Inside The Ball State Game

    Go Hoosiers! Junior defensive tackle Greg Brown and the Hoosiers welcome Ball State to Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Junior defensive tackle Greg Brown and the Hoosiers welcome Ball State to Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 2, 2007

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - As the Indiana football team prepares for Saturday's game against Ball State, takes a look inside the numbers. The Hoosiers (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten) and Cardinals (5-4, 3-2 Mid-American) will kick off at noon EDT at Memorial Stadium (49,225) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

    Mark Neely will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Glen Mason and sideline reporter Dara McIntosh. 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.

    Turning The Page
    The Hoosier defense has been put in difficult situations the last two games. IU's offense has turned the ball over nine times against Penn State and at Wisconsin, giving its opponents an average starting position inside the Hoosier 40 (39.1). However, the defense has stepped up and held its two foes to just nine points off the nine turnovers.

    Penn State's average starting field position after the Hoosiers' four turnovers came just outside the IU 15-yard line (15.1) and all the Nittany Lions could muster was nine points. PSU started at the Hoosier seven, 12, 13 and 29-yard lines.

    Wisconsin could not put any points on the scoreboard off Indiana's five miscues and an average starting point at their own 42 (41.8). The Badgers started two drives in Hoosier territory (32 and 48-yard lines) in addition to their own 46, 36 and seven-yard lines.

    Under Pressure
    With its two sacks at Wisconsin, Indiana matched the school's single-season record of 36 set back in 1991 and 1993. The Hoosiers share second nationally with Penn State averaging 4.0 sacks per game, sitting behind Oregon State (4.25).

    IU has three more sacks than its total from the last two years combined. This comes after finishing 111th nationally last season. The Hoosiers are also tied for 25th nationally averaging 7.22 tackles for loss per game.



    Indiana has recorded at least two sacks in eight of its nine games this season and tied a school record set back in 1992 (Oct. 10 at Northwestern) with nine sacks at Iowa. It marked the third time the team has reached five sacks this season - five vs. Indiana State and eight at Western Michigan.

    After junior linebacker Geno Johnson picked up a sack against Penn State, 14 different Hoosiers have recorded at least one sack this season. Sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton and sophomore defensive lineman Brian Zematis picked up the first sacks of their careers against Indiana State, while junior defensive end Ryan Marando (1.5), sophomore defensive lineman Emile Bass (1.0) and junior cornerback Christopher Phillips (1.0) secured their first career sacks at WMU. Senior cornerback Tracy Porter (1.0) recorded his first career sack at Iowa.

    No Middle Ground
    Greg Middleton, who was named to the mid-season watch list for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award on Oct. 19, received his first start in the season opener vs. Indiana State. He picked up the first two sacks of his career and has been the Hoosiers' most disruptive defensive force ever since. The sophomore right end out of Pike High School in Indianapolis is second nationally, trailing South Florida's George Selvie (13.5), and first in the Big Ten with his 11.5 sacks. After posting a career-high 2.5 at Iowa, Middleton recorded one sack against Minnesota, a team that allowed just three sacks in five games before facing the Hoosiers, added another one at Michigan State and recorded his fourth multi-sack game this season with two at Wisconsin.

    His 11.5 sacks move him into second place on the single-season IU sack list, putting him 2.5 behind Van Waiters' 14 (1987). Middleton is only the fourth Hoosier to ever collect double-digit sacks in a season.

    In addition to his performance against ISU, Middleton saved perhaps his most impressive feat for the team's victory at Western Michigan, where he scooped up a fumble forced by junior defensive tackle Greg Brown and rumbled 44 yards for his first career touchdown. The score was the first fumble TD return by an IU defensive player since Troy Grosfield brought home a 15-yard fumble against Wisconsin on Sept. 30, 2006.

    Middleton, who also finished with six tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry against the Badgers, is third in the Big Ten and shares 19th nationally with 12.5 tackles for loss this season. The total is the most for an IU defensive lineman since current San Diego Charger Kris Dielman's 14 during the 2002 campaign.

    On The Right Foot
    Austin Starr continues to show Hoosier fans the kicking game is on good footing. After hitting a career-long 49-yarder at Wisconsin, the junior extended his school record to 13 consecutive made field goals. Starr broke Doug Smith's record of 10 set back during the 1981-82 seasons.

    The Logansport, Ind., native is 16-for-17 (94.1 percent) this season and 8-for-8 from 40-49 yards out. In his career, Starr is 28-for-32 (87.5) overall, 20-for-22 (90.9) from 30-plus yards and 9-for-9 from 40-plus yards. Starr is a perfect 9-for-9 in league action and his 16 field goals are four more than he hit all of last season, good for a share of second place on the school's single-season list, share the Big Ten lead and are tied for sixth nationally. He is one off the school record held by former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich (1988). Starr has also hit all 33 of his extra-point attempts this season, which is fifth on the single-season list, has connected on 35 straight dating back to last season, and he is eyeing Stoyanovich's single-season mark of 45, set back in 1988.

    He is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (tops in Big Ten), tied for 11th averaging 1.78 field goals per contest (tied for first in Big Ten) and tied for 27th in scoring at 9.00 (sixth in Big Ten). Starr has moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Hoosiers' single-season points list with 81.

    Additionally, Starr has collected 13 touchbacks on the year. Despite kickoffs getting pushed back five yards this season, he has one more touchback than he had all of last year.

    Means To An End
    Coming off a career-high nine receptions at Wisconsin, sophomore wide receiver Andrew Means moved into second on the Hoosiers with 38 catches, trailing only junior James Hardy's 49. Means added a team-leading 66 yards against the Badgers to push his season total to 396 yards (44.0 per game), which also ranks second on the club. In the team's last two games against Penn State and Wisconsin, Means has averaged seven catches and 67.5 yards

    The Avon Lake, Ohio, native has developed a knack for making the big catch. Of his 38 catches, he has converted first downs 22 times (57.9 percent), including six third-down conversions (15.8). All five of his grabs against Penn State and four of his nine catches at Wisconsin resulted in Hoosier first downs. Means has also surpassed his 2006 numbers, where he caught 20 balls for 263 yards and one touchdown as a redshirt freshman.


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