September 10, 2003
Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana Hoosiers continued preparation for their home opener by working on all phases of the game in Wednesday's practice. IU will open the home slate with the Indiana State Sycamores on Saturday, Sept. 13.
The offense and defense split up to start practice. The defense worked on pass coverage and pursuit of the ball during its drill. The offense worked on goal line situations to start.
Sophomore running back Chris Taylor had a few bursts during the drill. He was able to find paydirt from four yards out on a couple of occasions. Taylor leads the Hoosiers in rushing this season with 94 yards and a touchdown. Junior Aaron Halterman had a nice sliding grab for a score during the drill as well.
Freshman Cedric Henry came up with the big play during seven-on-seven drills. Covering junior wideout Travis Haney, Henry was able to go stride for stride with the 6-4 receiver and knock the ball away on a deep pass down the field. Junior receiver Courtney Roby made a nice catch during the drill as well. The Indianapolis, Ind., native made a sliding catch over the middle for a first down.
Special teams was next up for the Hoosiers as they worked on punt coverage and punt return. Redshirt freshman Tyson Beattie looked good as he was able to boot some high drivers. Freshman safety Aaron Mitchell made a nice play during the drill as he was able to get a hand on one of Beattie's punts. Freshman Lance Bennett had a nice return during the return play as he was able to shake a few would-be-tacklers for a good return.
During the third-and-short drill, freshman safety Ryan Skelton made an interception along the sideline. The Center Grove product saw his first action of the season against Washington as he made three tackles. Taylor looked solid during the drill as well. The Memphis, Tenn., native was able to break through for a few nice gains and first downs.
The Hoosiers' kickers looked strong during kickoff drills. Both junior Bryan Robertson and freshman Troy Grosfield were able to put the ball in the end zone. Bennett once again looked to have a nice return, but was taken down on a big hit from senior Joe Gonzalez. Sophomore Courtney Clency broke two large gains during the kickoff return portion of the drill.
Indiana's passing game looked solid during 11-on-11 drills. Junior quarterback Matt LoVecchio only misfired on one pass, a pass he threw away amidst pressure. He found fullback John Pannozzo on a nice catch and run to open the drill. Roby made another nice catch this time with Henry draped on him. Henry went stride for stride with Roby, but LoVecchio was able to thread the needle and hit Roby for a 15-yard gain.
The defense had its moments as well. Freshman linebacker Jake Powers was able to get pressure on redshirt freshman quarterback Graeme McFarland. Powers hit McFarland's arm and the ball ended up in the hands of freshman defensive lineman Joel Stubblefield.
The offense finished the drill like it started it. Haney made a nice catch along the sidelines. Cedric Henry once again had nice coverage, but LoVecchio threw the ball high, allowing Haney to use is 6-4 frame to make the catch. Haney also did a good job making sure to get two feet in on the play.
The Hoosiers will take on the Sycamores of Indiana State on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The game will be the first on the new AstroPlay surface that was installed at Memorial Stadium. Don Fischer (play-by-play), Dan Thompson (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) will have the call on the IU Radio Network.