Illinois at Indiana, quick analysis (2nd half)

FINAL: ILLINOIS 27, INDIANA 14

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Indiana gets it at the 20, with 3:00 and two timeouts to work with.

  • Lewis is working the sideline well. Indiana had a first down in just two passes and took only five seconds off the clock.
  • But after that, Lewis throws two straight incompletions. That brings up a 3rd and 10 from the 31.
  • Lewis is flushed by pressure, then can’t get his pass off with a defender in his face. Now 4th and 10.
  • There it is. Lewis up the middle for 18.
  • Lewis throws deep down field and leaves Andre Means hanging for a ball. He’s taken out and walks off the field to be looked at by the trainers.
  • The march continues with a pass to Sears in the flat for 13 yards. Indiana’s got it at the Illini 38 with 2:10 left.
  • The call here? A rush up the middle to Thigpen. Element of surprise, it lacked.
  • Lewis squeezes a pass to Bailey for a first down.
  • Then he goes across the field to Hardy, who makes the grab and dances around trying to dodge a defender instead of getting out of bounds. Which he then fails to do. End result? He gained 3 yards and Lynch had to call his second time out.
  • Lewis keeps it himself. He escapes up the middle and gains 17. Indiana now at the five yard line.
  • Spike on first down.
  • On second down, Lewis throws to Davis instead of Hardy. The interception in the end zone ends Indiana’s hopes.

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Illinois takes over at its own 47.

  • Indiana let the clock run after a first down run, but used its first time out after a second-down run left Illinois with 3rd and 4.
  • The Hoosiers get a stop on third, and on fourth the Illini kick away from Tracy Porter.

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Indiana takes over with time to make something happen.

  • A pass to Walker-Roby gains 22 on first down. W-R has been in the game most of the second half.
  • 3rd and 17 from the Illini 47 after Lewis is forced out of bounds, and Lewis throws for Hardy over the middle. Hardy doesn’t continue running the route Lewis though he would, and the pass misses badly.
  • Lewis misses Bailey by only a few feet running straight down the middle of the field. Turnover on downs.

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Here’s where Ron Zook supposedly doesn’t have it. He needs his team to run some time off the clock, take back the momentum, do all those things a winning football team must do at this juncture.

  • Illinois is ready for an onside kick with eight minutes left, but Starr kicks it away.
  • Mendenhall breaks out for 39 yards, going over 200 yards on the day.
  • Indiana gets a break as Pollard is stopped and then fumbles it away and the Hoosiers recover. Pollard is down on the turf, though, and the trainers came running out onto the field.
  • He’s up after about two minutes. Looks like a leg injury.

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ILLINOIS 27, INDIANA 14 (7:58, fourth quarter)

  • 22 yards, 5 plays, 1:32

There’s life in the Hoosiers. A brilliant little catch and run by James Baily has put the Hoosiers two touchdowns away from a win.

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A steady procession of crmison has started bleeding out the exits of the stadium, despite a strong defensive stand by the Hoosiers.

  • Indiana stuffs the run and will get the ball back with good field position after a 28-yard punt return by Tracy Porter.

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Indiana needs to score here.

  • The offensive line is no longer giving Lewis any time. They’re being overwhelmed on each and every play, often by simple four-man rushes.
  • Indiana goes three-and-out.

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ILLINOIS 27, INDIANA 7 (12:45, fourth quarter)

  • Drive details: 27 yards, five plays, 1:25

Illinois takes over on the 27.

  • The Illini power it in, with Mendenhall finishing a tough run for a score.

——

The Hoosiers are once again pinned deep by a good kick. They need 93 yards for a touchdown. They don’t make it.

  • Josiah Sears, who had a catch early but hasn’t been used much since, bulls his way to a first down on the final play of the third quarter.
  • A quarter remaining, and Indiana only really needs two touchdowns. And a few stops. Game’s hardly out of reach.
  • OK. Now, it’s no longer slipping away. This game is being ripped away. Hardy takes a dump pass and, because of a pick by the official, gets away from J Leman. But Hardy fumbles it away on routine tackle.

——

After the penalty, Illinois starts at the Indiana 43.

  • Williams misses Joe Morgan, a 6-2 receiver running completely open, on second down. He would have scored easily. Indiana has to take advantage of that mistake and make it hurt.

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Indiana starts at the 20.

  • A give to Thigpen to open it.
  • Lewis with another poor decision. After escaping the Illinois rush he appeared to have a path to the first down marker. Instead he attempted to loft a pass to James Hardy that was almost intercepted.
  • On the punt, Hudson calls for a fair catch, but fumbles. Of course, he is ruled to have been interfered with.

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Illinois starts at its own 32.

  • A steady diet of time-chewing runs continues.
  • Porter another big play, stopping that option. Then Majors makes a good tackle to stop Illinois a yard shy of the first down mark.

——-

A glorious spiraling punt that bounced just right pins the Hoosiers at the 7. Do the Hoosiers try to take a shot down field here? Something needs to shake loose.

  • Payton up the middle, gains 20. Looking strong.
  • Except when he’s lined up as the lone back in a four receiver set. Payton took that hand off and was doomed. Now, 3rd and 10.
  • Lewis rolls out right, throws for Means but too high.

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Illinois begins at the 15 after another great play by Porter forces a 4-yard loss on the punt return.

  • Better believe Illinois will try to run and run down the clock.
  • The Hoosiers hold, allowing only three yards on two runs.
  • Then, Mendenhall busts straight ahead for 20, largely untouched until safety Nick Polk tackles him. Wonder if he is even sweating right now.
  • Another 3rd and long. The Illini need 8. Williams drops to throw, is forced out, has a man open in the middle and misses him.

——-

Porter’s pick gives Indiana the ball at its own 33.

  • Will Davis just turnstyled Rodger Saffold into oblivion on that third-down sack. Went right by him.

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Illinois begins on Indiana’s 25.

  • A holding call puts Illinois in a 3rd and 7 from the 22 situation. Williams steps up and forces a pass right into the hands of Tracy Porter, who makes his second interception of the day.

———-

Indiana receives and starts at its 26, starts a modest drive and stalls. Its punt is blocked.

  • Thigpen doing what he must do, running away from people and going around the corner to gain nine.
  • A rare Kellen Lewis mental mistake there, essentially spiking the ball instead of launching it out of bounds in the general direction of a receiver. The intentional grounding puts Indiana in a 2nd and 16.
  • Indiana facing a 3rd and 19, Lewis misses high for hardy, who was and has been covered well by Vontae Davis.
  • And, Davis gets to the punt.

2 comments

  1. Horrible defensive game…let them run all over us….play calling was bad too…why did we pass 52 times and only run 35? Just seems like they didn’t plan very well for Illinois…gonna be a long big ten season if they play like they did today!

  2. Mike P,

    What do you think of the football team now? I told you they would be the same old IU when they started playing real teams. Akron is not a realy team…

    We go through this every single year. Once we get to the Big 10, we are terrible.

    DO NOT bring Bill Lynch back and lets bring a guy like Frank Solich in here. Maybe he can recruit some players who are 3+ stars…..

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