Indiana Concludes Non-Conference Schedule at Virginia

    Go Hoosiers! Sophomore wide receiver Tandon Doss is second in the Big Ten with 94 yards per game.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Sophomore wide receiver Tandon Doss is second in the Big Ten with 94 yards per game.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 5, 2009

    Virginia Weekly Release (10-10-09) Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Wrapping up its non-conference schedule, the Indiana football team (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) heads to Charlottesville, Va., to meet Virginia (1-3, 1-0 ACC). The Hoosiers and Cavaliers will square off for the first time at Scott Stadium (61,500) on Saturday, Oct. 10. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. EDT and the game will be carried live on

    Frank Giardina will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Sonny Randle. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network, Sirius 129 and XM 197 with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    Coming Into His Own
    If Tandon Doss did not catch everyone's attention following the Michigan game, he surely should have it now after his effort vs. Ohio State. Doss caught six passes for 96 yards with one touchdown, ran the ball twice for 16 yards and returned a kickoff for 29 yards. On the team's first scoring drive, Doss accounted for 62 of the 80 yards, including 46 receiving and 16 rushing. He hauled in a one-handed grab to set up his 7-yard score, where he split three Buckeye defenders to reach the end zone.

    In addition to his second 100-yard game this season and the third of his career, Doss collected 193 all-purpose yards at Michigan. The sophomore wideout caught five balls for 104 yards and a career-long 56-yarder, ran the ball three times for 41 yards, including rushing the pitch on an option toss from Mitchell Evans 25 yards for his first ground score, and returned two kicks for 48 yards.

    Doss, a 6-3, Indianapolis product, has led the Hoosiers in receiving all five games. He matched a career high with eight receptions against Eastern Kentucky and set a new career best with 125 receiving yards. He also pulled in 85 yards and six catches vs. Western Michigan and 60 yards and seven receptions at Akron.

    The Ben Davis High School product paces the team with 470 yards, 32 receptions, 94.0 yards per game and a 14.7 average per catch. Doss is second in the Big Ten in yards per game and third in catches per game (6.4). He also owns 121 kick return yards and 66 rushing yards and is third in the conference with 131.4 all-purpose yards per contest. Doss has surpassed 100 all-purpose yards each of the last two games and three times this season.

    Scouting Virginia
    Virginia kicked off ACC play with its first victory of the season, a 16-3 triumph at North Carolina. The Cavaliers opened the year with losses to William & Mary, TCU and at Southern Miss.

    UVa averages 19.5 points, 93.0 rushing yards, 179.2 passing yards and 272.2 total yards per game. Senior quarterback Jameel Sewell averages 162.0 yards and has completed 51.4 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ranks second on the team with 88 rushing yards and three TDs on the ground.

    Vic Hall, who suffered an injury in the Cavs' season opener, returned at UNC and took snaps under center in the "Hoo Cat" formation, Virginia's "Wildcat" attack. The senior, who also plays cornerback, ran the ball once, caught a pass and threw a pass, which was negated by a penalty.

    Senior Mikell Simpson rushed for 100 yards against the Tar Heels and leads the team with 164 rushing yards and a 5.0 average to go along with one score. Sophomore Kris Burd paces the wide receivers with 14 catches for 163 yards and one TD.

    The UVa defense ranks eighth nationally allowing 156.5 passing yards each time out. It has surrendered 24.0 points, 145.2 rushing yards and 301.8 total yards per game. The Cavaliers have forced eight turnovers (four INTs, four fumbles) and own seven sacks.

    Redshirt freshman inside linebacker Steve Greer leads the team with 31 tackles, 17 solo, 3.5 tackles for loss and has one sack. Senior defensive end Nate Collins heads the defense with two sacks, while senior cornerback Chris Cook sits atop the club with two interceptions.

    Al Groh is in his ninth season at Virginia and owns a 57-47 record (.548). He has guided the Cavaliers to five bowl appearances and he is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year. Groh's overall record is 83-87 (.488) in his 15th overall season with a six-year stint at Wake Forest (1981-86).

    Virginia Connection
    Justin Carrington is the lone Hoosier from the state of Virginia. The fifth-year senior linebacker is from Leesburg and attended Liberty High School.

    Hoosier assistant head coach Dennis Springer worked on Cavalier offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon's staff when Brandon was head coach at Bowling Green from (2003-06).

    Quick Returns
    Ray Fisher returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown at Akron, the first by an IU player since James Bailey returned one 91 yards against Northwestern in 2007. It is the first time in school history that a Hoosier has returned the opening kickoff for a score and it is the first of Fisher's career.

    Fisher raced four returns for 130 yards (32.5 average) with a long of 60 yards at Michigan and ran back four kicks for 129 yards (32.3 average) against Michigan. He leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh nationally averaging 34.6 yards per kick return.

    Career Firsts
    Sophomore defensive back Chris Adkins and sophomore wide receiver Matt Ernest recorded career firsts against Ohio State. Adkins registered his first interception when he picked of Terrelle Pryor in the fourth quarter. Ernest collected his first touchdown when Ben Chappell found him in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard score on the game's final play.

    Positive Signs
    Despite suffering its first home loss of the season against Ohio State, Indiana was able to salvage some positives from the contest. The Hoosiers became the first team to put points on the board vs. the Buckeyes in nine quarters with a second-quarter scoring strike. IU added another TD in the fourth quarter. Indiana also became the first team to throw for 200 yards (210) against OSU in 2009.

    Defensively, the Hoosiers collected three sacks in the ballgame. Ohio State came into the game allowing three sacks in its first four contests.

    End Game
    The Hoosiers own two of the nation's top defensive ends in Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton. The All-America candidates own 43 career combined sacks (Middleton-23, Kirlew-20), the highest total for any tandem in the country.

    Both players appear on the Watch List for the 2009 Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award. Kirlew, one of six finalists for the honor in 2008, and Middleton, one of eight finalists for the award in 2007, are two of 30 preseason candidates. The two are one of only a pair of teammates from the same university on the list, joining Oklahoma ends Jeremy Beal and Auston English.

    Kirlew was also selected to the Chuck Bednarik and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch Lists in addition to being named first team All-Big Ten by Lindy's preseason magazine and Sporting News and preseason All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports. Lindy's also rated him the eighth-best end in the country.

    The Orlando native earned first team All-Big Ten from the conference media and second team by the league's coaches and collected honorable mention All-American honors last season. He also secured second team All-Big Ten and received the team's Anthony Thompson MVP Award, outstanding defensive lineman award and defensive player of the year honors. Kirlew finished the 2008 campaign with 10.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss, both ranked fourth on Indiana's single-season list. Additionally, he was second in the Big Ten and tied for 14th nationally in sacks and third in the league and sixth nationally in tackles for loss.

    Middleton, a 2007 All-American, became the first IU defensive lineman since Adewale Ogunleye in 1997 to earn first team All-Big Ten honors that same season. He set a new single-season school record with 16 sacks, which also led the nation.

    Dominant In 2009
    Senior defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton have continued to move up the Hoosier record book this season. With 23 career sacks, Middleton ranks third in IU lore. Kirlew sits fifth with 20 career sacks and is second to Adewale Ogunleye (64) with 46.5 career tackles for loss.

    Kirlew is second in the Big Ten and tied for eighth nationally with 9.5 tackles for loss, shares second with 3.5 sacks and three forced fumbles, and is tied for third with two fumble recoveries. Middleton shares fifth in the league with three sacks and is tied for sixth with 6.5 tackles for loss.

    The duo spent a lot of time in the Michigan backfield, as Middleton posted two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and six tackles, and Kirlew collected two tackles for loss, forced and recovered a fumble on the same play and added seven tackles. Kirlew posted five tackles, one sack and forced a fumble the following Saturday against Ohio State. He moved into a share of fourth on the team with 23 tackles.

    Kirlew recovered a key fourth quarter fumble in the opener and made three tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks against Western Michigan and 2.5 TFLs and one sack at Akron. He has three career games with three-or-more tackles for loss, 14 multi-TFL contests and five multi-sack games.

    Middleton forced a fumble at the IU 8-yard line that Justin Carrington recovered with 1:20 left to preserve the victory against Western Michigan. He finished the game with two tackles for loss and was all over the field at Akron, collecting six tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and one pass breakup. The Indianapolis, Ind., native now has seven multi-sack ballgames and nine multi-tackle for loss contests in his career.

    Where There's A Willis
    In just his third career game on one of the grandest stages in college football, redshirt freshman Darius Willis collected the most yards for a Hoosier back since 2005 (Chris Taylor, 176 vs. Kentucky) and led Indiana to its second-highest rushing total in 60 all-time games vs. Michigan (197). Willis finished with 154 yards on 16 carries, a 9.5 average, with two scores at Michigan Stadium. His second touchdown run went for 85 yards and put the Hoosiers ahead 33-29 with 8:57 remaining. It was the third-longest rush in IU history and the longest allowed by a Michigan defense since 1987.

    Willis, who earned his first career start the next week vs. Ohio State, became the eighth freshman in Hoosier lore to break the 150-yard mark and the first since BenJarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Purdue, 2003), the first since De'Wayne Hogan (at Wisconsin, 1997) to break 100 yards in his Big Ten debut and the first freshman to go over 100 yards since Green-Ellis. He is sixth in the Big Ten averaging 61.0 yards per game (244 yards, 45 attempts) and leads the team in carries, yards, TDs (3) and yards per carry (5.4).

    After redshirting last year, Willis received three carries in the opener and missed the Western Michigan game with an ankle injury. Willis returned at Akron and led the team with 66 yards on 15 carries (4.4 average) and reached the end zone for the first time. The 2008 co-offensive scout team player rushed for 1,728 yards (6.0 average) and 28 scores and was runner-up for Indiana Mr. Football his senior campaign at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis. He collected all-state, All-Marion County and all-conference honors.




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