Hoosiers Look to Bring Bucket Back to Bloomington

    Go Hoosiers! The Hoosiers and Boilermakers battle for the Old Oaken Bucket at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
    Go Hoosiers!
    The Hoosiers and Boilermakers battle for the Old Oaken Bucket at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 13, 2007

    Purdue Weekly Release (11-17-07) Get Acrobat Reader

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana football team (6-5, 2-5 Big Ten) closes out the 2007 regular season against Purdue (7-4, 3-4) on Saturday, Nov. 17. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. EST at Memorial Stadium (49,225) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network. The longtime rivals will battle for the Old Oaken Bucket, the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Indiana-Purdue game. Saturday's meeting marks the 83rd battle for the bucket and the 110th overall meeting in the series.

    Thom Brennaman 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.

    This is the first time since the 1994 season the Hoosiers and Boilermakers will meet with both teams sitting over the .500 mark and the first time the two teams are both bowl eligible in the same season since 1980.

    Additionally, the 1967 Rose Bowl team is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a weekend full of festivities and will be recognized at halftime. The Hoosiers will wear throwback uniforms and helmets commemorating IU's lone appearance in Pasadena.

    Senior Salute
    Sixteen Hoosiers will don the IU uniform for the final time at Memorial Stadium and bid farewell to the Indiana faithful. Long snapper Tim Bugg, offensive lineman Sean Edmundson, offensive lineman Charlie Emerson, defensive end Brian Faires, punter Michael Hines, defensive tackle Joe Kremer, cornerback Leslie Majors, linebacker Adam McClurg, center Matt Moses, cornerback Tracy Porter, quarterback Blake Powers, offensive lineman John Sandberg, fullback Josiah Sears, tight end Nick Sexton, kicker Kevin Trulock and center Ben Wyss are stepping into "The Rock" one last time.

    Bailey Big Ten Special Teams POW
    James Bailey became the third Hoosier (fourth time) to be recognized by the Big Ten this season, picking up the league's special teams player of the week honor for the first time in his career on Nov. 12. Junior kicker Austin Starr also earned the special teams award earlier this year, while Kellen Lewis picked up offensive player of the week accolades on two occasions.

    The junior wideout, who filled in for the injured Marcus Thigpen at Northwestern, returned a kickoff 91 yards to paydirt. It marked the first kickoff return TD of Bailey's career and the first since Thigpen raced one back 98 yards at Illinois on Oct. 7 last season, which earned Thigpen player of the week recognition.

    Bailey finished the contest with 161 yards on four returns (40.3), which ranks third in a single game in Hoosier history. The Detroit native also holds the fourth-best single-game mark after running back six kicks for 159 yards at Michigan State on Oct. 13.

    Hardy's Hardware
    Continuing his quest to shatter all of Indiana's wide receiving marks, junior James Hardy crossed three more off his list at Northwestern. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native became the school's all-time receptions and receiving yardage leader. He surpassed former Hoosier standout Courtney Roby (2001-04), who finished his career with 170 catches for 2,525 yards.

    Hardy now has 176 receptions, 2,603 career yards and added to his career touchdown mark as well. He grabbed a pair of touchdowns in the game to set the school's single-season mark at 15 and push his career total to 35, five ahead of former recordholder Jade Butcher (1967-69). Hardy entered the game tied with Ernie Jones (1987) for the single-season mark. He also sits second on the single-season receptions list with 64 (Ernie Jones - 66, 1987) and fourth on the single-season receiving yardage list with 988 (Jones -1265, 1987).

    On the season, Bailey sits 15th nationally and third in the Big Ten with a 28.6 average. He also leads all kick returners in league games only with 31.1 yards per return.

    MoTown Duet
    As junior James Bailey has emerged as one of the Big Ten's top kick returners, the Hoosiers now have a pair of threats on kickoffs. Fellow Detroit native Marcus Thigpen became the sixth Hoosier kick returner to reach 1,000 yards in his career earlier this season. He has 1,080 in his career and is closing in on Thomas Lewis (1991-93), who sits fifth on the career list with 1,183.

    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. This season he is third in league games only averaging 26.0 yards per kick return, and in all games he sits sixth in the conference with a 24.1 average.

    Overall Indiana sits fourth in the league averaging 23.3 yards per kick return. Thigpen and Bailey are the only teammates to sit in the top 10 in overall games. The Hoosiers also lead the Big Ten in punt return average at 12.2.

    Record-Breaking Days
    Several Indiana players enjoyed record-setting days against Ball State and at Northwestern. In addition to Hardy's career and single-season marks, sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis fired four touchdown passes against Ball State to move into the top spot on the school's single-season passing TD list (25). He then moved past Antwaan Randle El into the top spot on the total offense list (3,246) and sailed by Babe Laufenberg into first place on the completions list (220) at Northwestern. Lewis needs five yards to push ahead of Trent Green (2,623 - 1991) on the passing yards list and 43 attempts to take over the attempts lead from Steve Bradley (402 - 1984).

    Hardy and Lewis also became the school's most prolific TD pass duo with their 23rd score together against BSU and added two more vs. the Wildcats, passing Jade Butcher and Harry Gonso (1967-69), who had 21 scores.

    Austin Starr's 30-yard field goal in the first quarter against BSU tied him with Pete Stoyanovich for first on the single-season list with 17 field goals. The junior kicker's eight points in the game moved him past Vaughn Dunbar (1990-91) into 10th place on the school's career points list.

    Finally, sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton recorded the Hoosiers' two sacks vs. the Cardinals to give the team a school-record 38 on the season. The 2007 unit broke the record of 36 previously held by the 1991 and 1993 Hoosiers.

    Chasing Big Ten Marks
    In addition to moving up Indiana's career and single-season charts, junior wide receiver James Hardy and sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis are assaulting the Big Ten record book as well. Hardy's 35 career touchdowns sit third all-time behind former Michigan Wolverines Braylon Edwards (39) and Anthony Carter (37). His 15 touchdowns this season are tied for the fourth-highest league total with Edwards (2004). Former Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard holds the conference mark of 19 set back in 1991.

    Lewis is tied for ninth on the single-season list with 25 touchdown passes and is primed to enter the top 10 in total yards. He enters the season finale with 3,246 yards of total offense, trailing Northwestern's C.J. Bacher 3,389.

    Returns To Paydirt
    With two touchdown returns in the last two weeks, Indiana has increased its season total to four. Junior James Bailey returned a kick 91 yards for six points at Northwestern on the heels of junior cornerback Christopher Phillips' 58-yard pick six against Ball State. Senior cornerback Tracy Porter and sophomore defensive end Greg Middleton added fumble returns for scores earlier in the year. Porter collected a 76-yarder at Michigan State, while Middleton recorded a 44-yarder at Western Michigan.

    Aerial Defense
    The Hoosiers picked off Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher three times last weekend, giving them their sixth multi-interception game of the 2007 season and their most picks in a contest since last year's season finale at Purdue (four on Nov. 18, 2006). Indiana now has 17 interceptions this season, which leads the Big Ten, shares seventh nationally and is the most since the 1998 Hoosiers picked off 19 passes. The school record for interceptions in a season is 22 set back in 1945.

    Additionally, IU set a new school mark with 347 return yards off of those 22 INTs. The old mark of 340 was set back in 1945.




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