September 12, 2003
Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana Hoosiers will open up the home portion of the schedule with the Indiana State Sycamores. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. and can be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Dan Thompson (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game).
"It is good to be home after two weeks on the road, so that's a welcome change," Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said. "Indiana State won last week and they come in with momentum and we don't have any momentum, so they obviously have the edge there. One of the things that separate I-A and I-AA programs is scholarship number. In this case, I don't know if there is separation because their numbers are down. We are looking forward to playing them at home on the new surface. It was a good week."
The game will be the first with Indiana State since 1925 when the university was Indiana Normal. The Hoosiers were victorious in that game 31-0.
The game will be the first on the new AstroPlay surface that was installed in Memorial stadium in July and August. The synthetic surface is touted as being like grass. Turf is used in stadiums around the Big Ten, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
"It's a lot sturdier," sophomore linebacker Kyle Killion said of the surface. "You can't tear out chucks like you could on grass so you don't have to worry about divots and rolling your ankle. I think it's fast and soft to land on."
Game Day Promotions
The South Concourse features The Kids Zone. Enter the Kids Zone for inflatable games, music,face painting and face tatoos. The Kids Zone opens 3 hours prior to each home game. Admission is free with a ticket to the game. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
A four-piece roving band will provide live music around the concourse of the stadium every game.
If you were one of the first 10,000 fans entering the stadium for today's game, you received a megaphone from Kilroy's.
In celebration of Varsity Club Day, Varsity Club donors enjoyed a pregame Donor
Appreciation Concert by Bahama Llama near the mast and guns of the USS INDIANA
on the West Concourse.
Skydivers will land at midfield prior to the start of today's game.
After the game's conclusion, fans will see the American United Life Walking Flag presentation. This presentation features 38 people carrying a 30 foot by 70 foot American flag onto the field. The flag will remain on the field during the fireworks presented by the
Indiana hosts in-state foe Indiana State for only the second time in history. The first matchup between the two came in 1925, with the Hoosiers cruising to a 31-0 win in Bloomington. At the time, Indiana State was named Indiana Normal.
Two players on the Indiana roster hail from Terre Haute. Wide receiver David Lewis and tight end Matt O'Neal will both be facing their hometown school when the Hoosiers and Sycamores lock horns. Lewis attended Terre Haute South HS, while O'Neal is a South Vigo HS graduate.
Indiana may shuffle several different players into Saturday's contest, if last week's game against Washington serves as an indicator. The Hoosiers rotated 59 different players into the game against the Huskies in the first half alone and played a total of 62 in the contest.
New faces factor heavily into Indiana's plans this season, evidenced by the fact that a total of 11 true freshmen have already seen game action. When the 10 redshirt freshmen who have played this year are included, a total of 21 Hoosiers who had never played a down at the collegiate level prior to this year have already seen action.
On Indiana State
Indiana State enters Saturday's contest with a 1-1 record. The Sycamores dropped the season opener at Ball State, then came back to hand Florida International a 13-10 defeat in Terre Haute.
ISU is an NCAA I-AA affiliated school that competes in the Gateway Conference along with Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, Southwest Missouri State, Western Illinois, Western Kentucky and Youngstown State.
Ground Game is Key
Indiana State has averaged 188.5 rushing yards per game through its first two contests, led by the efforts of junior running back Jake Shields. Shields has carried the ball 62 times for 340 yards (5.5 avg.) and one touchdown.
Sycamore Quarterback Jake Schiff
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jake Schiff runs the Sycamore offense. The 2001 Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year while at Evansville Mater Dei High School, Schiff has completed 24 of his 38 passes this year for 172 yards and one touchdown. However, the Indiana State offense focuses more on the run, as the Sycamores have called 101 running plays and only 39 passing plays this season.
Indiana State has been stingy against the run, allowing the opposition only 75.0 rushing yards per game. The Sycamore pass defense has also been solid, yielding only 188.5 yards per contest.
DiNardo's Take on Indiana State
"They won a close game and that is impressive. Some of their players are more impressive than others, just like on our team. They're pretty balanced offensively and that causes problems in defending them. They have a lot of formations. Their defense is a pressure defense and that's always an issue. They have momentum and have won a close game, which we have not done. "
"They're all good players or else they wouldn't be playing. (Left tackle) Stuart Williams on Indiana State has caught our attention. (Left guard) Matt Greibel has as well. Obviously they have a good offensive line. Ryan King, their tight end, is their leading receiver and was second-team All-Conference a year ago. We recruited (Quarterback) Jake Schiff from Mater Dei a couple years ago when we first got here. We liked him very much. As a redshirt freshman, he is doing tremendous. (James) Braden and (Chris) Lewis are both good receivers. Lewis has speed. (Jake) Shields, their running back, has 340 yards. Our whole offense has 195 yards rushing. So their one guy has gained more yards than our entire team. Our leading rusher has 94 yards. We don't have a guy that's a third as productive as their running back. Their fullback is really a tough kid. On defense, (Left end) Kyle Mitchell had 11 sacks last year and 23 TFL's. I think he is going to be all we can handle. (Defensive tackle) Bruce Blue is a strong inside player. (Linebacker) Kevin McDavid is their leading returning tackler and is a good player. (Darryl) Morton, at linebacker, and their secondary play with four or five guys depending on what offensive set you show."