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Game Thread Game Seven: Ohio State 41, Indiana 10 (final)

Here's an article on Indiana'a spring game. I wonder if Hoeppner plans to make the IU president the offensive coordinator.

School president delivers with clutch play call
McFarland-to-Thigpen 40-yard touchdown hookup adds some late spice to Crimson squad's win.

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By Terry Hutchens

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's annual Cream and Crimson football game Friday night had a little bit of everything.

That included a fourth-quarter touchdown pass play called by the university president.

IU president Adam Herbert, who along with IU alumni president Ken Beckley were the celebrity head coaches for the game, called wide receiver Marcus Thigpen's number early in the fourth quarter. Thigpen responded with a 40-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Graeme McFarland in the Crimson's 34-6 spring football victory.

"That was pretty neat having the president make that call and I went over and thanked him right away," said Thigpen, a redshirt freshman wide receiver. "I think it would be great if he were on the sidelines this fall."

Assistant head coach Bill Lynch had been calling plays for the Crimson squad until head coach Terry Hoeppner told Lynch to let Herbert call the next play with about 10 minutes remaining.

"I had spent an hour and a half with Dr. Herbert and so I told Bill Lynch that (Herbert) had the next call," Hoeppner said. "That play he called the touchdown pass to Marcus Thigpen. That's why you saw me going over there high five-ing him.

"Hey, I think the guy has a future. When he gets done being president, I think he's got a future (in coaching)."

Herbert said his play call was founded on the element of surprise.

"It was mostly instinct, but I just didn't feel they would think we would try to go deep on that play," Herbert said. "I was lucky. I have concluded, however, that I'm not ready to give up my day job."

Traffic heading south on Ind. 37 toward Bloomington on Friday night resembled an Indiana-Ohio State football game day in the fall. Except in this case, it wasn't bumper-to-bumper with Ohio license plates.

They weren't all headed to Memorial Stadium. Many were on their way to town for the annual Little 500 bicycle race festivities.

Still, the football crowd estimated at 6,200 was believed to be the largest spring gathering since the end of the Bill Mallory era in 1996.

Hoeppner, always the optimist, disputed the crowd total that was estimated by the IU media relations department.

"I think you need to count better because there were a lot more than 6,000 people there in my estimation," Hoeppner said with a smile.

He later said he "personally counted" at least 7,400 fans.

"But 6,000 is great, and I thank the crowd. It was neat going out and seeing them tailgating on a Friday night in April and talking about Hoosier football. I think we took small steps. I think we'll take bigger steps in the near future and make this thing even bigger and better.

"It's a happening. It should be one of the big events during the spring in Bloomington."

Herbert said it was a great atmosphere. He credited his new coach with generating much of that excitement.

"When we interviewed coach Hoeppner, I was very impressed with his vision for the program, and he's doing everything that he said he was going to do," Herbert said. "He's just proving us right with our assessment of his abilities."

The fans saw plenty of offense and defense, mostly from the Crimson squad that was made up of the majority of the first- and second-team players.

Senior tailback Chris Taylor had 119 yards on four carries, including an 85-yard touchdown run.

"It was just great to get out there and play, and to see all those people here tonight just made it that much better," Taylor said. "I kind of thought there was going to be a good crowd because of the way coach Hoeppner has been pumping this game up. But it was fun. It's always fun when you're on the football field."

McFarland and Blake Powers, IU's top two quarterbacks on the depth chart this spring, played for the Crimson and both threw touchdown passes. Besides McFarland's TD pass to Thigpen, Powers hit tight end Chris Rudanovic for a 12-yard score.

Fullback Josiah Sears capped the scoring with a 1-yard run for the Crimson late in the fourth quarter.

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CFBNews.Com preview

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Preview 2005Indiana Hoosiers
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[font=Arial, Helvetica]Want the CFN Indiana Preview in printable pdf?
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Head coach: Terry Hoeppner
1st year at Indiana
7th year overall: 48-24
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[font=Arial, Helvetica]Ten Best Hoosier Players
1. OT Isaac Sowells, Sr.
2. LB Kyle Killion, Sr.
3. OT Justin Frye, Jr.
4. Victor Adeyanju, Sr.
5. RB Chris Taylor, Sr.
6. DE Kenny Kendal, Jr.
7. RB Yamar Washington, Sr.
8. KR Lance Bennett, Jr.
9. CB Buster Larkins, Sr.
10. WR Jahkeen Gilmore, Sr.
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2005 Schedule
</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]3[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Central Michigan[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]10[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Nicholls State[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/1[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]7[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Kentucky[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/1[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Wisconsin[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/8[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Illinois[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/15[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Iowa[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/22[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Ohio State[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica]29[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Michigan State[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/5[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Minnesota[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/12[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Michigan[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=27>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/19[/font]</TD><TD align=left width=123>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Purdue[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></CENTER></TD></TR><TR><TD><TABLE id=table1 cellSpacing=0 width=168><TBODY><TR><TD width=164 bgColor=#800000>
[font=Arial, Helvetica]CFN Prediction: 1-10
2004 Record: 3-8

</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left width=164 bgColor=#ffffff>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Preview 2004 predicted wins[/font] <TABLE id=table2><TBODY><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/4[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Central Mich[/font][font=Arial, Helvetica] W 41-10[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/11[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Oregon W 30-24[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/18[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Kentucky L 51-32 [/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]9/25[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Michigan St L 30-20[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/2[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Michigan L 35-14[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/9[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Nwestern L 31-24 2OT[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/23[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Ohio State L 30-7[/font] </TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]10/30[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Minnesota W 30-21[/font] </TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/6[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Illinois L 26-22[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/13[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]Penn State L 22-18[/font]</TD></TR><TR><TD align=left>[font=Arial, Helvetica]11/20[/font]</TD><TD>[font=Arial, Helvetica]at Purdue L 63-24[/font]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR><CENTER></CENTER><CENTER></TBODY></TABLE></CENTER></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​
Pete Fiutak
The commonly held belief is that no one can win at Indiana.
It's not a football school, it's not committed to winning anything that doesn't have a round ball, and there isn't a good attitude conducive for a great football program. That's the stigma. Terry Hoeppner is looking to change all of that and turn around the impossible program coming over from a very successful stint at Miami University.

Would making Indiana a football power be on par with with what Bill Snyder did at Kansas State and what Barry Alvarez achieved at Wisconsin? Yup, but don't expect that kind of success, and IU doesn't have to go to Rose Bowls and get BCS bids to become a success. There also doesn't need to be a three-year period to make things better.

With 19 starters returning, there's enough experience, along with some talented young players, to hope for an immediate improvement. Look at it this way; IU lost to Northwestern in overtime, lost to Illinois by four and to Penn State by four to go along with an inexplicable gaffe against Kentucky. Those are four games that this year's team likely would've won. Granted, there won't be the turnover-fest from Oregon that led to the 30-24 Hoosier win, but there will always be at least one out-of-the-blue Big Ten win like there was against Minnesota. In other words, a winning record is a good goal to shoot for especially because ...

Schedule: ... the Hoosiers get three free wins to start the season. Going to Central Michigan might be a bit tricky because of its offense, but that's a win. Nicholls State has to be a win. Kentucky, at home, has to be a win. Illinois has to be a win. If this IU team is even remotely competent, a 4-1 start isn't out of the question (losing at Wisconsin), but the Hoosiers miss Northwestern and Penn State while facing likely bowl teams with the rest of the Big Ten slate.
Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Isaac Sowells. After missing most of last year with a wrist injury, the 6-3, 330-pound tackle will be in a salary drive looking for a big year to become a likely first day draft pick.
Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Kyle Killion. He needs to be a superstar with a converted fullback playing in the middle and little all-around depth. He can do a little of everything well and should be in the hunt for second-team All-Big Ten honors.
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Blake Powers. Redshirt freshman Graeme McFarland is also in the mix, but the starting job will likely go to the big, strong sophomore. Powers has to improve his accuracy and be consistent for the offense to go anywhere.
The season will be a success if ... Indiana finishes with five wins. Kentucky and Illinois are circling the Indiana game as a win, so it's not a lock that the season starts out like Hoosier fans might hope. There's too much experience to shoot for anything less than a winning season, but a few opponents have to take major naps for that to happen.
Key game: Oct. 8 vs. Illinois. It's the Big Ten home opener for the Hoeppner era going against Big Ten newcomer Ron Zook and his Illini. The loser will have some very angry fans to deal with as each program will desperately need this win.
2004 Fun Stats:
- Third quarter scoring: Opponents 100 - Indiana 49
- Average yards per carry: Opponents 5.0 - Indiana 3.2
- Kickoff return average: Indiana 28.1 yards - Opponents 18.6 yards

Basically ... The offense actually wasn't that horrible over the first part of last season. Consistency was the biggest problem and the defense didn't exactly help the cause. Even with the loss of three big starters (QB Matt LoVecchio, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and WR Courtney Roby) the potential is there to do much more with an experienced line that gets two of its top players (OT Isaac Sowells and C Chris Mangiero) back from injury The running game will be serviceable with Chris Taylor and Yamar Washington until the young recruits come around and the receiving corps has plenty of speedy prospects. None of the promise will come true if Blake Powers, or one of the other quarterback candidates, doesn't start playing at a D-I level.

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[font=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders
[font=Arial, Helvetica]Passing: Blake Powers
9-22, 98 yds, 0 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Chris Taylor
82 carries for 329 yds and 3 TDs
Receiving: Jahkeen Gilmore
23 catches for 308 yds and 2 TDs
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Star of the offense: Senior OT Isaac Sowells
Player that has to step up and become a star: Sophomore QB Blake Powers
Unsung star on the rise: Redshirt freshman WR Marcus Thigpen
Best pro prospect: Sowells
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Sowells, 2) OT Justin Frye, 3) RB Chris Taylor
Strength of the offense: Offensive line
Weakness of the offense:
Despite the quotes to the contrary, the job will end up going to Blake Powers using his experience and talent to grow into the starting role. None of the four quarterback prospects are consistent and occasionally can't hit water if they fell out of a boat, but head coach Terry Hoeppner is a good molder of talent and should do wonders in time. Graeme McFarland has done enough to keep pushing for the starting job, but he's likely the number two man. Mike Vlahogeorge has a world of raw talent and Grant Gregory is a playmaker who could eventually be moved if he's the fourth man in the mix.Player to keep an eye on: Mike Vlahogeorge, RFr. ... Quarterback Rating: 6Projected Starter
- Blake Powers, Soph. - The competition for the starting job was open this spring, but Powers came in and did a decent job to earn the spot ... for now. While he was the best of the four prospects this spring, the spring game allowed wiggle room to the point where the coaching staff has been saying it's still a dead-even race. The 6-4, 228-pound sophomore has the size and the skills to be a sharp quarterback, but he has to be far better than he was last year in spot duty completing 41% of his throws with no touchdowns and two interceptions. While not a runner, he can move a bit.

Top Backups
- Graeme McFarland, Jr. - It looked like the starting job was going to Blake Powers, but the coaching staff said it was still wide open despite McFarland's problems in the spring game. He threw a nice 40-yard touchdown pass, but he had problems with his accuracy. While not as talented as Powers, the 6-1, 204-pound junior has some experience along with a live arm.
- Mike Vlahogeorge, RFr. - The 6-3, 225-pounder came to school early last year and now has two years of spring ball experience, but he still needs work fine-tuning his cannon of an arm. He's one of the state of Indiana's best high school passers to come along in a while and should eventually become a good one with the right coaching.
- Grant Gregory, RFr. - The all-around athlete of the quarterbacks, Gregory is a good passer and offers something a little bit different to the mix. While the competition is open, he's battling for the number three job.

Running Backs
The transfer of BenJarvus Green-Ellis to Ole Miss takes away the teams best back and most of the offense from last year. If they can stay healthy, Chris Taylor and Yamar Washington are experienced enough to be good backs who can keep the chains moving until the good young recruits get their feet wet. Catching the ball out of the backfield will be a must, and all of the backs have decent hands.
Player to keep an eye on: Dennis Underwood, Fr. ... Running back rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- Chris Taylor, Sr. - The team's second leading rusher last year with 329 yards and has been around long enough to be a solid receiver with a little bit of starting experience rushing for 1,022 yards and eight touchdowns. The 220-pound senior isn't a special back and isn't going to hit any home runs, but he can be a steady workhorse and is a great receiver.

Top Backups
- Yamar Washington, Sr. - Washington appears to be back at 100% after missing all of 2003 with a knee injury. He was fine last year rushing for 122 yards, but he wasn't quite the electrifying back who ran for 688 yards and nine scores as a redshirt freshman. He'll add more flash than Chris Taylor.
- Dennis Underwood, Fr. - The top recruit came to school early and showed a little bit of his skills. He'll get some playing time with his tremendous quickness and speed.
- Kenni Burns, Soph. - With some of the best skills in the backfield, the 202-pound sophomore will see some time running after spending last year on special teams. He missed all of 2003 with an arm problem coming off a record-setting Illinois high school career rushing for 2,444 yards and 36 touchdowns in his senior year.
Demetrius McCray, Fr. - With 4.4 speed and a great nose for the goal line, the true freshman will get every chance to find a spot in the rotation when he hits campus.
There's some excellent potential here if Jahkeen Gilmore can fill Courtney Roby's role as a number one receiver. Marcus Thigpen and James Bailey have the raw speed to become dangerous, while former safety Ryan Skelton and basketball star James Hardy will be intriguing options. Now the question becomes whether or not anyone can consistently get them the ball. The tight end should be excellent with Chris Rudanovic and Nick Sexton big receivers who can block.
Player to keep an eye on: Marcus Thigpen, RFr. ... Receiver rating: 6.5

Projected Starters
- Jahkeen Gilmore, Sr. - Gilmore will take over the number one role left by Courtney Roby after finishing second on the team with 23 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns. On the downside, 80 of those yards came on one play against Illinois. While he has the speed to make the big play and the size to be a physical receiver, he needs to prove he can be consistent.
- Marcus Thigpen, RFr. - The 178-pound Thigpen will get the first look at the F Back needing to use his tremendous speed to be a big play receiver. He was the Michigan state high school 100-meter sprint champion in 2003.
- Ryan Skelton, Soph. - The former safety will move over to receiver to use his size to fill the need at the Z position. The 6-3, 210-pound sophomore has mostly been used on special reams and has 12 career tackles.
- Tight end Chris Rudanovic, Jr. - A big career reserve with nice hands, the 6-4, 265-pound junior will step in as the starter after catching 123 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He's a great route runner who's only getting better.

Top Backups - James Hardy, RFr. - Ready to provide major matchup problems, the 6-7 Hardy spent time on the basketball team getting a little bit of starting time. While his main duties might end up being playing hoops, he has the skills and athleticism to be a major target.
- James Bailey, RFr. - One of Gerry DiNardo's top recruits, the 6-2, 205-pound Bailey will eventually take over a starting role. He'll start out pushing Ryan Skelton for the starting Z job, but he could see time early in four-wide sets.
- Lance Bennett, Jr. - An afterthought as a receiver with only six career catches for four yards, the 5-6, 167-pound junior is one of the nation's best kick returners averaging 30 yards on kickoffs last year. He'll see time in the passing game at the F position behind Marcus Thigpen.
- Tight End Nick Sexton, Soph. - At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Sexton is a bit bigger than starter Chris Rudanovic after hitting the weight room hard over the last two years. He's a good receiver and should be a fantastic blocker with a little more work.

Offensive Line
Expect a major upgrade in production from a line that allowed 27 sacks and paved the way for a mere 135 rushing yards per game. Future NFL draft pick Isaac Sowells and Chris Mangiero are back after missing two-thirds of last year causing major reshuffling on the line and huge consistency problems. Four starters return with a ton of experience among them. The reserves could use some time as the redshirt freshmen hade to get used to the new coaching staff.
Player to keep an eye on: Brandon Joyce, Soph. ... Offensive line rating: 7.5

Projected Starters
- Tackle Isaac Sowells, Sr. - The 6-3, 330-pound senior has next-level skills, but he has to stay healthy after missing almost all of last year with a wrist injury. It's not coincidence that the offense started to struggle once he went down as he's an experienced and occasionally dominant all-around blocker.
- Guard Adam Hines, Sr. - The 315-pound senior can play just about anywhere starting out at left guard. He played tackle when injuries struck last year and has been a bit of an ironman at times.
- Center Chris Mangiero, Jr. - A rising star on the line, the 310-pound junior was having a good start to the season before getting knocked out for the year early suffering a broken foot against Michigan State. He's back now to take back his spot in the middle.
- Guard Brandon Joyce, Soph. - He didn't see any time last year, but he earned the starting spot at right guard coming out of spring ball. The 6-5, 310-pound sophomore has to work on his consistency and has to battle with Brandon Hatcher this fall to keep the gig.
- Tackle Justin Frye, Jr. - At 6-5 and 310 pounds, Frye is a big, experienced tackle who should grow into a good one now that he has 22 games of starting experience. He's expected to become an All-Big Ten caliber performer.

Top Backups
- G Brandon Hatcher, Sr. - Hatcher was a starter in 2003 before getting knocked out with a knee injury. He came back last year as a reserve only to take over a starting guard spot when injuries hit the line. Now he'll backup Brandon Joyce at right guard.
- T Scott Anderson,Jr. - With 23 games of backup experience, the 6-6, 305-pound junior will be a reliable backup at left tackle behind Isaac Sowells.
Basically ... The D returns nine starters with the hopes of being stronger in all phases. There's a better chance of the pass defense improving than the run defense with a good pass rush taking the heat off the speedy young corners. Being a wall against the run will be a problem needing to convert John Pannozzo from fullback to middle linebacker and Greg Brown from the offensive line to tackle. Outside of Brown, there's little Big Ten-size inside.

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[font=Arial, Helvetica]Returning Leaders
[font=Arial, Helvetica]Tackles: Kyle Killion, 107
Sacks: Kenny Kendal, 5.5
Interceptions: Tracy Porter, 3
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Star of the defense: Senior LB Kyle Killion
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior LB John Pannozzo
Unsung star on the rise: Senior DE Ben Ishola
Best pro prospect: Senior DE Victor Adeyanju
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Killion, 2) Adeyanju, 3) DE Kenny Kendal
Strength of the defense: Defensive end
Weakness of the defense: Linebacker, tackle size

Defensive Line
The line will get to the quarterback and be decent against the run for about a half. The problem is in the inside bulk as there isn't enough of it to consistently stop good Big Ten teams from running. Greg Brown was brought over from the offensive side to give the middle a 300-pound body among a bunch of beefed up linebackers. Forget about any developed depth. The ends will be the strength with Victor Adeyanju, Bin Ishola and Kenny Kendal all disruptive forces.
Player to keep an eye on: DE Ben Ishola, Sr. ... Defensive Line rating: 6

Projected Starters
- DE Victor Adeyanju, Sr. - 40 tackles, 4 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 broken up passes, 3 forced fumbles ... One of IU's most disruptive forces, the 6-4, 270-pound senior has started 33 straight games finishing fifth on the team in tackles last year. He's great at getting into the backfield and could be an All-Big Ten performer with a little more publicity.
- NG Russ Richardson, Sr. - 17 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks ... A good player for the last three seasons with 16 career starts, the undersized 260-pound senior is quick and tough on the nose. While he isn't they type to occupy two blockers as a time, he's a functional anchor.
- DT Greg Brown, RFr. - Providing some much needed beef in the middle, the 300-pound Brown will move over from the offensive side to plug up the middle. While not a tremendous athlete, he should be a good rock against the run. He's also a shot putter for the track team.
- DE Ben Ishola, Sr. - 14 tackles, 2 sacks ... The German native has been a reserve over the last two years and will now combine with Kenny Kendal for the job on the right side. He has decent size at 250 pounds and good, but raw, pass rushing skills.

Top Backups
- DE Kenny Kendal, Jr. - 28 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles ... Kendal started every game last year and has a 23-game starting streak as the team's best pass rusher. He led the team in sacks, but he has to be stronger against the run. He came out of spring ball listed behind Ben Ishola on the right side partly as a motivational ploy and partly because Ishola is a rising playmaker.
- DT Joe Kremer, Soph. - While he hardly has any experience, the 6-2, 295-pound sophomore needs to play a big role because of his size. He's fast with 4.8 speed and will be a presence behind Russ Richardson on the nose.

This isn't a Big Ten linebacking corps outside of Kyle Killion thanks to the loss of Paul Szczesny. Killion will be a great all-around player who'll earn All-Big Ten honors needing to carry this undermanned group early on. Jake Powers is experienced, but he's limited out the outside. Converted fullback John Pannozzo will put up numbers as the new man in the middle by default. Forget about any real depth to count on.
Player to keep an eye on:
John Pannozzo, Sr. ... Linebacker rating: 5.5

Projected Starters
- Jake Powers, Jr. - 22 tackles, 2 broken up passes ... A part-time starter last year, the 225-pound junior will get the starting spot on the outside and is listed as the top backup at the other outside spot. He has good range and excellent toughness with 66 career tackles, but he saw his production fall off a bit last season. He'll had to be one of the team's leading tacklers for the defense to be effective.
- John Pannozzo, Sr. -The former fullback will move over to linebacker to take over in the middle. He's a good leader with the toughness to handle himself well against the run, but there's a concern over whether or not he has the range to be steady sideline-to-sideline.
- Kyle Killion, Sr. - 107 tackles, 5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles. ... The best player on the defense, the 230-pound Killion is a one-man wrecking crew always all over the field and good in both pass coverage and as a pass rusher. He has 232 career stops and has been better at timing his sprints into the backfield.

Top Backups
- Ryan Marando, RFr. - At 240 pounds, Marando is the biggest linebacker in the rotation and has to be an immediate factor to help out former fullback John Pannozzo in the middle.
- Josh Moore, Sr. - The 225-pound senior will get a little bit of time behind Jake Powers at one of the outside spots. He'll mostly play on special teams.

Defensive Backs
Youth and inexperience was a bit of a problem last year for the nation's 102nd ranked pass defense, but getting beaten deep was the bigger issue. There's little size on the corners, but there are feisty speedsters like Tracy Porter and Leslie Majors to provide some hope for an improvement. The safeties have to make more plays and need to be more intimidating against the run. This is the one area of the defense where there's excellent depth.
Player to keep an eye on: CB Leslie Majors, Soph. ... Secondary rating: 6

Projected Starters
- CB Buster Larkins, Sr. - 45 tackles, 2 interceptions, 9 broken up passes ... A decent all-around corner, the senior has 112 career tackles and four interceptions growing into a better coverman by the end of last year. He'll get beat deep, but he'll also make his share of plays.
- FS Will Lumpkin, Sr. - 29 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery ... Lumpkin got the starting nod early on before seeing his time diminish as he continued to get over a knee injury that cost him almost all of 2003. He's a veteran who has to be more of a consistent ball hawk to keep the free safety job.
- SS Aaron Mitchell, Soph. - 25 tackles, 2 broken up passes ... The part time starter came on by the end of last year to show promise that he could be a playmaker in a full-time role with good speed and toughness. However, he's not a huge presence at 5-11 and 195 pounds.
- CB Tracy Porter, Soph. - 22 tackles, 3 interceptions, 6 broken up passes ... An exciting young player who earned Freshman All-Big Ten honors, the true sophomore has speed and good all skills. He was dominant against Central Michigan early on, but he took his lumps over the rest of the year.

Top Backups
- CB Leslie Majors, Soph. - 38 tackles, 8 broken up passes ... Fast, fast, fast. While only 5-9 and 165 pounds, Major has 4.25 speed and is a sprinter on the Hoosier track team. He's also tough for his size and a good tackler putting up impressive numbers in only five games of action as a true freshman.- SS Will Meyers, Jr. - 33 tackles, 2 broken up passes ... The academic all-star made 83 tackles as a freshman but was limited last year with a knee injury. He'll be in the rotation at strong safety with Aaron Mitchell if he doesn't win it outright this fall.- FS Troy Grosfield, Jr. - 13 tackles, 1 broken up pass ... The reserve has seen most of his time on special teams, but he has had a few big moments with seven tackles against Northwestern. He has excellent quickness behind Will Lumpkin at free safety.

Special Teams
The kicking game will be good if Austin Starr can be steady from inside 40 yards. The return game should be among the best in nation with Lance Bennett carrying the Hoosiers to the number one ranking in kickoff returns averaging 30 yards a try. Marcus Thigpen is a speedy option as a punt returner working along with Bennett. The coverage units were great last year and should be solid again.
Special Teams rating: 8
- Placekicker Austin Starr, RFrr. - Starr has to replace the very steady Bryan Robertson who hit 11 of 14 field goals. While Robertson didn't have any range, he was great from inside 35 yards. Starr has a bigger leg and should be fine if he can be consistent early.
- Punter Tyson Beattie, Jr. - Beattie had a strong season with a 41.3 yard average putting 20 inside the 20 and forcing 13 fair catches. He's a great directional kicker who got the team out of several jams.
<TABLE id=table4 width=644 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top align=left width=321>OFFENSE Returning Starters: 9
QB 14 Blake Powers, 6-4, 228, Soph.
12 Graeme McFarland, 6-1, 204, Jr.
RB 30 Chris Taylor, 6-0, 220, Sr.
33 Yamar Washington, 5-9, 205, Sr.

WR(Z) 29 Ryan Skelton, 6-3. 210, Soph.
82 James Bailey, 6-2, 205, RFr.

WR(F) 2 Marcus Thigpen, 5-9, 175, RFr.
3 Lance Bennett, 5-6, 167, Jr.
81 Rhett Kleinschmidt, 6-2. 198, Sr.

WR(X) 2 Jahkeen Gilmore, 6-0, 214, Sr.
22 James Hardy, 6-7, 205, RFr.

TE 89 Chris Rudanovic, 6-4, 265, Jr.
88 Nick Sexton, 6-5, 260, Soph.

LT 76 Isaac Sowells, 6-3, 330, Sr. <SUP>
</SUP>79 Scott Anderson, 6-6, 305, Jr.

LG 75 Adam Hines, 6-2, 315, Sr.
50 Johnathan Sandberg, 6-2, 295, Soph.

C 74 Chris Mangiero, 6-1, 310, Jr.
61 Ben Wyss, 6-1, 285, Soph.

RG 68 Brandon Joyce, 6-5, 310, Soph.
73 Brandon Hatcher, 6-2, 305, Sr.

RT 60 Justin Frye, 6-5, 310, Jr.
69 Sean Edmundson, 6-4, 274, RFr.

</TD><TD vAlign=top align=left width=321>DEFENSE Returning Starters: 9
LE 94 Victor Adeyanju, 6-4, 270, Sr. <SUP>
</SUP>98 Kyle Thomas, 6-4. 250, RFr.
NG 55 Russ Richardson, 6-0, 260, Sr.
95 Joe Kremer, 6-2, 295, Soph.

DT 62 Greg Brown, 6-2, 300, RFr.
93 Charlie Emerson, 6-5, 265, RFr.

RE 99 Ben Ishola, 6-3, 250, Sr.
92 Kenny Kendal, 6-3, 260, Jr.
52 Tyler Altman, 6-2, 250, Soph.

OLB 46 Jake Powers, 6-1, 225, Jr.
13 Josh Moore, 6-1, 225, Sr.

MLB 34 John Pannozzo, 5-11, 230, Sr.
35 Ryan Marando, 6-2, 240, RFr.

OLB 43 Kyle Killion, 6-0, 230, Sr.
46 Jake Powers, 6-1, 225, Jr.

CB 8 Buster Larkins, 5-11, 185, Sr.
16 Chris Phillips, 5-11, 170, Fr.

SS 24 Aaron Mitchell, 5-11, 195, So.
39 Will Meyers, 5-11, 205, Jr.

FS 4 Will Lumpkin, 5-10, 205, Sr.
5 Troy Grosfield, 6-0, 190, Jr.

CB 36 Tracy Porter, 5-11, 178, So.
28 Leslie Majors, 5-9, 165, So.

PK 44 Austin Starr, 6-4, 188, RFr.
96 Kevin Trulock, 6-1, 175, RFr.
P 44 Tyson Beattie, 6-2, 206, Jr.
91 Drew Robbins, 6-0, 195, Soph.
PR 2 Marcus Thigpen, 5-9, 175, RFr.
3 Lance Bennett, 5-6, 167, Jr.
KR 3 Lance Bennett, 5-6, 167, Jr.
2 Marcus Thigpen, 5-9, 175, RFr.


With a fresh set of downs…

1<SUP>st</SUP> and Ten – Killion’s Red – What a gift for a new coach and coaching staff. Terry Hoeppner, former Miami head coach, a head coach with a defensive background, will love what he sees in linebacker Kyle Killion. The senior from Kingwood, Texas is a defensive coordinator’s dream – a good leader who has a nose for the football. When a new coaching staff takes over, invariably, there are so many ‘points of emphasis’ and on defense, the best one is ‘having 11 guys to the ball’. Well, the new IU staff couldn’t have a better role model than Killion. The man can find the football and then make a runner pay for carrying it. The Hoosier leader had over 100 tackles last season, his second straight season with 97 or more tackles, and he also racked up 16.5 tackles for a loss. In most cases, TFLs may not tell the entire story, but for a linebacker, it shows that he has great instincts and reading ability to be able to snuff out a play before it can develop. Killion will team with junior Jake Powers and former fullback John Pannozzo to be one of the more physical linebacking units in the Big Ten. The defensive line returns guys with experience, so they should be able to clog the gaps and allow Killion and company to run to the football, unabated. Either way, teams will focus on getting a hat on Killion and impeding his progress as much as possible, but that’s a lot easier said than done against this Hoosier.

<TABLE cellSpacing=7 width=301 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%"><TABLE id=table1 cellSpacing=7 width=301 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR><TD align=middle width="100%"><!-- ---------- 300x250 Code -------------- --><!-- ---------- Copyright 2000,---------- --></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​
2<SUP>nd</SUP> and Seven – Big Ben, where are you? – Excuse Hoeppner if he’s left feeling a bit perplexed about his quarterback position. Along with current Miami coach Shane Montgomery, Hoeppner had the pleasure of tutoring Ben Roethlisberger, molding one of the best young quarterbacks in recent memory. However, there are no Roethlisberger’s on the Bloomington campus, so a lot of work is going to have to be done to find a quality starting quarterback. Blake Powers and Graeme McFarland have a modicum of on field experience, but this is going to be a wide open race as Hoeppner tries to find someone who can effectively and efficiently run his balanced offense.

3<SUP>rd</SUP> and Three – Speed Counts, but You better still cover someone – One of the most vivid memories of the Hoosier secondary last season was the stop and go route that Braylon Edwards of Michigan used to torch the Hoosier foursome. That touchdown was one of 25 that the speedy Hoosier secondary gave up last season. Although Herana Daze-Jones departs after a phenomenal season at safety, the Hoosiers return all other parties who saw major time on the field. The experience of facing the Big Ten’s best in 2004 should benefit these youngsters in 2005.

4<SUP>th</SUP> and One – Changing Ways – Although changing coaches can infuse a team with confidence and give them a new, fresh start, it’s that much more difficult to change attitudes. Sure, you have to have players to win games, but even more importantly, you’ve got to be able to change your team’s mindset. Bill Snyder did that in the early nineties at Kansas State, and created a big time Big XII program. Frank Beamer did the same at Virginia Tech. Hoeppner has to do that at IU. But, what you saw in Hoeppner’s teams at Miami was that they were competitive, disciplined and aggressive. Those are traits that any team can have. You don’t have to be a five star recruit to play hard and play smart. It’s just a matter of whether you can do it all the time, against everyone. When you start to see the results of your hard work, you might start to believe in your coach and staff. To change, you have to believe. Hoeppner does, but do the Hoosiers? We’ll see very early.[/font]

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Redshirt quarterback leaves Hoosiers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Vlahogeorge has left the Indiana football program and will not resume his playing career, IU coach Terry Hoeppner said.

Vlahogeorge never played for the Hoosiers after finishing his high school career at Lafayette Jeff with 10,757 yards in passing yardage to rank fourth in state history. He completed 187-of-377 passes for 3,347 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior after being recruited to IU by Gerry DiNardo, who was fired after this past season.

Vlahogeorge's decision came after Hoeppner gave sophomore Blake Powers much of the work as the No. 1 quarterback during spring practice.
"Mike is an intelligent, young man who has decided to pursue other options," Hoeppner said. "We wish him the best in his future endeavors."

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[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]11. Indiana 3-8 (1-7) (predicted finish)[/font] Two Cent Overview
All of the playmakers on the offense are gone. A few players return on defense. However, Terry Hoeppner has won at lesser schools. There is no Antwaan Randle El here though, so it's going to take a while.

Sept. 2 at Central Michigan (W)
Sept. 10 Nicholls State (W)
Sept. 17 Kentucky (L)
Oct. 1 at Wisconsin (L)
Oct. 8 Illinois (L)
Oct. 15 at Iowa (L)
Oct. 22 Ohio State (L)
Oct. 29 at Michigan State (L)
Nov. 5 Minnesota (W)
Nov. 12 at Michigan (L)
Nov. 19 Purdue (L)

Something To Look For
Competitiveness. It's not like the Hoosiers were just shelled week after week last year. They were "only" beaten by more than two touchdowns four times last year.

Returning Starters
Five on offense, ten on defense and the punter.

Best Player
Linebacker Kyle Killion. Second on the team in tackles last year with 107. He was also second team All Big Ten. Terry Hoeppner is very high on Killion and expecting big things and big time numbers from him.

Most Important Game
Kentucky. If they get by Central Michigan, the Hoosiers could be 2-0 heading into their home game with Kentucky. If they can beat Kentucky, then they are half way to being bowl eligible. The problem is that I don't see three other wins on their schedule.

Best Game to Pack Up The Family Truckster And Travel To
None, really. If you want to experience a road game from the comfort of home, just go to the Ohio State game.

Best Reason They Won't Be Undefeated
Because they play eleven other teams.

Player People Are Expecting Too Much From
If you're expecting too much from a Hoosier, that's your own fault.

Player People Will Be Pleasantly Surprised By
Cornerback Tracy Porter. Had three picks as a freshman last year in half a season until he got injured. Look for continued improvement and plenty of opportunities to make plays, and I mean plenty.

Game On The Schedule That Glen Mason Is Jealous That He Didn't Schedule
Sept. 10: Nicholls State

Something They Do Well
Defend the pass. They didn't do it so well last year, but I think--individually--they have guys that can cover. They have a talented young secondary that will get better each week. An improved pass rush and some timely blitzes will make the secondary look even better.

What's improved?
Attitude. Head coach Terry Hoeppner has his players believing in what he's teaching. Players are having fun again and are willing to do whatever he asks of them to help out. "We want to make sure that when people leave Memorial Stadium that they see that we're having fun and flying around and making things happen." That's gotta count for something, right?

Player Most Likely To Own A Restaurant
John Pannozzo. They would specialize in Indiana-style pizza. Which means the dough is hung on the side of a barn and children throw basketballs at it until supper is ready.
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Let me think here....

OSU has played it close almost every game with Tressel, but Indiana sucks at football just about as bad as any Div 1 school, we win by 3 Td's

Perfect140 said:
OSU has played it close almost every game with Tressel, but Indiana sucks at football just about as bad as any Div 1 school, we win by 3 Td's
correction: at least 3 Td's
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yeah i know with tressel we win by like 5 points whether its San Diego State or University of Miami. But the important thing is that we do win. But this year with Ginn and Holmes, theres no way we dont put up alotta points. i mean you can try to play conservative with a 5 yard hitch to Ginn, but he might accidently taking it 75 yards to the house. :biggrin:
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After playing two tough teams in a row, this is a great place on the schedule for this cupcake game. Figure out the offense again, and just go away from the shoe and beat the piss out of a weak Indiana team...

Winning solves EVERYTHING.
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After playing two tough teams in a row, this is a great place on the schedule for this cupcake game. Figure out the offense again, and just go away from the shoe and beat the piss out of a weak Indiana team...

Winning solves EVERYTHING.

indiana has been playing well as of late. i dont know if i would call this a cupcake game, but rather a very winnable game. now, when we play illinois on the other hand, that might be a cupcake game.....
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I think people are giving indiana a little too much credit. They are greatly improved and may not yield 600 yds of offense like we had in 2003 (with a horrible offense), but I don't see this being much of a challenge.
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I think people are giving indiana a little too much credit. They are greatly improved and may not yield 600 yds of offense like we had in 2003 (with a horrible offense), but I don't see this being much of a challenge.

Let's hope so! Me and some buddies are taking the drive over to Bloomington for my first Bucks game since '98. I'm hopin' for a good old fashion, passionate ass whuppin'! :drunks:
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My goal for this game is to see AJ,Carp and Schlegel sitting on the bench laughing the whole 4th Qtr. After two tough games the Def starters need a laugher.

I hope the senior's get in the younger players heads and keep them focus. Yes, this is a game that we should win without a doubt. Let's not play down to the opponent's level. We need to keep hammering Indy!
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Indiana season stats through this past weekend:

Rushing Offense: 46rd (157.33 ypg)
Passing Offense: 31st (253.33 ypg)
Total Offense: 38th (410.67 ypg)
Scoring Offense: 45th (29.00 ppg)

Rushing Defense: 87th (171.33 ypg)
Pass Efficiency Defense: 69th (125.85 ypg)
Total Defense: 57th (367.33 ypg)
Scoring Defense: 53rd (25.00 ppg)

Season record: 4-2
Central Mich. (W) 20-13
Nicholls St. (I-AA) (W) 35-31
Kentucky (W) 38-14
@Wisconsin (L) 41-24
Illinois (W) 36-13
@Iowa (L) 38-21

Nichols State is a mediocre I-AA team, and played Indiana tough. Indiana has two big blowouts, against Kentucky (fluke) and Illinois (not saying much). The toughest team they've played have been Wisconsin and Iowa. Wisconsin blew them out (Hoosiers scored a TD with 1:22 left in the game to make the score somewhat respectable). The Iowa team that we held to 6 points and well under 200 yards put up 38 points and 425 yards on them.

We should win this by 21+ points. I doubt Indiana breaks the 200 yard mark on us. They could only manage 86 yards on 44 carries (2.0 ypc) rushing against Iowa's poor DL yesterday, so I can see us holding them to negative rush yardage like we did in 2003.
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