Indiana Gears Up for Northwestern
Oct. 26, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Returning home for the second time in Big Ten play, the Indiana football team (4-3, 0-3 Big Ten) hosts Northwestern (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten). The Hoosiers and Wildcats will meet at Memorial Stadium (52,929) on Saturday, Oct. 30. Kickoff is at noon EDT and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Eric Collins will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by Chris Martin (analyst) and Charissa Thompson (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.
Bolser has set IU freshman tight end records with 16 catches (fifth on team) and 271 yards (fourth). He leads the team with five TDs, which is a record for all Hoosier tight ends and second all-time among freshmen receivers, and paces the team with 16.9 yards per catch.
Both players are on the verge of entering the top 10 for freshmen pass-catchers in receptions and yardage. Ray Fisher (2006) and Tyrone Browning (1997) share the 10th spot with 24 grabs, while Levron Williams (1998) is 10th with 323 yards. James Hardy leads all freshmen with 61 receptions, 893 yards and 10 scores.
NU is averaging 27.6 points, 147.1 rushing yards, 272.2 passing yards (second in Big Ten) and 419.9 total yards per game. Dan Persa leads the Wildcat attack. The junior is throwing for 264.3 yards per game and completing 75.7 percent of his passes to go along with 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Persa also leads the team with 341 rushing yards and six scores on the ground. He is fifth in the nation with 313.0 total yards per game and eighth with a 164.3 passing efficiency.
Jeremy Ebert leads all Wildcat receivers with 37 receptions, 580 yards, five touchdowns and 82.9 yards per game. The junior leads the Big Ten in yards per game and is tied for third in catches per game (5.3). Fifth-year senior Sidney Stewart has 26 grabs for 320 yards, while junior Drake Dunsmore has 22 receptions for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
Redshirt freshman Mike Trumpy sits behind Persa with 197 rushing yards and two TDs followed by junior Jacob Schmidt with 161 yards and four scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, Northwestern is surrendering 20.7 points, 135.4 rushing yards, 235.7 passing yards and 371.1 total yards per game. The Wildcats have 10 interceptions, five fumble recoveries and 12 sacks on the season.
Disruptive senior defensive tackle Corbin Bryant has one sack, 4.5 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Fifth-year senior outside linebacker Quentin Davie has 31 tackles, three interceptions (56 yards), 1.5 sacks, four TFLs, three QB hurries and one forced fumble.
Junior safety Brian Peters leads the team with 49 tackles followed by fifth-year senior middle linebacker Nate Williams with 44, including 5.5 tackles for loss. Junior defensive end Vince Browne paces the Wildcats with six sacks and nine TFLs.
Senior Stefan Demos has converted 10-of-15 field goals and 18-of-21 extra points, while redshirt freshman Brandon Williams is averaging 40.0 yards per punt with 13 inside the 20-yard line. Fifth-year senior Stephen Simmons is averaging 21.7 yards per kick return.
Pat Fitzgerald is in his fifth season at the helm of the Northwestern program and owns a 32-25 record. Fitzgerald, who starred at linebacker for the Wildcats (1993-96), has guided NU to back-to-back bowl games - the Alamo and Outback Bowls.
The Northwestern Series
IU upset No. 22 (BCS) NU the last meeting in Bloomington, 21-19, on Oct. 25, 2008. The win marked the first of fifth-year senior quarterback Ben Chappell's career. He threw for 219 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Junior wide receiver Tandon Doss collected his first career 100-yard game with 107 yards on eight receptions, including a score.
Bolser-Ing The Offense
On the season, Bolser has 16 catches for 271 yards, both IU freshman tight end records, to go along with his team-best five TDs and 16.9 yards per catch. The Cincinnati native's receptions are the most in a season since Aaron Halterman recorded 23 catches in 2003 and the most yards since Halterman collected 292 yards in 2002.
He finished the Illinois game with four catches for 77 yards, the first time a Hoosier tight end went over 70 yards since Halterman vs. Kentucky on Sept. 20, 2003. Bolser has scored on all four balls thrown his way in the red zone. He has been targeted 19 times overall, and he has made the most of his opportunities with his 16 catches, 13 for first downs, and his five touchdowns.
With his two-score performance against Akron, the Cincinnati native became the first Hoosier receiver with a multi-score game since Tandon Doss had two against Wisconsin on Nov. 7, 2009. Bolser, who also caught TD passes in his first two contests, became the first freshman since James Hardy (2005) to score a touchdown in each of his first three games.
Bolser finished the season-opening win over Towson with four catches for 68 yards and a 12-yard touchdown on his first career touch. The 6-6, 252-pounder had two grabs and 25 yards, including a sliding 11-yard TD, in the team's win at Western Kentucky the following week.
Tight end has not been a productive position for much of Indiana football's history. In fact, only three tight ends (four times) have ever reached 100 yards in a game, with the last coming by Dave Lilja vs. Navy on Sept. 21, 1985 (108 yards, 10 catches).
Bolser's opening game totals marked the most catches and yardage for a Hoosier receiver in his debut since Hardy had five catches and 107 yards against Central Michigan in on Sept. 2, 2005. He became the first Hoosier since Damarlo Belcher (vs. Western Kentucky on Aug. 30, 2008) to score on his first career touch.
Countdown To 100
Men In The Middle
Beckum, who has played at all three linebacker spots in his career, finished with a game-high nine tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack vs. the Buckeyes. The junior out of Bloomington North High School matched a career high in tackles, which he first set earlier this year against Akron, and became the first Hoosier with three tackles for loss in a game since Jammie Kirlew had three at Akron on Sept. 19, 2009. He added seven stops with one TFL against ASU and recorded a sack at Illinois.
Thomas, who arrived in Bloomington during spring practice from Foothill (Calif.) Community College, added six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and his first career interception vs. OSU and matched Beckum with seven stops against Arkansas State. He set a career high and finished with a game-high 13 tackles at Illinois, with one TFL included.
Hoosier linebackers rank 1-2-3 on the team in tackles. Replogle leads the way with 50, 25 solos, followed by Thomas with 47, 21 solos, and Beckum with 39, 25 solos. Beckum also leads the team and Big Ten linebackers and shares sixth in the league overall with three sacks to go along with a team-best five tackles for loss. Thomas has the INT and 2.5 TFLs.
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