Nov. 18, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Facing off for the Old Brass Spittoon, the Indiana football team (1-9, 0-6 Big Ten) visits the No. 12/12/15 Michigan State Spartans (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) on Saturday, Nov. 19. Kickoff is set for noon EST at Spartan Stadium (75,005; Natural Grass) and the BTN will broadcast the game.
The Old Brass Spittoon has been awarded to the IU-MSU winner since the trophy's inception in 1950. Michigan State is coming off a 37-21 victory at Iowa last weekend. The Spartans own a 6-0 home record this season and hold a one-game advantage over Michigan and Nebraska in the Legends Division.
Eric Collins (play-by-play), Chris Martin (analyst) and Dionne Miller (sideline) will call the game. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network, Sirius 85 and XM 85 with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Buck Suhr (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.
True freshman defensive end Bobby Richardson played for the first time in game four at North Texas. He has played in seven games overall and started four times, including the last two.
Richardson carded two sacks and forced his first career fumble at Ohio State. He is tied for ninth and is the top freshman in Big Ten play with three sacks.
He posted eight tackles, six solo, with a half-tackle for loss in the Big Ten opener against Penn State and collected his first sack and recovered his first fumble against Illinois the following weekend.
The Tampa, Fla., native is second on the team with three sacks and he owns 3.5 TFLs and 17 tackles.
Cut To The Chase
Mr. Roberson's Neighborhood
Chase Hoobler returned to the Buckeye State with his best performance as a Hoosier. The redshirt freshman strong-side linebacker out of Orrville, Ohio, posted career highs with nine tackles, two sacks (16 yards) and three tackles for loss (17 yards) at Ohio State.
Hoobler has started seven times, including the last four games, and played in all 10 games this season.
He is sixth on the team with 40 tackles and tied for fourth with four tackles for loss to go along with the two sacks and one forced fumble.
In Big Ten play, Hoobler has started five games and he shares fourth on the team with 27 stops.
Hoobler forced his first career fumble in the Big Ten opener against Penn State.
At Iowa, Tre Roberson
became the first true freshman quarterback in IU history to start and he is one of just 12 nationally to start in 2011. Roberson celebrated his 19th birthday by becoming the third Hoosier to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this season.
He completed 16-of-24 (66.7 percent) for 197 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions. Roberson also rushed for 84 yards on 16 carries (5.2 average).
In his first home start vs. Northwestern, he bested his Iowa effort with 290 total yards. Roberson threw for 169 yards with one score and added 121 rushing yards on 22 attempts (5.5) with one TD.
He was the first IU quarterback to surpass 100 yards rushing since Kellen Lewis
ran for 148 yards vs. Ball State on Sept. 20, 2008.
Making his third straight start at Ohio State, Roberson went over 240 total yards for the third consecutive week. He threw for 174 yards with one score and delivered 70 yards on the ground.
In Big Ten play, Roberson is ninth in total offense (205.6 per game) and eighth in rushing (66.0), which leads all quarterbacks.
On the season, Roberson is 54-of-93 (58.1) with 698 yards, three TDs and three INTs to go along with 337 rushing yards on 82 carries (4.1) with two scores in seven games.
His 337 rushing yards are second on the team and third among true freshman quarterbacks nationally (Braxton Miller, Ohio State - 490 and Brett Smith, Wyoming - 378).
Roberson became only the second true freshman quarterback to play at Indiana in the Virginia game.
He went 11-of-17 for 148 yards, rushed for 36 yards and scored on a 2-yard run against Illinois.
As a true freshman in 1977, Tim Clifford completed 8-of-15 for 143 yards with one touchdown, one interception and 25 rushing yards in one half of work.
Roberson earned Indiana's 2010 Mr. Football Award at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis.
He passed for 2,611 yards, 24 touchdowns and four interceptions and rushed for 1,992 yards and 21 scores.
His grandfather, Larry Highbaugh, played defensive back and ran track at IU from 1968-71.
Highbaugh played briefly with the Dallas Cowboys, spent 13 years in the Canadian Football League and was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Hoosiers went over 200 rushing yards for the third straight week with a season-high 319 against Northwestern. Indiana averaged a season-best 6.5 yards per carry on 49 attempts.
Indiana's string ended at three games at Ohio State, where it rushed for 159 yards.
The 319-yard total was IU's highest since a 338-yard showing vs. Akron on Sept. 15, 2007, and its best performance in a conference game since a 327-yard effort vs. Northwestern on Oct. 11, 2003.
Sophomore Stephen Houston delivered a career-high 151 yards and true freshman quarterback Tre Roberson collected a career-high 121 yards.
The last time the Hoosiers had two 100-yard rushers came back in the 2003 Northwestern game - BenJarvus Green-Ellis (136) and Brian Lewis (128).
Houston (90.3) and Roberson (66.0) rank sixth and eighth in rushing yards per game, respectively, in Big Ten games only.
Prior to the NU game, Indiana rushed for 217 yards with a 4.6 average on 47 attempts at Iowa and posted 223 yards on the ground with a 5.0 average on 45 attempts at Wisconsin.
IU last posted three straight 200-yard rushing games in Big Ten play in 2001 - Michigan State (489, Nov. 10), Penn State (298, Nov. 17) and Purdue (204, Nov. 24).
In the last four games, the Hoosiers have averaged 229.5 rushing yards, 47.5 attempts and 4.8 yards per carry to move into sixth in Big Ten games with 178.8 rushing yards per contest.
In its first six games of the season, Indiana averaged 118.8 rushing yards, aided by 257 yards vs. South Carolina State, 38.5 attempts and 3.1 yards per carry.
IU's 1,631 rushing yards this season mark the program's highest total since 2008 (2,003).
No Problem With Houston
Stephen Houston joined the Hoosiers in July from Independence (Kan.) CC. The 228-pound running back appeared in each of the first four games before earning his first start in the Big Ten opener against Penn State, and he has not left the starting lineup since.
In Big Ten play, Houston is sixth with 542 yards on 109 carries (5.0 average) and is averaging 90.3 yards. His six touchdowns are tied for fifth and his 108.0 all-purpose yards are 10th.
Houston sits atop the team with 633 yards, 131 carries, a 4.8 average and seven scores.
He also has 13 receptions for 125 yards.
The sophomore turned in a career effort against Northwestern, rushing for a career-high 151 yards on 19 carries (7.9 average). He also scored twice for the second straight week and added 32 receiving yards.
His 183 yards from scrimmage are the most for a Hoosier this season.
Houston's rushing yardage was the most for a Hoosier since Darius Willis posted 152 yards at Michigan on Sept. 26, 2009.
He opened Big Ten play with five straight 60-plus yard games. The last Hoosier to record five consecutive 60-plus yard games was Levron Williams in 2001.
Houston broke the century mark for the first time as a Hoosier at Wisconsin. He finished with 135 yards on 19 carries (7.1).
He put IU on the board with a 67-yard touchdown run, Indiana's longest rush since Oct. 24, 2009, and matching its longest play from scrimmage in 2011.
At Iowa, he recorded the first two-touchdown game of his career, one as the Wildcat quarterback, and rushed for 72 yards on 19 carries.
Houston led the team in rushing and receiving with 68 yards on 14 carries (4.9 average) and 70 yards on three catches against Illinois.
Last season, he rushed for 1,082 yards and five touchdowns on 165 carries at Independence.
It Starts Up Front
Indiana has used six different starting combinations in 10 games along the offensive line.
Fifth-year senior left tackle Andrew McDonald has started all 10 games this season, 21 in his career and has played in 34 contests overall.
Senior right guard Justin Pagán is the Hoosiers most experienced lineman. He has appeared in 40 career games, started 35 of the team's last 39 games and played every position on the line except center.
For the first time since Rodger Saffold (left tackle) and Pete Saxon (left guard) started together in 2006, the Hoosiers started a pair of true freshmen on the offensive line. Bernard Taylor (left guard) and Peyton Eckert (right tackle) each earned their first career starts against South Carolina State.
Taylor has started ever since (8 overall) and Eckert has started the last five times out (6 overall).
Redshirt freshman Collin Rahrig joined the true freshmen and made his first career start at right guard against SCSU and has started six times overall, including at center for the first time at Iowa, where he has remained since the contest.
Redshirt junior Will Matte started his first 31 career games at center before missing the last three games with an injury. Prior to the injury, he was the only offensive lineman to start every game from 2009-11.
Frosh In The Game
Kevin Wilson made it no secret that he was not afraid to play true freshmen, and he has certainly lived up to his word by playing 16 this season, tied for the third most in the country. Additionally, 13 redshirt freshmen have seen action. The 29 total freshmen are tied with Clemson for the most in the country.
Wide receivers Jay McCants, Cody Latimer and Shane Wynn, safeties Mark Murphy and Forisse "Flo" Hardin, running back D'Angelo Roberts, cornerbacks Michael Hunter, Kenny Mullen and Nick Stoner, long snapper Matt Dooley, offensive linemen Bernard Taylor and Peyton Eckert, tight end Jake Reed, quarterback Tre Roberson, linebacker Mike Replogle and defensive end Bobby Richardson have made their debuts this season.
Taylor (eight), Murphy (seven), Eckert (six), Richardson (four), Hunter (three), Roberson (three), Hardin (twice), Latimer (twice), Mullen, Roberts and Wynn have each started at least once. IU has also started six redshirt freshmen.
Indiana started seven freshmen on defense (4 true and 3 redshirt) and five freshmen on offense (4 true and 1 redshirt) against Northwestern. The 12 total freshmen, eight true freshmen and the seven total freshmen defensive starters are the most for any FBS team in a single game this season.