FINAL: Indiana 31, WKU 13

Kellen Lewis breaks on through.

Here’s why Kellen Lewis’ re-ascendancy to the starting QB spot was inevitable: he twice broke long runs for touchdowns Saturday to lead Indiana to a 31-13 win against Western Kentucky in its season-opener at Memorial Stadium.

Lewis bolted 75 yards down the middle of the field to open the scoring at 7:06 of the first quarter. Then, after the Hoosiers sagged under the heat and the pace of a game played between two no-huddle teams, Lewis ran 62 yards into the end zone early in the fourth quarter to ensure the win. Indiana had come out with five wide receivers spread across the field. Lewis never even looked at them.

We’ll have more coverage after we conduct post-game interviews.


  1. Curious as to others take on today. I just got home and I am thinking that Lewis throwing arm is really rusty. His legs surely worked well anyway. I did hate the way Lynch was switching to a new QB in the red zone and the rush to do it. Makes zippo sense. Play one kid or the other for crying out loud. If I remember right, that is what lost us the game a couple years ago when Hep was out vs Uconn, the constant switching. Nothing was accomplished by that today at all. I was really impressed with Marando at DE. IU should find a way to get him on the field, I am thinking he played for Middleton. Our LB play is great. Why was Finch not out there more???? He was clearly upset early in the 4th when he sat down, his body language and all. Oh, and Hagerup is not the punter, period!!! Loved the receivers today and RB was great. I wonder if Thig should be 2nd string at this point. He is fast but does not hit the hole. Not to end on a negative but I cannot for the life of me figure out why IU does not run an option more. If it will work with Randle El and Levron, why not run it with Lewis and Thig. I know it is a spread but come on. They could run some I and/or split back and run a true option. Hell, it might make more sense because we would not see Thig up the gut for no gain out of a one back set. Hope to read everyone elses take on today. It was sure great to be out there and the stadium is great with the banners and all…but it should be for 200,000 right??? Endzone is awesome!!!

  2. Only one complaint, and it’s not even about our football team (when’s the last time anyone could say that?) Might the BTN consider hiring actual professionals to produce their telecasts? Thank heavens I listen to Fish on the radio with the TV sound turned down – otherwise I would have missed every play after a dead-ball timeout (and sometimes two plays). I’m thankful Comcast and the BTN finally agreed on how to share the riches, but ….

  3. I agree with most of your comments JPat, but I am surprised that you don’t know the answer to the option. If we ran the option play 3 or 4 times a game, we wouldn’t be able to run the flanker screen as much…..and it always works so well.

    Honestly, when he called that at the end of the first half inside our ten, I almost came unhinged.

    The defense played well most of the time I thought, KL scrambled well, and was that Kleinsmith (sp?) that hit that last punt!?

    Please write a new page to the offense.

  4. Funny KevinK. I kind of rammbled up top but I was still in the game mode. Boy was it HOT today!!! Glad to also see Roby made the colts!

  5. J Pat – I agree with a lot of what you had to say. I understood the 3rd and short with Chappell at QB, he is a good 30 pounds heavier than Kellen and less chance he will get knocked back. If the line didn’t false start, that would have been a new set of downs. The other times I don’t really understand the thinking.

    You could tell Finch was itching to play, but our safety play today (Thomas & Polk) was very good. I couldn’t for the life of me see any reason to set down Thomas in favor of Finch, not yet anyway.

    Your point on Thigpen I have been screaming about for 2 years. His speed is unbelievable, but he hesitates to turn up field, and that turns what should be a medium to long gain into a short or no gain.

  6. From what I saw today, this team can compete with any team in the Big Ten except Ohio State. I will be very disappointed if this team doesn’t win at least 7 to 8 games this year. Let’s go IU!

  7. I didn’t see the game but listened on the radio. While Thigpen is amzaingly fast I have thought that Payton and McCray are much better Big Ten backs. I gues the upside to Thigpen is his speed, that no one can catch him. Well, they ARE catching him within the box and he seems to have difficulty running there. That is not the case with Payton and McCray. IU cannot remain successful unless it establishes a decent running game… not just the QB runs. I’d think the option is the way to go with quick backs and an elusive QB. Still a win is a win.

  8. I was particularly unnerved with the third down conversions WKU was able to string together in the second half. Also, the offense is definitely a work in progress, especially the o-line. Kellen can mask a lot of mistakes and sloppy tackling with those two runs. Being an old middle linebacker myself, I always want to see smash-mouth tackling, which was there in spurts, and which I hope will continue to improve. Oh, and the new end zone makes me get all mushy!!!! GO IU!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Mark,

    I don’t thing I could agree with you more. Lewis is a fast elusive runner, we don’t need a speed back.

    Though I hate to see anyone get hurt, we need a back that will lower his shoulder and leave the defender on the turf seeing stars like Payton did yesterday.

    Thigpen and his speed need to be on the field, lined up in the slot, or as a split back for the screen pass, but not as the featured back for this team.

  10. This team did not look good. If we have to rely on 60+ yard Kellen Lewis runs to move the ball, we’re in a heap of trouble.

    The passing game looks horrible. It’s drop back, look, then scramble. Kellen does not look confident throwing. There was no deep passes. We were 5.1 yds/att, that’s not good. WKU and their athlete at QB threw the ball better than our All-Big Ten QB.

    If WKU doesn’t give up those runs (75 and 62 yards), we lose that game. WKU left some points off the board with that fumble inside the 5. This didn’t feel like a 18 point win, considering it was against a Sun Belt/Independent/FCS team and we caught breaks.

    Why do we never blitz?

    Thank god we’ve got 2 weeks to prepare for Ball State. I was not impressed with what I saw yesterday.

  11. SPEAKING OF ANNOUNCERS, did anyone else think “ARE YOU KIDDING ME” when they mentioned Kellen Lewis in the NFL? It wasn’t so much that I don’t think he will ever be a pro but because they said he would be a WR or a RB!!!!! A RB……IN THE NFL…..REALLY!?!?!? WOW.

  12. Why was Finch not playing more? There was all this excitement when he decided to come play for us, and now he’s here and he’s riding the pine. Lynch needs to get him out there some how. What better way to ease him back in, and get him back to game speed than letting him play against one of the many lesser opponents we face this year?

  13. Give him a little time Steve O. You can’t just push Austin aside, he plays really well, and Finch is still getting used to the scheme and coming off a major injury. Finch will get in plenty, especially on nickle plays (when use use it). We have an easy one next week too, so no reason not to give him another week of practice before truly integrating him.

  14. Can we hope BTC doesn’t give IU the worst color guy [tony Mcgee] in the stable ever again. I’m watching dvr delayed and he is brutal!

  15. Is there any credence to having Kellen come to the sideline and go over the new few plays in the red-zone? With the no huddle, and hurry up clock, it might make sense to bring Kellen to the coaches and go over the next 3 or so plays. It would buy a little time and make sure that you can utilize the most out of the situation. I think it worked twice.

    Just my two cents.

  16. With regard to the safeties–I thought the starting safeties played well enough, and Finch looked good as the contain man covering kickoffs(watch him next week), but there was a series or two when Polk was not in the game and #33 (Kleinsmith maybe??) took his place. Anybody know the story on that? Maybe this is just a case of Finch having to work his way up the ladder, but I feel pretty sure we are all anxious to see if this kid is as good as all the hype…

    Any significant injuries to report on? How was Fisher after the game?

  17. KevinK,

    Polk and Kleinsmith are both free safeties. Thomas and Finch are strong safeties. While both positions are safeties, the job to be done at each position changes. If you practice at strong safety, you learn the scheme at strong safety, the transition to the free safety slot is going to change your responsibilities.

    With the limited amount of time that Finch has in the defense, it could be very likely that he doesn’t know the responsibilities for the defensive set called for both positions yet.

    I noticed Polk and Kleinsmith switch out, seemed to be based on offensive yards to go, and what the coordinator was expecting the offense to do on that play. Certain players defend differnt things better than others. Just a guess though.

  18. Mike P,
    Thanks. That makes sense I suppose. I just hope that Finch is healthy, and stays that way. I’m ready to see him hit.

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