Hoosiers Look to Bring Bucket Back to Bloomington
Nov. 13, 2007
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.
Bailey Big Ten Special Teams POW
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 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.
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.
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
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
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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