Inside The Minnesota Game

    Go Hoosiers! The Hoosiers and Golden Gophers will kick off at noon EDT on Saturday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    The Hoosiers and Golden Gophers will kick off at noon EDT on Saturday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 5, 2007

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - As the Indiana football team prepares for Saturday's game against Minnesota, takes a look inside the numbers. The Hoosiers (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) and the Golden Gophers (1-4, 0-2) will kick off at noon EDT Saturday at Memorial Stadium (49,225) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

    Michael Crispino will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Chris Martin and sideline reporter Marshall Harris. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    The Minnesota Series
    Indiana holds a 16-5-2 edge over Minnesota in Bloomington, including a 15-5-1 mark at Memorial Stadium. IU has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two teams at home, although the Golden Gophers won on their last trip to Bloomington, 42-21, on Nov. 5, 2005.

    Minnesota has earned the victory the last two times the teams have squared off, but the teams have split the last 10 matchups and Indiana has won nine of the last 15 ballgames. The Hoosiers earned a 30-21 win at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 30, 2004, marking their last victory over the Gophers.

    Scouting Minnesota
    Led by first-year head coach Tim Brewster, Minnesota is 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play. The Golden Gophers hit the road for the first time in conference action after falling to Purdue (45-31) and Ohio State (30-7) at the Metrodome. Their lone victory came against Miami (Ohio), 41-35, in triple overtime on Sept. 8.

    The Gophers are averaging 29.8 points and 445.4 yards per game, however, they are surrendering 36.8 points and 526.4 yards. Adam Weber leads the team's passing attack, throwing 12 touchdowns, averaging 252.6 yards and completing 59.2 percent of his passes.

    Leading receiver Eric Decker is second in the Big Ten with 97.2 yards per game and 7.20 receptions each time out. He is second on the team with four TDs behind Ernie Wheelwright's five scores. On the ground, Amir Pinnix averages 88.6 yards and 5.5 yards per rush, while Weber holds a 4.0 average and accounts for 53.6 rushing yards.



    The Golden Gophers are surrendering 368.0 passing yards and 158.4 rushing yards. Safety Dom Barber leads the team with 46 tackles, while fellow safety Jamal Harris holds the team lead with two interceptions. Minnesota has recorded three sacks and five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) this season.

    Gang Tacklers
    Nine Hoosiers have over 20 tackles with sophomore linebacker Will Patterson leading the way with 34. Patterson, who recorded a career-high 10 tackles at Iowa, also leads the team with two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries (tied for the Big Ten lead) and holds a one-tackle advantage over sophomore safety Austin Thomas. Junior linebacker Geno Johnson and senior cornerback Tracy Porter have also reached the 30-tackle mark with 31 apiece.

    Senior linebacker Adam McClurg has 28 stops followed by sophomore safety Nick Polk (25), senior cornerback Leslie Majors (24) and sophomore defensive ends Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew at 21.

    Finding The End Zone
    With his first-quarter touchdown grab at Iowa, James Hardy has collected a touchdown reception in all five games this season and each of his last six games. This is the second time in the junior's career that he has caught a TD in six consecutive games - the only receiver in school history to accomplish the feat twice - and he matched the IU record he shares along with Jade Butcher (1967-69). Hardy opened the 2005 season with a scoring grab in each of the first six games as well.

    He has corralled at least one reception in all 25 of the contests he has played in his career. On the season, seven of Hardy's 20 receptions have come in the end zone. He ranks sixth in the Big Ten averaging 80.0 yards per game and is tied for fourth in scoring (8.4). Hardy has hauled in seven TD passes, which ranks eighth on IU's single-season receiving touchdown list, in each of his three seasons.

    Sears Getting Touches
    Fullback Josiah Sears entered the season with eight career receptions, 36 total receiving yards and zero touchdown receptions. The senior captain led the Hoosiers with seven catches for 58 yards at Iowa, giving him 12 receptions for 131 yards on the season. Sears also has a pair of TD catches this year.

    On the ground, the Hoosier captain recorded both of Indiana's rushing touchdowns against the Hawkeyes. Sears has 53 rushing yards and is tied for the top spot on the team with three rushing touchdowns. The Greenfield, Ind., native is second on the team behind junior wide receiver James Hardy (seven) with five total touchdowns.


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