Oct. 9, 2007
Sophomore running back Bryan Payton will chat with IUHoosiers.com periodically this season and share his thoughts on the Hoosier football team. In this edition, Payton reviews his three-touchdown performance against Minnesota and looks ahead to Michigan State.
We are now halfway through the regular season and it has flown by. It's great that we're 5-1 and playing very well. I was so proud of all of my teammates Saturday as I truly felt it was a team win. All the way from Kellen Lewis to the entire scout team.
Once again, I felt that the team was really loose and relaxed going into the game. I wondered if we needed a big pre-game pep talk to get us fired up so I went to one of our captains, Josiah Sears, and told him that I felt we were kind of flat. He disagreed with me, saying that we were fine. He was right.
It was ridiculously hot for October. I was sweating like crazy and my legs felt heavy. I worried about my legs the entire game. Luckily, I felt fine for most of the game. My stomach did hurt, though. Not so much from getting the wind knocked out of me, but from drinking so much Gatorade and water to stay hydrated. I could hear the liquid moving in my stomach when I ran. But I can't really complain because I didn't cramp up at all.
In the first half I thought the game might turn into a shootout. I was glad that it didn't. Our defense played well. We knew that Minnesota had a great offense that was fully capable of putting up points. After the first quarter the defense clamped down and didn't give up any points until the fourth.
The day before the game the team has a relaxation and concentration activity that we do to help get ourselves ready. After Friday's session left tackle Roger Saffold told me that he envisioned a play where he had a successful block. He explained that once he had finished off his man he looked downfield and saw me running for the end zone! I thought this was amazing and I told him, "Well, I guess we better go ahead and make that happen." I hope what went down the next day did his vision justice.
As you probably know, I scored three touchdowns. It was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to get in there and make plays for our team. But at the same time I'm not going to sit here and dwell on it. I was very happy to have my parents there to see everything. They were so proud. It felt like high school again.
The offensive line played a stellar game and I know they will continue to do so. I don't like seeing any of my teammates hurt and I wish everyone can return this weekend. Every man counts and means so much to this team. We need everyone because we are all in this together.
I was so happy to see Trea Burgess get some reps in the backfield on Saturday. He works hard in practice when given the chance and I know he will continue to do great things whenever his number is called. I was also proud of our back-up center, Matt Moses, for coming in and doing a good job filling in for Ben Wyss. I had confidence in him from the moment he stepped on the field.
Michigan State is up next. The Spartans will be a tough and physical opponent and it will take a performance from us like the past couple weeks to beat them. We wouldn't want it any other way and welcome the challenge.
Check back soon