Fighting Illini Up Next for Hoosiers

    Go Hoosiers! Senior defensive end Terrance Thomas forced and recovered a fumble against Arkansas State.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Senior defensive end Terrance Thomas forced and recovered a fumble against Arkansas State.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 19, 2010

    Illinois Game Notes (10-23-10) Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After closing out a 4-0 non-conference slate with a win over Arkansas State, the Indiana football team (4-2, 0-2 Big Ten) returns to conference play at Illinois (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten). The Hoosiers and Fighting Illini will meet at Memorial Stadium (62,870) on Saturday, Oct. 23. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. CDT/noon EDT and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

    Tom Hart will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by Anthony Herron (analyst) and Lisa Byington (sideline). The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Buck Suhr (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    The Hoosiers dropped Arkansas State, 36-34, on their 98th Homecoming on Oct. 16. Fifth-year senior Ben Chappell threw for 382 yards and four touchdowns, going 26-of-42 with no interceptions. Juniors Tandon Doss (8 receptions, 103 yards) and Damarlo Belcher (6, 121) each went over 100 yards and collected one score, while fifth-year senior Trea Burgess recorded his first career 100-yard game with 102 yards on 19 carries (5.4 average). It was the first time in IU history two receivers and one running back went over 100 yards in the same game.

    The Illinois Series
    Indiana has won three of the last five meetings between the two teams, including a 27-14 victory in Bloomington last season (Oct. 17). Illinois leads the overall series, 43-22-2, including a 28-8-1 home mark. The last time the two teams met in Champaign, UI earned a 55-13 victory in 2008. IU's last road victory in the series came in 2006, a 34-32 triumph.

    Illinois Connection
    Eleven Hoosiers hail from the state of Illinois. Dimitrius Carr-Watson (Calumet City/Mount Carmel HS), Marc Damisch (Arlington Heights/Buffalo Grove), Mitch Ewald (Naperville/Waubonsie Valley), Marlandez Harris (Springfield/Sacred Heart-Griffin), Will Matte (Wheaton/Wheaton-Warrenville South), Jake Michalek (Midlothian/Brother Rice), Justin Pagán (Chicago/St. Patrick), Matt Perez (Park Ridge/Maine South), Adam Pines (Highland Park/Highland Park), Jeff Sanders (Springfield/Sacred Heart-Griffin) and Teddy Schell (Barrington/Barrington) all arrived in Bloomington from the Land of Lincoln.

    Scouting Illinois
    Illinois enters Saturday with a 3-3 record and a 1-2 mark in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini dropped league games to Ohio State (24-13) and at Michigan State (26-6) and earned a 33-13 victory at Penn State.

    UI is averaging 21.3 points, 200.3 rushing yards, 136.3 passing yards and 336.7 total yards per game. Mikel Leshoure, who ranks 14th in the country with 113.3 rushing yards per game, leads an Illini rushing attach which ranks 29th nationally. The junior is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has three touchdowns.

    Nathan Scheelhaase has thrown for 781 yards and rushed for 288. The dual-threat redshirt freshman field general has completed 58.4 percent with four TDs and seven interceptions to go along with 4.4 yards per carry and two rushing scores.

    Senior Jarred Fayson leads the team with 25 receptions and is second with 206 yards, while junior A.J. Jenkins has 24 catches and team highs with 346 yards, 14.4 yards per catch and three touchdowns.

    Defensively, UI is allowing 18.5 points (24th nationally), 113.0 rushing yards (23rd), 190.0 passing yards (35th) and 303.0 total yards per game (20th). The Illini have recorded three interceptions and recovered three fumbles to go along with 13 sacks.

    Junior linebacker Martez Wilson sits atop the team with 52 tackles, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten, in addition to two sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Junior safety Trulon Henry has a pair of interceptions with 34 tackles, while junior defensive tackle Corey Liuget has 29 stops, two sacks and team highs in TFLs (6.0) and QB hurries (4).

    Illinois owns one of the top kicker-punter combinations in college football. Junior Derek Dimke is tied for fourth nationally averaging 2.0 field goals per game and is 12-for-13 overall, including 2-for-2 from 50-plus yards (52, 50). Senior Anthony Santella ranks fourth in the country averaging 46.7 yards per punt with nine over 50 yards and seven inside the 20.

    Ron Zook is in his sixth season at Illinois and owns a 24-42 record. Zook spent three seasons at Florida prior to his arrival at UI and is 47-56 in his ninth overall season.

    M*A*S*H Unit
    In the preseason, the Hoosier coaching staff decided to "stay up" in tackling drills rather than going all the way to the ground. Part of the reasoning for this was to lessen the number of injuries - and it worked for the most part, with the only major injury being to junior safety Chris Adkins' ankle, which was suffered in one of the team's scrimmages.

    But as of late, the injury bug has bit the Hoosiers hard. It started against Michigan, when fifth-year senior cornerback Richard Council suffered a knee injury on the second-to-last play of the game to knock him out of action. Then, IU saw starting fifth-year senior right tackle James Brewer suffer an ankle injury prior to the Ohio State game. The following week, the Hoosiers lost starting sophomore running back Darius Willis for the season to a knee injury.

    Making The Most
    With every injury, the Hoosier coaches often preach that the "next man up" has to be ready to jump in. With the injury to Darius Willis, fifth-year senior Trea Burgess took that to heart in the Arkansas State game, stepping up with a career-high 19 carries and 102 yards against the Red Wolves.

    Burgess, whose previous bests were 13 carries and 59 yards at Akron in 2009, also added a pair of receptions for 15 yards out of the backfield and, perhaps more importantly, was effective in pass blocking as well.

    The Jeffersonville, Ind., native leads the team with his 4.6 average per carry and scored a touchdown against Towson in the season opener.

    Countdown To 100
    With the team's win over Arkansas State, Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch claimed his 99th career victory. In 18 seasons as a head coach. Lynch owns a 99-92-3 (.518) overall record. He is in his fourth year as Hoosier head coach and has 32 years of coaching experience in the state of Indiana. In his first three seasons, the Hoosiers reached the postseason and won seven games in a season for the first time since 1993 and won the Old Oaken Bucket for the first time since 2001. IU has boasted three All-Americans, three second-round and five total NFL Draft picks, nine All-Big Ten selections, one Academic All-American and 52 Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

    Ewald For Three
    Redshirt freshman Mitch Ewald came to the Hoosiers amid a lot of hype - he was the third-ranked kicker in the country and was expected to come in as the starter. But with the performance of Nick Freeland last year, Ewald did not play.

    Coming into 2010, Ewald and Freeland went back-and-forth in an even battle during preseason camp, with Freeland beginning the season as the starter. But Freeland suffered a hip injury prior to the Western Kentucky game and Ewald has answered the call in a big way. He is 6-of-7 on field goals and 20-of-20 on extra points thus far.

    Against Arkansas State last week, Ewald upped his game even more. He drilled all three of his field goal attempts, including a career-long 46 yarder that was the longest since Austin Starr hit one from 46 against Iowa in 2008. He became the first Hoosier with three field goals or more since Freeland hit four against Michigan last year.

    Aerial Attack
    The Hoosiers' explosive offense has made its mark on the national stage. Indiana ranks fifth in passing offense (319.3), sits sixth in fewest penalties (4.17), shares 10th in turnovers lost (7), is tied for 13th in penalty yards per game (37.7), shares 14th in fumbles lost (3), ranks 15th in kickoff returns (26.1), sits 18th in third-down conversion (49.4) and sacks allowed (1.0), is tied for 20th in passes intercepted (4), ranks 27th in scoring offense (34.1) and sits 28th in passing efficiency (149.9).

    IU also scored at least 35 points in its first four games, the first time since the start of the 1990 season a Hoosier team has accomplished that in four consecutive contests. After scoring 10 points against Ohio State, Indiana bounced back with 36 points in the win over Arkansas State. The 2007 Hoosiers scored 35-or-more points in five of the first six games and finished the year with six.

    Fifth-year senior quarterback Ben Chappell is fourth in passing yards (309.7), fifth in completions (26.3), sixth in touchdown-interception ratio (16 TDs, 3 INT), eighth in total passing yards (1,858), tied for eighth in touchdowns (16), 10th in completion percentage (68.7), tied for 10th in fewest interceptions (3), 12th in total offense (305.0), 13th in points responsible for (17.0) and 19th in passing efficiency (156.9).

    Junior wide receiver Tandon Doss ranks first in all-purpose yards (202.0), shares 18th in receptions (6.4), ranks 22nd in receiving yards (87.6) and in kickoff returns (27.8). He is the only player in the country to rank in the top 25 in each of these categories. Classmate Damarlo Belcher is tied for 13th in catches (6.8) and 27th in receiving yards (85.0), while fifth-year senior Terrance Turner shares 43rd in receptions (5.3). IU is the only team in the country with three receivers in the top 45 in receptions per game and is one of three programs (Hawaii and Cincinnati) with two receivers in the top 30 in receiving yards per game.




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