INDIANA 41, AKRON 24

Bill Lynch held a happy but reserved press conference deep within Memorial Stadium about a half hour ago. He’s pleased with this team and, of course, happy to have Kellen Lewis as his quarterback.

It’s hard to even imagine how this game would have unfolded with anyone else playing quarterback.

“Kellen was obviously the difference maker,” Lynch said.

Lynch is still concerned with his team’s periods of ineptitude. Football is, as one player put it, a game of waves. But Indiana’s waves seem to come crashing down with particular fury. Instead of just having spurts of mediocrity, the Hoosiers regress and really hurt themselves. That’s probably just the hallmark of a team trying to grow.

One of the glaring mistakes today was Ray Fisher’s 17-yard loss on that screen play. Bill Lynch was asked after the game what he hoped Fisher had learned from that play. Yes, we ask questions that are that dumb.

“Direction, I hope,” was Lynch’s answer.

Also after the game, James Hardy referred to him and Kellen Lewis as being “almost like a couple.”

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Back with more in a few . . .

——–

INDIANA 41, AKRON 24 (2:43, fourth quarter)

A poor punt, a decent return and a foolish Akron penalty gives Indian the ball just 30 yards from a touchdown.

  • Lewis rolls right. He waits and waits, continue to roll. Then he fires to James Hardy near the goal line, and Lewis gets into the end zone.

—–

Akron starts at its 20, hoping to get a quick score and get back into the game. It fails.

  • Indiana’s defensive line shuts it down. First Greg Middleton gets a sack to force the Zips back, then the line converges on Jackson as he tries to take it up the middle on 3rd and 21.

——

INDIANA 34, AKRON 24 (6:25, fourth quarter)
Indiana takes over, needing to eat some clock if not score again. Kellen Lewis helps them do both, going 74 yards in 7 plays and 3:11.

  • Hardy draws a pass interference there, but give credit to Kellen Lewis for that throw. It was so perfectly placed that Hardy could keep running full speed and force the defender into an obvious hold.
  • On a crucial 3rd and 7 from the Akron 42, Hardy again draws the pass interference. When a 5-10 corner is trying to handle a 6-7 receiver, contact is easy to spot.
  • Thigpen with some great moves at the line to get around end. He moves pretty well in space. Next play, he tries to get up the middle and just doesn’t have it. His awareness of where he is and who might tackle him goes way down.
  • Kellen Lewis on a play action draw to the right scampers 17 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the day. He’s been unstoppable.

———

INDIANA 27, AKRON 24

Akron begins at its 20 and marches 80 yards in seven plays and 2:38.

  • Jackson’s a good one. He stood in under pressure, made a break but pulled up and hit Arthur to convert on a long 3rd down.
  • After a good play call caught Indiana snoozing — failing to cover the running back streaking up the sideline — Jackson audibles at the line into an option, then keeps himself and cuts back for the first down.
  • Let the praise of Jackson continue: He just lofted a pass right over Nick Polk’s head into the waiting arms of Arthur.

——–

Indiana starts at its 20 but the drive stalls.

  • On 3rd and 8, Lewis drops as if to pass, sees nothing and darts ahead for 21 yards. He’s up to 171 yards rushing. This is the first time since 2000 when that Randle El guy was playing that an IU QB has gained more than 150 on the ground. But the best thing about Lewis’ run? He went out of bounds instead of taking a hit.
  • Sears just leveled a linebacker on a block. Didn’t have too much impact on the play — Lewis still threw short of the first down marker — but it was good to see.
  • Fans are not pleased at that touchback call. They thought Porter got to it and saved it.

———

Akron starts at the 27 but can’t overcome a Brian Faires sack and has to punt.

  • Strange play to start the drive, as Indiana’s called for a personal foul. Didn’t look like anything insidious.
  • Akron taking a cue from Indiana and letting Jackson keep the ball. He just took a draw, bounced right and gained six and a new set of downs.
  • Brian Faires gets around end for the sack, setting Akron back eight yards.
  • Jackson calmly sits in and finds Stephon Fuqua settling in just a few yards shy of the first down marker.
  • Akron will go for it. Looks like an audible at the line. Delay of game.

———–

INDIANA 27, AKRON 17

Indiana starts at its 19 and, largely on the strength of Kellen Lewis’ legs, gets down the field in 14 plays and 5:21. Lewis scores on a 3-yard jaunt.

  • Lynch is keeping the ball in Lewis’ hands. He runs twice to pick up the first and eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark.
  • Thigpen gets a carry on 1st and 10 from the 29 and promptly loses four yards.
  • Lewis, under pressure, can’t escape for yards.
  • We’re sitting here saying, “Where’s James Hardy?” And there he is. Runs the post, makes the grab, takes a big hit and gains 26 yards. That’s his third catch of the game.
  • Reggie Corner is a great Corner. He just obliterated that screen to Fisher, reading it so early that he was crossing the line of scrimmage as Lewis was letting go of the ball.
  • But Lewis is there to save the Hoosiers, breaking up the middle again on broken passing play and picking up the first down.
  • On 3rd and 2 from the Akron 3, Kellen Lewis looks to pass and instead, wisely, keeps it and dives in for the touchdown.

——

A squib kick backfires and gives Akron the ball at its 45. But the Zips can’t convert on a third down and have to punt.

  • Jackson bounced that pass to his receiver on third down. Nice break for the Hoosiers.

——-

INDIANA 20, AKRON 17

Indiana receives the ball to open the half, chews up the field with a few runs but fails to punch it in despite having 1st and goal from the 2. The Hoosiers settle for a field goal.

  • Thigpen jukes and jives his way to two strong gains to open the half and Indiana appears to have some confidence coming out of the locker room.
  • Lewis again stands in, sees nothing, and makes it happen with his legs. He gains ten yards, giving Indiana 3rd and 1 from the five. What’s the call here?
  • The answer: a well-executed run left with Josiah Sears. 1st and goal from the 2.
  • First play: Sears up gut, no gain.
  • Second play: Sears up gut, no gain.
  • Third play: Fade to Hardy, who doesn’t stay in bounds.
  • Fourth play: Austin Starr kicks a 19-yard field goal.

——–

HALF

We just had about 18 marching bands on the field here. It was slightly less chaotic than when Akron’s crazy defense is on the field.

It’s Kellen Lewis vs. Carlton Jackson so far here.

Lewis has gained 87 yards on the ground and has passed for 82 and two touchdowns.

Jackson has run for 30 yards — actually 45, since his sack came on an ill-fated hail mary pass attempt — and a touchdown, and he’s thrown for 102 yards and a score.

——

Akron gets the ball hoping for a last-minute drive but can’t get beyond midfield.

  • Porter again hurting himself, this time with a holding penalty.

——-

INDIANA 17, AKRON 17 (1:20 second quarter)

Indiana begins at its 23-yard line and goes 77 yards in 7 plays and 2:25.

  • Indiana gets a break with that pass interference call. Didn’t look like it would be called until the crowd complained a little bit. Then Lewis scrambled up middle to put Indiana in field goal range.
  • On 3rd and 5, Ray Fisher takes a screen, jukes a defender so badly that the dude ended up in Bedford, and gets in for the score to tie the game.

——–

AKRON 17, INDIANA 10

Akron starts at the 22 and 78 yards7 plays and 2:21 later is in control of this game thanks to Carlton Jackson.

  • McClurg looked quick getting into the backfield. That felt like a big play for this defense.
  • Then, Carlton Jackson busted up the field on third down and picked up the first down, deflating the crowd.
  • Jackson has changed this game. He’s an athletic, young quarterback from from Florida who plays with confidence. Indiana fans should know the type, and, after he just calmly led another touchdown drive, be very worried.

——–

The Hoosiers get decent field position after Akron kicks the ball out of bounds. But the Hoosiers can’t push the ball downfield and have to punt.

  • Indiana with a very interesting play to open the drive. Lewis faked the hand off as his back dove up the gut. Lewis begin running left, as if he would take it himself. On the run, he fired to Andrew Means on the screen. The play was good for 16-yard gain.
  • The Hoosiers aren’t getting open. Lewis tried a long bomb to Hardy, who was double covered. There was a hold on that play, which so often is the case when a QB has so much time. Then Lewis looked down field and had no receivers open and had to scramble for no gain. Indiana threw a screen to Fisher and he had nowhere to go. Finally, Lewis and Hardy got mixed up on 3rd and 19, and the football sailed hopelessly and landed on the turf.

——-

INDIANA 10, AKRON 10 (7:18 second quarter)

Akron starts at its 20 and trots second-string QB Carlton Jackson onto the field. He takes the Zips down the field and ducks into the end zone for a touchdown.

  • Jackson has good control of the offense. The lefty is reading Indiana’s coverages well and moving around back there. He’s able to throw on the run with good touch.
  • Akron’s not afraid to run him, either. On 3rd and 1 they called his number and had him run a tight bootleg left and he picked up the first down easily.
  • Costly personal foul by Tracy Porter. He’s getting beaten by Arthur pretty frequently and is not taking it well. Someone’s gotta calm him down.
  • Akron spreads it out on 3rd and 1, then let’s Jackson sneak it. He stretches and barely gets the ball across the line.

——–

A squib kick puts Indiana in good position, but WR Andrew Means has a pass bounce off his hands and it is picked off in the end zone.

  • McCray finds a gap on the left side and curls upfield for a big gain. Then he finds a hole develop on the right side and picks up 12 yards. Here’s what I think might be happening: Thigpen is so fast that he hits the line before holes sometimes develop. It’s not like Indiana is pushing people around right off the snap. The holes come a little big later, and McCray, because he is a bit shiftier and seems to take a second in the backfield, finds them.

——–

INDIANA 10, AKRON 3 (12:55 second quarter)

Akron starts off at its own 17 and drives 80 yards in 5:19 before settling for a 20-yard field goal.

  • Porter’s called for pass interference. Looks like his legs simply got tangled with Jabari Arthur’s. Of course it’s just a 15-yard penalty in college, and had Arthur caught that ball it would have been at least a 50-yard gain.
  • Arthur beginning to make an impact, catching a pass on a wheel rout to help Akron convert a 3rd and 10.
  • Akron is finding holes in Indiana’s defense now, using a screen play to get another first down.
  • Indiana now has forgotten how to tackle. Arthur just broke about four tackles for a 13-yard gain on what had been a broken play. He was eventually tackled by a defensive lineman, which can’t happen with a wide receiver on the sideline.
  • On first and goal, Akron calls a QB sneak and Jacquemain gains 7. Good call. But after that Indiana stays tough and stops two runs off tackle right. Will Patterson with a tackle for loss on third down.

——-

A blubbed punt puts Indiana at Akrons 32 to start the drive, but the Hoosiers go backwards and have to punt.

  • Indiana needs to get another touchdown and then start grinding this game away. Akron is so over-matched on offense. It’s hard to see the Zips finding a way to score.
  • So, on the first play of the drive, the Hoosiers passed backwards. You might think I’m being sarcastic. I’m not. They literally lost 17 yards on some sort of screen to Ray Fisher.
  • On 3rd and 25, Indiana throws a bubble screen to Fisher and gains nine yards.
  • And on 4th and 16, the Hoosiers pretend like they will go for it, sending the offense onto the field. Somebody, thankfully, calls a time out and the punt teams comes onto the field.

——-

Akron begins the drive at its 20 and again can not gain 10 yards for a first down.

  • Tracy Porter can really read plays. Everyone knows he’s an athletic player but he’s smart enough to play at the next level, too. He had that quick screen figured out way early.
  • John Stec gets off a monsterous 12-yard punt. He punted 14 times last week. Maybe his leg is still tired.

———

INDIANA 10, AKRON 0 (7:06 first quarter)

Indiana begins the drive on its 31 and goes 69 yards in five plays, capping it with a touchdown pass to Josiah Sears on fourth and goal.

  • Eh, 3-3-5 defense. Try a QB with a 4.4 40-yard dash. Lewis turned it into a track meet. And won. He raced 64 yards on the first play of the drive, getting inside the five yard line.
  • Quick out to Thigpen gets nowhere. Then Sears finds no room. Then Sears finds no room again.
  • Fourth and 1, the fans want to go for it. So does Lynch. It’s a pass this time, off of play action, to Sears who’s standing open in the end zone.

——–

Akron begins the drive at its 33 and goes three and out.

  • Austin Thomas is back in at safety. He must actually be healthy enough to play.
  • Indiana defense is swarming. This might be the first time anyone has written that phrase this decade. But it’s true.

———-

INDIANA 3, AKRON 0 (10:28 first quarter)

Indiana begins the drive at Akron’s 35 and goes 23 yards before kicking a 30-yard field goal.

  • Akron hadn’t given up any first-quarter points this year.
  • The opening play is a quick bubble screen left to James Bailey for a yard.
  • Next, Indiana tries to go right and Thigpen is dropped for a loss of one yard.
  • Lewis creates so much with his feet. On third down he had no one open immediately so he rambled right a little bit. That drew two defenders his way and opened the flat for James Hardy to run into.
  • On 2nd and 8 from the 10 yard line, Indiana chose to run Thigpen left. Again, he found no room. On 3rd and 1, the Hoosiers went with McCray into the line. He lost three yards, prompting Austin Starr to kick a

———–

Akron opens the drive at Indiana’s 20, but turns the ball over on a fumble.

  • Will Patterson recovered the fumble. He continues to be around the ball.

———–

If there are more people out there tailgating right now than inside watching, it might be with good cause. Even if you get to live a long life you won’t see many days like this. It’s amazing.

But, hey, we’re here for the football. And it’s up and kicking.

5 comments

  1. If Lynch wants to know why his team was inept, maybe he should look in the mirror. All day long, Hardy was lined up 1 on 1, with no safety to come over and help, every time, the ball was handed off to Thigpen, the most worthless running back I have ever had the displeasure to lay my eyes on in a IU uniform.

    Running back 101, follow your lead blockers up the field, if the hole closes, take your 1 to 3 yards, don’t try and bounce outside, or reverse the ball and lose yardage.

    Coaching 101 – If your running back won’t run in the gaps, HE NO LONGER GETS THE DANG BALL!!! You have two other backs willing to go up the middle in Peyton and Sears. Also, recognize what they are giving you, when Hardy is 1 on 1, you audible out of the run play and put the ball in the hands of the best WR in the Big Ten!

    Kellen had a great game, but he has to work on his field vision, each of his runs (that were not designed plays), he had Hardy or Bailey wide open as the corners broke off to contain. YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THAT KELLEN!!!

    All in all I am still impressed with this team. This is 2 weeks in a row they have faced adversity, this time they had to rally from behind to get the win. They are showing more drive, more passion, and belief in themselves. In years past, they would have folded, this year they buckle down and get the job done.

  2. Akron holds #12 Ohio State to 196 yards rushing, 167 yards passing, and 20 points. IU rushes for 340+ yards, passes for 137 yards passing, and hangs 41 on the Zips. Thigpen rushes for 80+, McCray for 70+. If that is inept, I’ll take it….

  3. Huh? – Don’t let the stats fool you. I would say over half of the yards Lewis had came on 2 runs, 2/3 of the yards Thigpen had on one run. McCray hit the holes and got his yardage the old fashion way. If Thigpen would stay with his blockers, and run where the play was designed, he would have had 125+ for the day. The players were not inept, the play calling was the major issue.

    You can read my post about IU football on other blog articles here. I am one of the biggest supporters verbally of the program on here. Even when bad I still try to see the good. The good was hard to see today, kinda like the 2nd half against Western Michigan.

    The two IU field goals should have been TD’s. The intercepted pass in the endzone hit our reciever in the hands and bounced up, the corner was beat like a rented mule on that play.

    Mental mistakes and a soft zone coverage on a few key 3rd downs by the defense gave them two scores. This should have been a 56-3 or worse ball game.

  4. mike —

    i saw it all — i was at the game as well. and i would rather see peyton at RB with thigpen used more for the bubble screen….

    that said, i’m just more frustrated by korman’s consistent negativity around the team rather than it’s successes. for the first time in what, 13years, IU is 3-0 to start the season. we’re averaging well over 250 yards per game on the ground after 3 games compared to 30 last year. the team is quicker at every position than it was last year. the defense is playing pretty good considering key losses from last year and sophomores seeing significant time on the field. and thigpen, bailey, and porter are such threats in the return game we’re getting excellent field position after almost every kickoff or punt.

    i’m not asking for the ht to become jock sniffers — just wishing korman would represent a more accurate picture of the state of iu football rather than a bitter pot-shot sportswriter.

  5. I thought your comments were addressing what I posted. This team is better in all area’s than last year, and have some depth to. There are just stupid mistakes being made the I feel is elementary mistakes, mostly by the coaching staff, some by players. I am hoping they will figure these issues out, like don’t give a guy a 8 yard hitch on 3rd and 6 if you play corner, plays like that.

Comments are closed.