Hoosiers Head to Camp Randall to Face No. 25 Badgers

    Go Hoosiers! Junior Marcus Thigpen pulled in a 30-yard TD reception and added 91 kick return yards against Penn State.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior Marcus Thigpen pulled in a 30-yard TD reception and added 91 kick return yards against Penn State.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 23, 2007

    Wisconsin Release in PDF Format (10-27-07)
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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Hitting the road for the fourth time this season, the Indiana football team (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) heads to Madison, Wis., to meet the No. 25 Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 2-2) on Saturday, Oct. 27. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CDT/noon EDT at Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. IU enters Saturday's contest with a 2-1 road mark, while UW owns a perfect 5-0 record at home.

    Wayne Larrivee will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Charles Davis and sideline reporter Charissa Thompson. 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.

    Record Breaker
    With his two touchdown catches against Penn State, junior wide receiver James Hardy became the Hoosiers' all-time leader with 31 career TD receptions. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native surpassed Jade Butcher's (1967-69) total of 30. Sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis hit Hardy on an eight-yard pass in the first quarter and the duo connected on a seven-yarder at the 8:06 mark in the fourth quarter to break the record.

    Elite Company
    Junior wide receiver James Hardy and sophomore Kellen Lewis were unstoppable against Penn State. Lewis hit Hardy 14 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Hardy's 14 catches were the second most in school history behind Jason Spears' 16 against Purdue on Nov. 22, 1997. Lewis passed for 318 with three touchdowns, completing 30 passes in 48 attempts.



    Hardy is the only receiver in Indiana history to surpass 2,000 career yards (2,363 - second all-time), 150 career receptions (157 - second all-time) and 30 career touchdowns (31 - first all-time). Lewis joined Antwaan Randle El (1998-01) and Steve Bradley (1983-85) as the only quarterbacks in school history with 4,000 career passing yards (4,173 - seventh all-time), 350 career completions (353 - seventh all-time), 30 career passing touchdowns (33 - third all-time) and 5,000 career total yards of offense (5,090 - sixth all-time).

    Aerial Assault
    Penn State entered last weekend's game against the Hoosiers holding opponents to 182.9 yards through the air (20th nationally) and had allowed just four passing touchdowns through seven games. IU sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis responded to the challenge with 318 yards and three TD passes.

    The Lions defense also came to Bloomington surrendering just 12.7 points (second in the Big Ten, fifth nationally) before Indiana posted 31 points. Penn State had not allowed over 30 points this season and it marked the most points against a PSU team since Notre Dame collected 41 in a 41-17 victory on Sept. 9, 2006. The last time the Nittany Lions allowed 30 points in a Big Ten game came on Nov. 22, 2003, in a 41-10 loss at Michigan State.

    Heating Up
    Hampered by a nagging ankle injury, junior kick returner/running back Marcus Thigpen returned to full health against Penn State and turned in his finest performance this season. The burner from Detroit returned a pair of kicks for a season-high 91 yards, including a 53-yarder he nearly took home to paydirt. Thigpen also grabbed a season-high five catches for 58 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown, and received 13 carries - his highest total since a 15-carry afternoon at Iowa on Sept. 29.

    The team's fastest man - 4.27 speed in the 40-yard dash - led the nation in yards per kickoff return (30.1) and his three touchdowns were tops in the country in 2006, but he had only received five chances through the first six games this season. However, he has gained four opportunities the past two weekends, racking up 136 yards (34.0 per return).

    In Big Ten games, Thigpen is second in the league averaging 28.3 yards per kick return, and in all games he sits fourth in the conference with a 27.1 average. Thigpen needs just 13 yards for 1,000 career kick return yards and he is 196 yards away from entering the top five on the career chart.

    Century Club
    Following his 121-yard effort at Michigan State, junior wide receiver James Hardy surpassed Ernie Jones (1984-87) with his 11th career 100-yard receiving game. Hardy now holds sole possession of the school record.

    He built on that record with his 12th career 100-yarder against Penn State. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native pulled in 142 yards and now has four 100-yard games this season to go along with his three in 2006 and five in 2005.

    Lewis To Hardy
    Kellen Lewis to James Hardy is on the brink of becoming the most prolific scoring combo in Indiana history. What has made this duo special is the meteoric rise both stars have experienced in such a short time playing together. The sophomore quarterback and the junior wide receiver have connected for 21 touchdowns in just 17 games. With their next touchdown, Lewis and Hardy will set the new quarterback-wide receiver scoring record. As it stands entering Saturday, the duo is tied with quarterback Harry Gonso (1967-69) and wideout Jade Butcher (1967-69). Through eight games this season, Lewis has found Hardy in the end zone 11 times, which ranks first in an IU single season.

    Lewis saw his first action as a Hoosier in the team's second game last season at Ball State and earned the job permanently three games later against Wisconsin. In the 17 games they have played together, they have connected on 92 occasions for 1,384 yards, good for an average of 15.0 yards per catch and 81.4 yards per game.

    Taking a closer look, Lewis and Hardy only hooked up for nine catches, 101 yards and one touchdown the first three games. Over the last 14 games, the duo has combined for 20 scoring strikes, 83 catches, 1,283 yards, seven 100-yard games and two 150-yard contests. Breaking the numbers down, Hardy has averaged 5.9 receptions and 91.6 yards per game along with an average of 15.5 yards per catch during the 14-game run.

    Finding The End Zone
    Junior wide receiver James Hardy is tied for second nationally and leads all Big Ten wideouts with 11 touchdowns this season. He is the lone wide receiver in the country to record a touchdown in every game this season.

    In addition to breaking Jade Butcher's mark of 30 career touchdown grabs, Hardy shares sixth on the Big Ten's career TD receptions list with former Purdue standout Brian Alford (1994-97) and ex-Minnesota stalwart Ron Johnson (1998-01). Former Michigan wideout and current Cleveland Brown Braylon Edwards holds the league record with 39.

    Hardy has collected a touchdown reception in all eight games this season and each of his last nine 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.

    The Fort Wayne, Ind., native is also fourth on the Hoosiers' career touchdown list and eighth on the career points chart with 186. Hardy's 11 touchdown receptions rank second on IU's single-season receiving touchdown list. He shares third 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
    James Hardy, who was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List prior to the season, picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2006 season and has not let up all season. The junior wideout torched Indiana State in the season opener for 153 yards on just three catches, including 58-yard and 79-yard scoring strikes. He followed that performance with two more touchdowns at Western Michigan and his fifth and sixth scores against Akron and Illinois, respectively. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native then continued his mastery of Iowa, pulling in his seventh TD of the season and 113 yards.

    Hardy hauled in one score and 85 yards against Minnesota and reached the 100-yard mark for the third time this season and a school-record setting 11th time with 121 yards at Michigan State. He reached the century mark for a 12th time with 144 yards and a career-best 14 receptions, which is the second best total in school history, against Penn State. Hardy added a pair of touchdowns to give him at least one TD in every game this year (only receiver in the country to accomplish this feat) and nine straight contests dating back to last season.

    He has eight multi-score games in his career, second only to Jade Butcher's 10 (1967-69), and he sits second on the school's career receiving yardage list (2,363) and is second on the career receptions (157) list. Hardy has corralled at least one reception in all 28 of the contests he has played in his career. On the season, 11 of Hardy's 45 receptions have come in the end zone. He sits third in the Big Ten averaging 93.5 yards per game (20th nationally), shares fifth with 5.62 receptions per game and is eighth in scoring (8.2).

    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.

    With His Arm...
    Kellen Lewis threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns along with a career-best 30 completions (tied for third most in IU history) on 48 attempts (tied for seventh most in IU history) against Penn State. The Nittany Lions entered the game surrendering just four TD tosses total and 182.9 passing yards per game.

    He reached the 300-yard mark for the third time in his career and the second time this season (career-high 322 yards at Iowa). Lewis has thrown three touchdown passes in five of eight games this year, and he is the only quarterback in IU history to throw at least three TDs in a game eight times in his career. He has completed over 70 percent of his passes in three of his 17 career starts (twice this season) and over 60 percent in seven of his starts, including five this season and four straight games.

    Lewis is tied for second in the Big Ten with 19 TD passes, fourth with 244.0 passing yards per game, fourth with a 61.5 completion percentage, second in passing efficiency at 142.5, and he has not thrown an interception in his last 72 attempts. He is in third place on the school's career list with 33 TD passes, seventh in passing yards (4,173), sixth in completions (353) and seventh in attempts (611). Lewis' 19 touchdowns are also tied for ninth nationally and put him in second place on the single-season list. He has three 300-yard performances, reached 250 yards eight times and eclipsed 200 yards on 13 occasions, which is tied for third in IU history, in his career.

    Against Illinois, Lewis tossed a career-high 51 attempts (third-highest total in IU history) to go along with 263 yards. His 19-of-24 effort (79.2 percent) against Akron was the second-highest single-game passing completion percentage in school history.

    With His Feet...
    Lewis is just as lethal with his feet. He leads the Hoosiers with 476 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns and 59.5 rushing yards per game. He has demonstrated his rushing ability the last two games. At Michigan State, he took the Hoosiers' first play from the line of scrimmage 59 yards into the end zone for Indiana's longest TD run since Nov. 11, 2001 (Levron Williams, 80 yards). It marked the longest touchdown run of his career and the third-longest run of his career. The Jacksonville, Fla., native followed that up with his second straight 50-plus yard TD run against Penn State, a 56-yarder in the fourth quarter.

    The sophomore ran for a career-high 199 yards - the third most for an IU quarterback - on 18 attempts, rushed for a pair of scores and broke off a career-best 64-yard run in the team's win over Akron. It marked his second career 100-yard rushing game and the most yards on the ground for an IU player since Levron Williams ran for 251 yards at Michigan State on Nov. 10, 2001. Former Hoosier great Antwaan Randle El holds the top-two rushing slots for a quarterback. Randle El posted 210 yards vs. Minnesota on Oct. 21, 2000, and added 209 yards at Illinois on Nov. 4 that same season.

    Lewis has 917 career rushing yards in 19 games, good for a 48.3 per game average. He has also crossed the goal line 10 times as a rusher.

    Kellen Lewis Is The Total Package
    Combining his passing and rushing totals, Lewis is third in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation with 303.5 total yards of offense per game. His 2,428 yards of total offense ranks eighth on Indiana's single-season list. Lewis is responsible for 18.75 points each time out, which shares seventh nationally. And he even picked up a TD on a pass at Iowa, picking up a Josiah Sears fumble following an eight-yard reception and racing it 71 yards down the sideline for six points.

    Lewis' five touchdowns against Akron marked the second time in his career he reached that benchmark. He recorded six scores (five passes, one rush) against Michigan State last season (Oct. 28). The Jacksonville, Fla., native has eclipsed the 300-yard total offense mark in five games this season, including a 324-yard effort against Penn State's nationally-renowned defense, and nine times in his career.

    In his last 15 games, Lewis has thrown for 31 scores, rushed for nine, caught one, averaged 235.3 yards through the air, 52.3 yards on the ground and thrown just 10 interceptions. He has surpassed 300 yards of total offense eight times.


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