QB unsettled — for now

Kellen Lewis will throw it at you.

Here’s the fifth in our eight-part series previewing the IU football team. Intern Jared Poertner wrote this.

This is the fifth in a series of position-by-position previews. Coming Tuesday: receivers.

PROJECTED STARTERS: Kellen Lewis, 6-1, 185, Jr.


KEY RESERVE: Ben Chappell, 6-3, 232, So.

2007 REVIEW: Lewis was a star for the Hoosiers, earning second team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore while leading IU to its first bowl since 1993. He set the single-season passing record with 28 touchdown passes, threw for more than 3,000 yards and led the Hoosiers in rushing with 736 yards. He also finished second in the conference with a 134.2 passer rating.

2008 OUTLOOK: As of now, there is a bit of a quarterback controversy over who will be given the starting nod. But don’t be surprised to see both quarterbacks on the field — Chappell has looked good throughout camp. With the loss of James Hardy, touchdown passes will likely decrease, but whoever the quarterback is, they must protect the ball. An improved running game should lessen the stress on either Lewis or Chappell, but big plays will still be needed from the quarterback position for the Hoosiers to succeeed.

STAT THAT MATTERS: Lewis threw 28 touchdowns last season with just 10 interceptions — a plus-18 turnover differential.

DID YOU KNOW: Lewis shares the school record with most career touchdown passes with Antwaan Randle El (42). Also, Lewis is the only quarterback in IU history to throw for at least three touchdowns in a game nine times.

QUOTABLE: “They both bring so much to the table. They’re both very, very talented quarterbacks. They both have their own unique abilities, but they’re both very, very good.” Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada on Lewis and Chappell.


Q: What’s your major and how did you pick it?

A: “Telecommunications. First I started off with Physical Therapy, then I went to Business. . I got to Telecommunications, and someone said, ‘You might be good on TV, you’re kind of funny, and you have a low threshold of embarrassment’. So right now I’m looking at not only broadcasting or anchoring, but also knowing the ins and outs of camera work, media, how they try to sell something, how they try to sponsor something and things like that.”

Q: What’s been your best class at IU so far?

A: “Stress Prevention and Management. I forget his last name, but I had it with Rob, he’s the head of the aquatics field now. He made it exciting to come to class every day because he always had a joke or would be giving out candy. We’d end up reading the book, and he would give a great example that involves your real life.”

Q: What’s your favorite place to eat in Bloomington?

A: “I’m going to have to go with Janko’s, even though it’s tough to get in there sometimes, you got to set a reservation. I’ll eat any of the steaks they serve.”

Q: What’s your game-day ritual? Any superstitions?

A: “I always sleep on the same side of my body in bed. On game day, on the bus ride to the stadium, every year I pick out a CD or song that no matter what I do before the game, on the bus I make sure I listen to (it) all the way there.”

Q: What’s one thing you want to do better this year?

A: “The mental aspect of the game, and not taking anyone for granted. . So staying focus and playing against every team like they’re Ohio State.”