Bloomington, Ind.- Indiana head coach Gerry DiNardo said earlier in the week that the Hoosiers needed to focus on pass offense and pass defense in practice. Wednesdays practice solidified that statement as the pass offense and pass defense had bright spots.
With injuries to wideouts Courtney Roby and Travis Haney during the Michigan game, the Hoosiers need some receivers to step up and fill the void. Both Patrick Thompson and David Lewis made nice catches during seven-on-seven drills. Lewis caught a quick out for a first down, while Thompson caught a deep pass down the sidelines over a defender.
Senior Glenn Johnson and junior Aaron Halterman had strong performances during 11-on-11 drills. Johnson caught four balls during the drill, including two deep passes. Johnson caught a deep pass from junior quarterback Matt LoVecchio over his right shoulder down the middle of the field. He made a similar catch down the right sideline over his left shoulder.
Halterman continued to solidify himself as a threat for the Hoosiers. The Center Grove product caught two passes over the middle for first downs, including one for a gain of 20-plus yards. In the last two games, Halterman has caught eight passes for 98 yards.
The Hoosier secondary had a good afternoon as well, led by sophomore safety Buster Larkins. The Indianapolis, Ind., native made two interceptions on the day. Larkins also had a big pass break up along the sidelines. The catch would have been for a first down, but Larkins got his hand in and knocked it away before running over the intended receiver. Fifth-year senior safety Joe Gonzalez had a nice break up as well along the left sideline. Gonzalez is coming off a team-leading nine tackles against Michigan.
The Hoosiers travel to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend to battle arguably the Big Tens hottest team in 25th-ranked Michigan State. The Old Brass Spitoon will be up for grabs for the 51st time. MSU won last years battle, 56-21, in Bloomington. The game is set for 11:00 a.m. and will be televised on ESPN-Plus. Don Fischer (play-by-play), Dan Thompson (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call on the IU Radio Network.