's win over No. 22 (BCS) Northwestern. The last time two Hoosiers reached the 100-yard mark in the same game came against Ball State on Nov. 3, 2007, when Ray Fisher (134) and James Hardy (116) broke the century mark.

    Belcher, a 6-5, Fort Wayne native, played in all 12 games and finished the 2008 season fourth on the team with 25 receptions, third with 337 yards, tied for second with two touchdowns, and third with 13.5 yards per catch and 28.1 yards per game. His 337 yards and 25 grabs rank third in IU history among true freshmen.

    Doss, a 6-3, Indianapolis product, played in eight games and caught 14 passes for 186 yards, averaging 13.3 yards per reception, and added one touchdown. He hauled in eight passes for a team season-high 107 yards and a TD vs. Northwestern. Doss became the first true freshman since O.J. Conner in 1997 to go over 100 receiving yards, just the third true freshman (fourth time) in IU history to record a 100-yard receiving game (Ernie Jones, twice; Conner) and the fifth freshman (10th time) to reach the 100-yard mark (James Hardy, five times; Jones, twice; Levron Williams; Conner).

    Their 523 combined yards in 2008 rank second and their 39 combined receptions rank third all-time by a true freshman duo in IU lore.

    Going To The Chappell
    Junior Ben Chappell took over the reigns at quarterback in the spring and showed he is in control of the offense in the team's season-opening victory over Eastern Kentucky. Chappell posted a career-high 326 yards, going 27-for-36 with one touchdown in the process. He became the 15th player in school history to pass for 300 yards in a game and the first Hoosier to eclipse 300 yards since Kellen Lewis (354) did so against Ball State on Nov. 3, 2007.

    An accounting major with a 3.7 grade point average, Chappell carries those smarts onto the field. The Bloomington South High School graduate is now 2-2 as a starting quarterback with three touchdowns, two rushing scores, a 59.7 completion percentage, 210.8 yards per game and two interceptions.

    Chappell played in 11 contests with three starts last season and threw for 1,001 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He completed 52.3 percent of his passes (80-of-153) and carded a 111.95 efficiency rating. In the team's victory over No. 22 (BCS) Northwestern, Chappell threw a 43-yard touchdown, rushed for another and went 21-of-34 (61.8) for a career-high 219 yards.

    Big Play Gunslinger
    When Ben Chappell hit Damarlo Belcher with a 33-yard TD strike against Eastern Kentucky, it marked his fifth career score. All five of Chappell's touchdowns have come from 30-plus yards (33, 43, 43, 64, 77).

    Chappell teamed up with three different receivers for five 20-plus yard passes in the season opener. He connected twice with Belcher, twice with Tandon Doss and once with Mitchell Evans.

    For Starters
    With its victory over Eastern Kentucky, the Hoosiers improved to 34-16 in home openers at Memorial Stadium and have now won their last eight season kickoffs at The Rock. In fact, Indiana has won 25 of its last 28 home starters. IU has also won its last six season openers and seven of its last eight. Head coach Bill Lynch is 3-0 in openers, as the Hoosiers dominated Indiana State (55-7) and Western Kentucky (31-13) in 2007 and 2008, respectively, to go along with their EKU triumph.

    Switch To Lockdown
    Of the six position changes made during spring practice, none carried more importance than senior Ray Fisher's move to cornerback. In his defensive debut against Eastern Kentucky, Fisher made an instant impact.

    With 11:49 remaining and the Hoosiers holding a 19-13 advantage, Fisher forced a fumble by Eastern Kentucky quarterback Cody Watts at the IU 5-yard line. Senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew recovered and the Hoosiers earned a season-opening victory. The Cleveland native also closed out the game with a team-best five solo tackles.

    Fisher is one of 14 Hoosiers with 100 career receptions and 1,000 career receiving yards, but he showed during preseason camp and in the opener he is comfortable at the position he manned as a two-way player at Glenville High School. He has the speed and now weighs 185 pounds, up 13 pounds from last year's playing weight of 172.

    Bringing The Heat
    A year after setting a school record and sharing eighth nationally with 42 sacks, the Hoosier defense posted the fourth-highest total in IU history with 31 sacks in 2008. The two-year total of 73 sacks is the top two-year total in IU history and averaged out to just under three sacks per game.

    IU's defense bested that average with four sacks in the season opener vs. Eastern Kentucky. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr., and sophomore defensive end Darius Johnson each made their first career sack in the second quarter. Senior linebacker Matt Mayberry had his sixth career sack in the first quarter, while senior linebacker Will Patterson added a sack of his own, for a safety and the first Hoosier points of the season, moving his career total to 5.5.

    The four sacks were for a combined loss of 45 yards. Indiana also recorded seven tackles for loss in the win, led by Mayberry and Black, Jr., who each tallied two.

     

     

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