Hoosiers Host No. 25 Penn State on Homecoming
Oct. 16, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana football team (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) welcomes No. 25 Penn State (5-2, 2-2) for its 2007 Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is set for noon EDT at Memorial Stadium (49,225) and the game will be televised by ESPN.
Dave Pasch will handle play-by-play duties. He will be joined by analyst Andre Ware and sideline reporter Quint Kessenich. 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.
Indiana owns a 41-47-6 record on Homecoming, including wins in each of the last three seasons. Last year, the Hoosiers knocked off Michigan State, 46-21, following a 36-13 victory over Illinois in 2005. In 2004, IU upset No. 23 Minnesota, 30-21. Indiana has never faced Penn State on Homecoming.
No Doubting Thomas
After his performance, Thomas moved into the team lead with 59 tackles, giving him an 11-tackle advantage over fifth-year senior linebacker Adam McClurg. Thomas, who also set a career high with 14 solo tackles, leads the Hoosiers with 37 solo stops this season. The Woodstock, Ga., native is seventh in the Big Ten (all games) averaging 8.4 tackles per game and tied for fourth in four league games averaging 10.5 tackles per game.
The senior cornerback became the first Hoosier in school history to return a fumble, interception and punt for paydirt in his career. Porter returned an interception 96 yards for a score vs. Central Michigan (Sept. 4, 2004) and posted an 86-yard punt return for six points against Western Michigan (Sept. 2, 2006).
Marando has been a steady force as a speed pass rusher all season. He sits third on the nation's top sack team with four sacks and is fourth on the club with five tackles for loss in addition to forcing one fumble.
Polk has picked up his game the last three weeks. He is averaging 8.7 tackles per contest, including a career-high 11 at Michigan State, has forced a pair of fumbles and broken up one pass. The Milwaukee native is tied for the team lead and fourth in the Big Ten with his two forced fumbles this season and is fourth on the team with 44 tackles.
Finding The End Zone
With his third-quarter touchdown grab at Michigan State, Hardy has collected a touchdown reception in all seven games this season and each of his last eight tilts, continuing to add to his school record for consecutive games with a TD reception. He held the previous record of six along with Jade Butcher (1967-69). Hardy opened the 2005 season with a scoring grab in each of the first six games as well and is the only receiver in school history to collect a scoring strike in six straight games on two occasions.
Hardy's nine touchdown receptions is seventh on IU's single-season receiving touchdown list. He shares second on the single-season list after catching 10 touchdowns as a freshman and sophomore. Ernie Jones holds the Indiana record with 13 touchdown receptions in 1987.
In Good Hands
Hardy has seven multi-score games in his career, second only to Jade Butcher (1967-69). He sits fifth on the school's career receiving yardage list (2,221) and is third on the career receptions (143) list. Hardy has corralled at least one reception in all 27 of the contests he has played in his career. On the season, nine of Hardy's 31 receptions have come in the end zone. He sits in a share of fourth place in the Big Ten averaging 86.6 yards per game and is tied for ninth in scoring (7.7).
Hardy's 153 yards against ISU were the third most of his career and marked his fourth 150-yard performance (most in school history). His 79-yard TD catch was the second longest of his career, behind an 83-yarder from Blake Powers on Oct. 1, 2005 against Wisconsin.
On The Right Foot
The Logansport, Ind., native is 14-for-15 (93.3 percent) this season, 26-for-30 (86.7) in his career, 18-for-20 (90.0) from 30-plus yards and 8-for-8 from 40-plus yards, including a 40-yarder and a 47-yarder in East Lansing. Starr's 14 field goals are two more than he hit all of last season, good for a share of fourth place on the school's single-season list, lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally. He is three off the school record held by former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich (1988). Starr has also hit all 29 of his extra-point attempts this season and is on pace to break Stoyanovich's single-season mark of 45, set back in 1988.
He is tied for sixth nationally averaging two field goals per contest and is 16th in the nation in scoring (10.14). He also leads the Big Ten in field goals per contest and field goal percentage (93.3) and is fifth in scoring. Additionally, Starr has 11 touchbacks on the season, ranking 12th nationally and pacing all Big Ten kickers.
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