Wednesday morning football

Safety Nick Polk practiced today for the first time in fall camp and made an immediate impact.

Polk, coming off a hamstring injury, had three big plays – a huge hit on Ray Fisher, a tackle in the backfield on a Kellen Lewis screen pass to Marcus Thigpen and a near-interception on a Lewis pass to Andrew Means in the end zone. On the near interception, Polk leaped and picked off the pass, but came down just out of bounds.

Overall, it was a good practice for the defense, which isn’t expected by most to be as good as IU’s offense, but is holding its own in camp so far.

On the first play of the 11-on-11 drill near the end of practice, Tracy Porter stepped in front of James Bailey to pick off Lewis, who continues to throw more interceptions in practice than he did last year. Porter is having a terrific camp. I don’t remember the last time Indiana had a cornerback who was as much of a threat to create turnovers.

On the next pass play, Marcus Thigpen dropped a short Lewis pass. Freshman Matt Ernest was the first receiver on the No. 1 offense to catch a pass. Shortly after, Porter knocked down another pass intended for Bailey and Polk made his play in the backfield, catching Thigpen for a loss.

The biggest play offensively came from the No. 2 offense on a Ben Chappell pass when Chris Banks beat Jarrell Drane and Christopher Phillips deep for a touchdown. That play was particularly interesting to me because I had been told about five seconds earlier that Phillips, a junior, has made it known that he now wants to be called Christopher, instead of Chris, and I knew immediately that I’d have a chance to use that information.

Other practice notes: Nick Sexton was not at practice after saying Tuesday that he had hoped to be back today after missing earlier practices because of migraine headaches. IU staff didn’t have a timetable for Sexton’s return. The official word from IU medical staff is that they expect defensive tackle Greg Brown to be out for two weeks with his shoulder injury. Freshman Mitchell Evans practiced at safety after working at quarterback in earlier practices.

3 comments

  1. Sounds ike Polk is filling his role well.

    “Lewis, who continues to throw more interceptions in practice than he did last year”

    This is not good, Lewis has to have confidence in his arm, and his ability to complete the pass and not get picked off. If he loses that, he will try and run to much, which is not good. Lewis will beat you a couple times with his legs before someone steps up and shuts him down, and then will shut down the offense.

    “The biggest play offensively came from the No. 2 offense on a Ben Chappell pass”

    I am biased being a Bloomington South Alumni, but this is of no surprise to me. Ben has an extremly strong and acurate arm. I know Kellen is the man, and believe he gives us the best chance to win, but I really want to see Chappell take the snaps with the 1st offense, and see just what he can do with the top line, and top recievers on the team. Oh, and Ben can run to, he led Bloomington South in rushing his senior year, playing QB.

  2. Mike, maybe Ben was a good HS running QB, but he ran about a 5.2 40 at Pro Day this spring. That simply doesn’t indicate that he is up to being a running QB in the B10.

  3. Bob,

    True, but 40 times don’t amount to a hill of beans in real play. How often do you get to run 40 yards in a straight line in football? Not often. If you remember right, he burnt the defense for about an 8 yard TD untouched in spring practice.

    I was not trying to compare him to Lewis, but Ben can move, buy time, and deliver the throw he wants.

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