Hoosiers and Cardinals Set for Clash at The Rock
Sept. 19, 2008
Fresh off its fifth straight 2-0 start and looking for its second consecutive 3-0 start, the Indiana football team welcomes in-state rival Ball State to Memorial Stadium (49,225) on Saturday, Sept. 20. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. EDT and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. The Hoosiers have not opened 3-0 in consecutive seasons since 1993-94.
In addition to the action on the field, the 1988 Liberty Bowl Hoosiers will hold a reunion this weekend. The Bill Mallory-led team finished the 1998 season 8-3-1 and posted a 34-10 victory over South Carolina in the Liberty Bowl.
Indiana is coming off its first bye week since 2005. After dropping Western Kentucky in the season opener, IU pounded Murray State, 45-3, on Sept. 6. Indiana rushed for 254 on 53 carries and five different Hoosier rushers reached the end zone, led by senior captain Marcus Thigpen. The Detroit native raced for 100 yards on seven carries to go along with a pair of scores.
IU's defense limited Murray State to just 28 rushing yards on 27 carries. Fifth-year senior defensive end Ryan Marando forced a pair of fumbles, recovered one and added one sack. Junior safety Nick Polk picked off his first pass this season and collected six tackles.
Scouting Ball State
Redshirt freshman safety and Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week Sean Baker picked off three passes, returned a fumble 33 yards for a score and added nine tackles.
Davis ranks eighth nationally with 916 passing yards (305.3 per game) in addition to nine touchdowns, three interceptions and a 75.0 completion percentage. The Cardinals average 488.7 yards and 41.3 points. Davis throws 144.3 of those yards to senior Dante Love. The nation's leader in receiving yardage has 25 receptions and three touchdowns to go along with a pair of rushing scores. Love also averages 25.4 yards per kick return and ranks third nationally with 242 all-purpose yards per game. Lewis is 10th in the country with 121.0 yards each time out and has back-to-back 100-yard contests.
BSU has picked off five passes, recovered one fumble and allowed 385 yards and 20.3 points per game. Baker owns 24 tackles and senior cornerback B.J. Hill has a pair of interceptions. Fifth-year senior Chris Miller, a semifinalist for the 2007 Ray Guy Award, averages 42.1 yards per punt.
The Ball State Series
In 2006, Indiana rallied from 17-0 and 23-7 deficits to stun Ball State, 24-23, in Muncie on Sept. 9. The Hoosiers also dropped the Cardinals, 35-14, on Sept. 13, 1997 and secured a 21-9 victory on Sept. 4, 1999.
Billy lettered three years (1999-01) as a wide receiver and four years (1998-02) as a basketball standout with the Cardinals. He led Ball State with 40 receptions his senior campaign. In addition, he played for then-Ball State head coach and current Hoosier basketball assistant Tim Buckley.
Bill's middle son, Joey, earned four letters at Ball State (2003-06). A standout quarterback for the Cardinals, Joey sits in the top 10 in several BSU career passing charts, including yards (sixth), attempts (seventh), completions (seventh), touchdowns (fourth) and completion percentage (second). Joey is currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ashland (Ohio) University.
IU vs. The MAC
Five different Hoosiers scored on the ground in the game, the first time that has happened since Oct. 22, 1949 (Pittsburgh). Marcus Thigpen (twice), Bryan Payton, Demetrius McCray, Ben Chappell and Zach Davis-Walker each crossed the goal line. In 2007, only four Hoosiers reached the end zone all season. Indiana also divvied up its participation across the board, as eight different players recorded rushes.
IU has rushed for 551 yards (275.5 per game) on 94 attempts (47 per game) in two games. The team's eight rushing scores are nearly half the total of last season's 18. Indiana posted a 5-0 record in 2007 when rushing for over 200 yards and carrying the ball over 40 times.
Using His Speed
The Detroit native also recorded 24 receiving yards and 57 kick return yards for 181 all-purpose yards, tied for the third-best total of his career. Thigpen finished the game with five plays over 20 yards, including two on the ground, two on kickoffs and one through the air.
Clearing the Scoreboard
Making His Mark
Marando later added his third-career forced fumble and second on the night. He became the first Hoosier to force two fumbles in a game since Kenny Kendal vs. Kentucky on Sept. 18, 2004. After filling in at starting left end vs. Western Kentucky, Marando is second on the team with 1.5 sacks and leads the club with 2.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles this season.
No Dirty Laundry
Time Well Spent
Tough Road Ahead
Lynch reaches 90
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