Hoosiers Fall to Kentucky, 34-17
September 20, 2003
Bloomington, Ind. - By controlling the action in the third quarter, Kentucky claimed a 34-17 win over Indiana at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
The Wildcats improved to 2-2 on the year, while Indiana fell to 1-3.
Kentucky got on the board first when Jared Lorenzen found Derek Abney for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Hoosiers answered with a Bryan Robertson field goal from 21 yards out with 11:12 remaining in the second.
Things were looking up for Indiana when quarterback Matt LoVecchio found Green-Ellis coming out of the backfield for a 63-yard touchdown on a screen pass in the second quarter that put Indiana up, 10-7, but Lorenzen find Chris Bernard for a 51-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to put the Wildcats up, 13-10.
After getting the Hoosiers to go three-and-out on their first possession of the second half, Kentucky drove 51 yards on nine plays and got in the endzone when Lorenzen turned a busted play into a touchdown run to put the Wildcats up 20-10 midway through the third quarter. The Wildcats added another touchdown in the third to go up 27-10 and put the game out of reach.
The key stat of the game for the Hoosiers was their inability to convert on third down. Indiana was successful on only four of its 16 third-down attempts. Likewise, the Hoosiers could not cash in on their excellent field position early in the game after their defense and special teams were able to keep Kentucky deep in its own territory.
Utilizing three different running backs in Brian Lewis, Chris Taylor and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Indiana was able to establish the run immediately, breaking off four runs of 16 yards or more in the first half. In fact, the Hoosiers had 139 yards rushing at halftime (a figure that is greater than their rushing total against both Connecticut and Washington.) Consequently, Indiana dominated the time of possession battle in the first half, as the Hoosiers had the ball for 17:35, while the Wildcats had it for 12:25.
The Hoosiers finished the contest with 180 rushing yards. However, only 41 of those yards came in the second half. Brian Lewis led the way with 116 yards. Chris Taylor added 33 yards and BenJarvus Green-Ellis contributing with 16.
Matt LoVecchio completed 17 of his 32 passes for 266 yards and one touchdown.
Safety Joe Gonzalez made his first start of the season for the Hoosiers in the contest. Gonzalez, a team captain, missed the Hoosiers' first three games with a knee injury sustained in preseason practice. Ironically, Gonzalez made his return against Kentucky, the team he played his last game against before sustaining a hernia last year that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Gonzalez had missed 12 consecutive games, dating back to last year.
Punter Tyson Beattie continued his solid performance, pinning Kentucky inside its own five yard line on each of his first two punts and three times in the first half. Beattie has had five of his punts downed inside the opponent five-yard line in the last two games alone.
The Hoosiers open their Big Ten schedule next week when they travel to Ann Arbor to battle Michigan. Kickoff is set for 11:10 a.m. (Central), with the game televised by ESPN Regional.
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