Minnesota at Indiana, quick analysis

Another injury update: Marcus Thigpen is out with a left ankle injury. That’s three players that have been hurt during this game. And since Demetrius McCray was already out with an injury, Indiana’s top three backs are all out.

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Indiana has 52 seconds and two timeouts left. How risky will it get.

  • Not risky at all. Lewis kneels twice.

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Minnesota hasn’t had much offensive success in the past 10 minutes. The Gophers need some here.

  • And they get it with a screen play to Eric Decker. He avoids a few tackles a picks up a third-down conversion.
  • But Indiana forces another third down, this one a 3rd and 1. Weber in the shotgun, rolls right but doesn’t throw. He leaps forward and gets the first down.
  • Weber runs the wrong direction and is sacked for a 17-yard loss.
  • But Minnesota executes well on a wide screen and picks up 19 yards.
  • Middleton’s last sack puts him fourth on Indiana’s all-time most sacks in a season list. And the season might not even be half over.

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INDIANA 27, MINNESOTA 14

  • Drive details: 3 plays, 15 yards, 1:15

Tracy Porter’s 71-yard punt return has Indiana starting at the Gophers’ 15.

  • Draw up middle to Thigpen gains maybe a yard.
  • Payton back in at RB. But Lewis fakes to him the rolls right and is stopped at the 1.
  • Payton floats left on the run and tugs a few defenders into the end zone with him. That’s the advantage he gives Indiana.
  • Looks like center Ben Wyss is down on the field here. He’s getting a lot of attention. Appears as though he got thrown backward making his block. He’s up after a fewminutes on the ground and is shakily walking back to the sideline.

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  • Injury notes: Josiah Sears is out with a head injury, and Replogle is out with a knee injury.
  • A block in the back pins Minnesota at its 10.
  • But Weber runs the play action well and boots left before completing a pass. Weber may be the most athletic QB Indiana has seen this year.
  • Indiana missing tackles again. That screen should have been squelched early.
  • Ryan Marando gets around on Weber’s blind side and gets the sack.

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INDIANA 20, MINNESOTA 14

  • Drive details: 48 yards, 14 plays, 6:13

Indiana gets another shot.

  • In a side note, Tyler Replogle looks to be headed toward the locker room with a knee injury.
  • Nifty little drive going here. Means has been really strong from the outside, and Ray Fisher is dangerous in the slot. Also, Matt Canada’s making an effort to get Thigpen in space.
  • Nick Sexton with a catch there. He looked surprised when the ball came to him, but made the catch and picked up a few extra yards. As this football team continues to develop, I think we’ll see more of that — popping the TE out as an extra, final option for Lewis.
  • Crafty reverse that worked because Lewis got out and threw a block.
  • Means can’t handle that Lewis pass. That’s very rare for him.
  • Indiana faces third and six, and Minnesota comes with a little bit of a delayed blitz and gets to Lewis for its first sack.
  • Here’s Starr again. The kick seemed to be flubbed but it got through.

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Minnesota takes over.

  • Amir Pinnix drops that pitch. He’s had trouble holding onto the ball all year. Otherwise, he’s a solid back.
  • Middleton gets in on Weber and forces him outside the pocket. He throws it away. We’ll have the first punt of the day.

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INDIANA 17, MINNESOTA 14 (13:38)

Indiana takes over at its 20 and finishes a drive with something other than a touchdown for the first time in the game.

  • Payton up middle again for a big gain. You voters know your stuff.
  • Lewis looks long again on the sideline streak for Hardy, but misses him.
  • On third down, Lewis has plenty of time to stand in and wait for Hardy to make his cut.
  • Fisher thought that ball would be tipped, and dropped it.
  • Here’s Austin Starr from 47. I called him one of the better kickers in the conference in today’s paper. Let’s see how he does.
  • Starr pushes it through.

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MINNESOTA 14, INDIANA 14

Drive details: 60 yards, 10 plays

Minnesota gets good field position after a return and

  • Indiana’s linebackers are all over the place. Great reads by Patterson and McClurg on first and second. They’re getting to the ball.
  • Christopher Phillips springs loose on that blitz but can’t finish, and Weber calmly rolls left and finds Ernie Wheelwright.
  • So I talked about how good the linebackers were early in this drive. Patterson got juked out of his jersey on that screen pass. He needs to wrap up. And what’s the deal with the face mask penalty? That’s two on this drive.
  • Minnesota faces a 3rd and goal from the 1, and goes classic goal line formation. Bennett tries to go over, but he’s stuffed.
  • The Gophers go for it on fourth, and the same play works this time. What’s the highest score two teams have ever combined for in Memorial Stadium?

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INDIANA 14, MINNESOTA 7 (5:46, first quarter)

  • Drive details: 82 yards, 7 plays, 2:37

Indiana takes over at the 18 after an actual Marcus Thigpen return.

  • What escapability by Lewis on second down.
  • Great read by Lewis to find Means, who’s becoming a great No. 2 wide out.
  • No gain for Thigpen, but I like the play call. He got the ball with speed and what looked like the chance to run in space.
  • Again to Means.
  • Big Play Ray almost gets beheaded, but gains 14. Nice job sitting in that zone and making that catch.
  • The People’s Choice — Bryan Payton — finds a gaping hole and gets into the end zone. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten, but Payton was the winner of our poll this week asking who should be the starting running back.

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INDIANA 7, MINNESOTA 7

Minnesota takes over at its 20. And, like Indiana, drives easily and gets into the end zone.

  • First run is around end right, and Minnesota gains 13 after a few missed tackles.
  • Another run on second, this one stuff at origin. Adam McClurg getting into the game early. That’s important, because the middle linebacker tends to be a streaky player.
  • Indiana forces a 3rd and long, but gives Weber plenty of time to sit back in the pocket and find Herndon sitting underneath in a zone.
  • Minnesota showing it can get the ball downfield quickly, too, with that long pass and tough catch by Eric Decker.
  • Weber with a great fake and then gets around the corner with not much trouble. Hello, shootout.

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INDIANA 7, MINNESOTA 0

  • Drive details: 80 yards, 8 plays

Indiana begins at the 20. And ends with a TD pass to James Hardy. That’s his seventh straight game with one of those, and that’s a school record.

  • The Hoosiers come out with a steady game plan. Bubble screen on first down, then a couple of runs.
  • Then on first down, Lewis steps back and has plenty of time and fires a 51-yard bomb to Hardy, who had no trouble getting open and making the catch.
  • Hoosiers in the red zone. Let the fun begin.
  • Lewis boots right, keeps and gets to the one.
  • Sears is hit in the back field. Somebody miss a block?
  • Lewis with a quick drop, throws to the corner of the end zone. James Hardy is waiting there for the score.

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So here we are.

Looks to be an average crowd so far. Maybe it will fill in. Unseasonably hot here.

2 comments

  1. Entertaining game to say the least. Both IU and Minnesota have come to pay, and it seems as if we’re in for a great Big Ten football game this afternoon.

    Both offenses are in sync. Hardy has already caught one score, and with the running game working, his opportunities should continue to open up.

    Props to Bryan Payton for an impressive first quarter. His 47-yard touchdown run with 5:41 remaining in the first was the longest score in six years.

    Should be an interesting second quarter with both offenses firing away. We’ll keep you posted.

  2. Thanks Zak for the great blogging. I was one of those fans who had to leave early because I was so hot and almost dehydrated. It was pretty awful – but I’m so glad we won!

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