Indiana Hosts Illinois on 97th Homecoming

    Go Hoosiers! Junior linebacker Tyler Replogle had 10 tackles and one TFL at Virginia.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior linebacker Tyler Replogle had 10 tackles and one TFL at Virginia.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 12, 2009

    Illinois Weekly Release (10-17-09) Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Returning to conference play following a trip to Virginia, the Indiana football team welcomes Illinois (1-4, 0-3 Big Ten) to Bloomington for IU's 97th Homecoming this weekend. The Hoosiers and Fighting Illini will meet at Memorial Stadium (52,692) on Saturday, Oct. 17. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. EDT and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. This is Indiana's third Big Ten Network primetime showdown this season.

    Craig Coshun will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Anthony Herron and sideline reporter Mike Hall. All games can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network and on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    Hoosiers On Homecoming
    Indiana owns a 42-48-6 record on Homecoming, including wins in four of the last five seasons and a 5-4 mark this decade. Last year, the Hoosiers knocked off 22nd-ranked (BCS) Northwestern, 21-19. IU came up just short vs. Penn State, 36-31, in 2007 after reeling off three straight victories against Michigan State (46-21 in 2006), Illinois (36-13 in 2005) and No. 24 (AP) Minnesota (30-21 in 2004).

    The Hoosiers are 3-5 all-time against the Fighting Illini on Homecoming. Indiana and Illinois' first Homecoming matchup came in 1910 (L, 3-0), IU's second Homecoming game, and have also faced off in 1937 (W, 13-6), 1951 (L, 21-0), 1966 (L, 24-10), 1969 (W, 41-20), 1995 (L, 17-10), 2001 (L, 35-14) and 2005.

    The Illinois Series Indiana has won three of the last four meetings between the two teams at Memorial Stadium and four of the last six. Illinois leads the overall series, 43-21-2, and owns a 14-12-1 mark in Bloomington.

    The teams have split the last six games after UI earned back-to-back victories in 2007 and 2008 following two straight Hoosier wins in 2005 and 2006. IU lost 55-13 in Champaign on Oct. 18 last season and fell 27-14 in Bloomington on Sept. 22, 2007.

    Scouting Illinois
    Illinois heads into Saturday evening with a 1-4 record and an 0-3 mark in the Big Ten. After splitting their first two games of the season (Missouri, L; Illinois State, W), the Fighting Illini have lost at No. 13 Ohio State and at home to No. 15 Penn State and Michigan State.

    UI averages 17.0 points, 167.6 rushing yards, 174.0 passing yards and 341.6 total yards per game. Senior Juice Williams started the first four games at quarterback before junior Eddie McGee was named the starter for the Michigan State game. Williams is averaging 125.6 yards per game with two touchdowns, four interceptions and a 54.7 completion percentage. He has rushed for 185 yards with one TD.

    McGee has appeared in all five games and has completed 21-of-41 for 242 yards, one score and three INTs in addition to 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

    Preseason All-America candidate Arrelious Benn leads the Illini with 13 receptions for 176 yards, while senior Chris Duvalt (136) and junior Jarred Fayson (119) each own over 100 yards and have scored once. On the ground, sophomore Jason Ford has rushed for 213 yards with a 9.3 average and one score.

    The Fighting Illini defense is surrendering 28.6 points per game. Opponents are rushing for 185.6 yards, passing for 223.0 yards and compiling 408.6 total yards per game. Illinois has forced eight turnovers (three interceptions, five fumbles) and collected five sacks.

    Senior linebacker Ian Thomas heads the UI defense with 38 tackles, 17 solo, to go along with one sack and two tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Tavon Wilson has 36 stops and a team-best 26 solos with one interception and two TFLs. Senior defensive end Doug Pilcher leads the club with two sacks and his junior bookend Clay Nurse sits atop the team with five tackles for loss.

    Ron Zook is in his fifth season at Illinois and owns a 19-34 record (.359). He took the Fighting Illini to the 2008 Rose Bowl and earned National Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2007. Zook spent three seasons at Florida prior to his arrival at UI and is 42-48 (.467) in his eighth overall season.

    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 was the first time in school history that a Hoosier has returned the opening kickoff for a score and it was the first of Fisher's career.

    Fisher leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth nationally averaging 34.8 yards per kick return with 487 yards on 14 returns. At the midway point, he is on pace to break Marcus Thipgen's school mark for season average of 30.1 (2006) and surpass Derin Graham's single-season record of 897 yards set (2000).

    The Cleveland native has at least one 40-yard return in each of the last four games and has averaged 36.7 yards on 12 returns since his TD return at Akron. He needs just 45 yards to enter IU's single-season top 10 list.

    Coming Into His Own
    If Tandon Doss did not catch everyone's attention following the Michigan game, he surely should have gotten it 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.

    Doss set a career high with nine receptions and led the Hoosiers with 76 yards the following Saturday at Virginia. He also returned three kicks for 47 yards to finish with 121 all-purpose yards.

    The Ben Davis High School product has led the team in receiving each game this season and paces the team with 546 yards, 41 receptions, 91.0 yards per game and a 13.3 average per catch. Doss is third in the Big Ten and tied for 24th nationally in yards per game and third in the league and shares 22nd nationally in catches per game (6.83). His 546 yards rank 16th in the country and are the third most for an underclassman.

    Doss also owns 168 kick return yards and 64 rushing yards and is second in the conference with 129.7 all-purpose yards per contest. He has surpassed 100 all-purpose yards each of the last three games and four times this season.

    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, opened the 2009 campaign 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.




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