September 27, 2003
Ann Arbor, Mich.- It was a tale of two halves at Michigan Stadium on Saturday. The Hoosiers found themselves on the wrong side of a 31-17 game in which they played solid defense throughout and dominated the second half of play. Michigan jumped out to a 24-0 first half lead and was able to ride it to victory. The Hoosiers are now 1-4, 0-1 in the Big Ten, while the Wolverines improve to 4-1, 1-0 in the Big Ten.
"I think you take the good stuff," Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said. "I think there's a real danger here that the kids could take that too far, so I made it clear to them that they lost today. I made it clear I didn't want to hear anybody's voice on the bus, on the plane or in the facility tomorrow. So when we meet tomorrow there won't be anyone talking except the coaches. They're probably going to hear that they played well today, but I think it's better stated to say they played better today, but they lost the game. When you're around a bunch of guys who haven't won, it can get distorted, and it's my job to make sure it doesn't get distorted."
Trailing 24-0 at the half, the Hoosiers came out and dominated the second half of play both statistically and on the scoreboard. Indiana outscored Michigan 17-7 in the second half, while also out gaining the Wolverines, 157-106.
Indiana put together a 19-play, 72-yard drive out of the locker room as junior Bryan Robertson booted a 26-yard field goal to cut the lead to 24-3. Brian Lewis was the workhorse on the drive, as he ran the ball 11 times for 34 yards. Junior quarterback Matt LoVecchio went six-of-seven on the drive for 48 yards. His primary target on the drive was sophomore fullback John Pannozzo, who had four catches for 29 yards.
After a touchdown pass from Michigan quarterback John Navarre to Braylon Edwards, the Hoosiers picked up two fourth quarter touchdowns. Indiana's special teams stepped up with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and then Brian Lewis scored on a run.
After the Indiana defense forced Michigan to punt with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter, junior safety Herana-Daze Jones blocked Mark Spencer's punt and sophomore Buster Larkins returned it 37 yards for the touchdown. The blocked punt was the first returned for a touchdown by the Hoosiers since 2001, when IU blocked a Wisconsin punt and Duane Stone returned for a touchdown. The score cut Michigan's lead to 31-10.
The Hoosiers tacked on the final score of the afternoon with only 20 seconds remaining in the game. Lewis capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive with a three-yard sweep to the outside. LoVecchio finished the drive 5-of-7 for 52 yards on the drive that took 1:40.
Lewis led the Hoosiers in rushing with 70 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. LoVecchio was 16-for-33 on the afternoon for 107 yards and two interceptions. Pannozzo was the Hoosiers' leading receiver with six catches for 41 yards. Junior tight end Aaron Halterman added three catches for 29 yards, while senior wideout Glenn Johnson also had three for 25. Indiana was forced to play the game without leading receiver Courtney Roby, who missed the game with an injury suffered last week against Kentucky.
The Hoosiers forced four Michigan turnovers in the first half, including three that stopped Wolverine drives in Indiana territory. The Wolverines used the big play to score its first two touchdowns on an interception return and punt return.
"Our goal is to get three or more turnovers each game," Herana-Daze Jones said. "That is our goal. We reached our goal so we always think about getting turnovers."
Indiana's defense held the nation's fourth-leading rusher, Chris Perry, to just 112 yards on 21 carries, over 30 yards less than his season average. Senior safety Joe Gonzalez led the Hoosier defense with nine tackles, including one for loss and a fumble recovery. Jones, sophomore Kyle Killion
and junior Josh Moore
all had seven tackles for Indiana. Junior Jodie Clemons added to his team-leading total in tackles for loss and sacks with two and one, respectively, against the Wolverines. Clemons now has five tackles for loss and three sacks on the season.
The Wolverines were driving on their first possession down to the Indiana 19-yard line. Michigan senior quarterback John Navarre was picked off at the three-yard line by Hoosier sophomore Leonard Bryant. Indiana's offense went three and out and after a 45-yard punt by redshirt freshman Tyson Beattie
, Michigan was back in Hoosier territory after a return to the Indiana 40-yard line.
Beattie finished the afternoon with a career-high eight punts. He finished with a 40.5-yard average, including two inside the 20-yard line. Beattie also boomed a career-long 56-yard punt in the second quarter.
The defense again was up to the task. Facing fourth-and-six, Navarre again was picked off, this time by fifth-year senior corner Duane Stone. Indiana again went three and out on offense, and Beattie's low, end-over-end punt was fielded by Steve Breaston. The Michigan wideout took the punt back 69 yards to give the Wolverines a 7-0 lead. Bryant had Breaston in his grasp, but he was able wriggle free.
The Indiana defense again forced a Michigan turnover, this time a Chris Perry fumble was recovered by Killion. Bryant forced his second turnover of the game this time causing the fumble. The Hoosier offense appeared to be driving as they got the ball into Wolverine territory, but Michigan's Jeremy LeSueur stepped in front of a Matt LoVecchio pass and returned it 60 yards for Michigan's second touchdown of the day.
Michigan added a 44-yard field goal from Garrett Rivas and a John Navarre 20-yard touchdown pass to Breaston for the 24-0 halftime lead.
The Hoosiers will continue their road trip next weekend when they travel to Michigan State. The game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. and will be aired on ESPN-Plus. It will also be able to be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (p-b-p), Dan Thompson (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post game) on the call.