Oct. 14, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Hitting the road for the first time in Big Ten play, the Indiana football team (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) faces No. 4 Wisconsin (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at Camp Randall Stadium (80,123) on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CDT/noon EDT and ESPN2 will broadcast the game.
IU is facing its third straight Leaders Division opponent. The Badgers swept through their non-conference slate and kicked off league play with a 48-17 victory over No. 8 Nebraska on Oct. 1. UW has won eight consecutive Big Ten games and 12 straight regular season contests.
Beth Mowins (play-by-play) and Mike Bellotti (analyst) will call the game. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network and Sirius 135 with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Buck Suhr (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.
Fresh Faces - Defense
Prior to the Big Ten opener against Penn State, the defensive coaches suggested a depth chart shake up was coming and that was indeed the case. Three freshmen received their first career starts and remained in the starting lineup against Illinois last weekend.
True freshman defensive end Bobby Richardson played for the first time in game four at North Texas.
He posted eight tackles, six solo, with a half-tackle for loss against PSU and collected his first sack and recovered his first fumble vs. Illinois.
Redshirt freshman safety Drew Hardin appeared in the first four games and he shared the team lead with nine tackles, eight solo, and added a pass breakup against the Nittany Lions.
He followed that up with a game-high 12 tackles, nine solo, against Illinois and owns 23 stops with 19 solos in 2011.
Drew's brother, true freshman Forisse "Flo" Hardin, has started alongside him at safety.
Flo picked off a pass at the IU 1-yard line, returned it 20 yards and finished with five stops vs. Penn State. He has 10 tackles overall this season.
Drew and Flo played together for three seasons (2007-09) at Ballard High School.
Red Zone Defense
The Indiana defense has stiffened in the red zone this season. This was especially true in the Big Ten opener against Penn State.
In five red zone trips, the Hoosiers held PSU to only three field goals, forced an interception at the 1-yard line and a fumble at the 2-yard line.
On the season, opponents have scored touchdowns 11 times in 24 trips. The 45.8 percent mark ranks second in the Big Ten behind Michigan (42.1).
Overall, Indiana has forced four red zone turnovers (3 fumbles and 1 interception).
Frosh In The Game
Kevin Wilson made it no secret that he was not afraid to play true freshmen, and he has certainly lived up to his word by playing 16 this season, tied for the third most in the country (Texas, 18; Auburn 17; Army 16). IU only played eight true freshmen from 2007-10.
Wide receivers Jay McCants, Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn, safeties Mark Murphy and Forisse Hardin, running back D'Angelo Roberts, cornerbacks Michael Hunter, Kenny Mullen and Nick Stoner, long snapper Matt Dooley, offensive linemen Bernard Taylor and Peyton Eckert, tight end Jake Reed, quarterback Tre Roberson, linebacker Mike Replogle and defensive end Bobby Richardson have made their debuts this season.
Taylor (four), Murphy (three), Eckert (twice), Hardin (twice), Richardson (twice), Latimer and Roberts have each started at least once. IU has also started six redshirt freshmen and played 10 overall this season.
Mr. Roberson's Neighborhood
Tre Roberson became the second true freshman quarterback to ever play at Indiana in the Virginia game. He also appeared against South Carolina State before earning his first extensive action vs. Illinois.
Roberson completed 11-of-17 for 148 yards, rushed for 36 yards and scored on a 2-yard run against UI.
He led the Hoosiers on an 11-play, 85-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
As a true freshman in 1977, Tim Clifford completed 8-of-15 for 143 yards with one touchdown, one interception and 25 rushing yards.
Roberson earned Indiana's 2010 Mr. Football Award at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis.
He passed for 2,611 yards, 24 touchdowns and four interceptions and rushed for 1,992 yards and 21 scores.
His grandfather, Larry Highbaugh, played defensive back and ran track at IU from 1968-71.
Highbaugh played briefly with the Dallas Cowboys, spent 13 years in the Canadian Football League and was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
Just For Kicks
One of the top kickers in the nation coming out of Waubonsie Valley High School in Naperville, Ill., Mitch Ewald has proved why this was the case after he redshirted the 2009 campaign.
Ewald has hit 7-of-9 field goals this year (one blocked), including two 49-yarders (career long, three times), and is now 23-of-28 (82.1 percent) in his career.
He is eighth on Indiana's career field goals list and his career percentage shares 12th nationally.
In addition to his 82.1 field goal percentage, he is a perfect 50-of-50 in the extra point department, including 17-of-17 this season.
Ewald took over kickoff duties in week two after Nick Freeland suffered a season-ending ACL injury.
His 16 field goals in 2010 tied for the most for a freshman and tied for the third most on IU's single-season list.
Ewald forced overtime with a 26-yarder and hit the game-winner from 31 yards in the Old Oaken Bucket victory at Purdue.
On The Mark
True freshman Mark Murphy started the season working with the safeties, and he is currently working with the linebackers and playing in what the defensive coaches have labeled the nickel will position - a hybrid between a nickel back and weak-side linebacker.
Murphy has played in all six games and started three times at the nickel will position.
He made his first Big Ten start against Illinois and posted a career-high eight tackles.
Overall, Murphy has 25 tackles, 15 solo, with an interception, tackle for loss and two pass breakups.
Murphy intercepted his first pass and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown at North Texas, becoming the first true freshman since Tracy Porter (2004) to do so.
In his first career start, he posted seven tackles with one TFL and one PBU against South Carolina State.
Murphy's father, Mark, played safety for the Green Bay Packers from 1980-91 and was enshrined into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1998.
Belcher On The Brink
Damarlo Belcher is the Big Ten's active leader in career receptions and is third in career yardage. He is on the Biletnikoff Award Watch List and the Big Ten Players to Watch List.
Despite missing the North Texas game with an injury, Belcher leads the Hoosiers with 23 receptions (4.6 per game - seventh in Big Ten) and 265 yards to go along with one score.
With his four catches for 101 yards against Ball State, Belcher became the sixth Hoosier to reach 2,000 career receiving yards.
Belcher is second on Indiana's career list with 187 catches and sixth with 2,204 yards. He is chasing fellow Fort Wayne, Ind., native James Hardy's marks of 191 and 2,740.
He owns three 100-yard games and has reached the 10-reception mark three times. Belcher has 30 consecutive games with at least two catches.
Belcher pulled in a 65-yard score vs. the Cardinals, which matched his career long.
His 187 career receptions are 13th among active FBS receivers and his 2,204 yards are 23rd.
He led the Hoosiers with 78 receptions and 832 yards in 2010. The 78 catches rank second on the school's single-season list and the 832 yards are ninth.
Belcher paced the Big Ten in receptions (tied for 22nd nationally) and topped the league (17th nationally) in catches per game (6.50). He also ranked fourth in the conference with 69.3 receiving yards per game and added four touchdowns.