Saturday scrimmage notes

Here are some stats and notes from today’s open scrimmage at Memorial Stadium:

Passing: Ben Chappell 13-21-126, 1TD, 1 int., Kellen Lewis 6-16-29

Rushing: Marcus Thigpen 6-67, Darius Willis 5-14, Bryan Payton 5-13, Lewis 10-8, Demetrius McCray 3-5

Receiving: Collin Taylor 6-74, Ray Fisher 6-54, Willis 3-35, Matt Ernest 4-12

Defense: Greg Middleton three sacks, four tackles for losses

Highlights: Thigpen found a hole on the left side and ran for 57 yards to the three on the second play of the scrimmage, but the defense dominated after that play. The only touchdown of the day came in the second half when the offense was given the ball on the defense’s 20 in a red zone drill. The touchdown play came on a pass from Chappell to Fisher.

Player notes: Starting left guard Pete Saxon (ankle) and left tackle Rodger Saffold (back) both skipped the scrimmage because of injuries. With the only two returning starters on IU’s line out, the defense mounted a strong pass rush during most of the scrimmage….Andrew Means skipped the scrimmage because of a foot injury……Reserve linebacker Ian Reeves and safety Jerimy Finch had the biggest hits of the afternoon. Lynch said there’s no word yet on whether the NCAA will allow Finch to play this season, but he hopes to hear something soon…..Receiver Tandon Doss also sat out the scrimmage because of an academic issue. Lynch said he expects that issue to be resolved soon….IU estimated attendance of about 1,500 at the scrimmage.


  1. I was at the scrimmage today, at least the first half, and it appears that there might be a good chance that chappell might be the opening day starter. What did the rest of you guys think about the qb play today?

  2. Lewis was very sloppy. He showed once again that he has no patience or trust in the line, constantly moving out and putting his line in bad spots on having to slide in their blocks. He is still to set on throwing the ball, instead of tucking it and taking what was given to him. He could have made some huge plays with his athletic ability if he would just tuck the ball away, hit the hole, and turn up field.

    I’ll chock his play up to still being rusty from his off season issues that kept him out.

    Chappell looked decent, I won’t say he looked good, but he looked decent and poised. Like I have always said about him, he is the definition of a pocket QB, standing in, reading the field, and delivering a throw at the last possible second. I have 3 different pictures I took of his throwing hand hitting a lineman’s helmet as he delivered the ball. With the pressure on him, and some very tight coverage by the secondary, I seen him deliver a few throws that were extremely tight and had zero room for error, but he put them where they needed to be for completions.

    I also see no mention of two passes that were perfect to the receivers with the coverage that was on them, both of them would have been touchdowns, except the secondary leveling them before they could get their feet down and jarring the ball loose.

    I think the offense will be alright, a lot is going to hinge on the line doing their job better, and the backs hitting the holes and giving us some solid yardage.

    The defense appears stout, something I am not use to saying. The d-line was getting a good push, and Middleton is just a flat out beast. The secondary was good today, tight coverage, not giving up anything easy, even on the underneath stuff that has dogged this team the last few years.

    The first few games will be the stepping stones this offense needs, playing against outside competition, a chance to see what they can do against new coverage.

  3. I appreciate your take from above. I was not able to attend. I blame the coaching staff for Lewis not tucking and running. If you remember last year there was talk that he ran too early and I remember constantly reading that the coaches were bent on him staying in the pocket and thwowing it. He is just doing what they rode him on for his first 2 years. Thanks again!

  4. J Pat – I seem to remember that too. I don’t mind him wanting to let the receivers get open, but if he is going to exit the pocket in the first second of the play, then he has to tuck and run when it is there.

    His throwing motion wasn’t very smooth yesterday. One thing I did like from both Chappell and Lewis, when they would come of their series, they would go straight to each other, and discuss things that they seen. It didn’t look like to QB’s battling for a starting job, but two who were concerned about making each other, and the team better.

  5. So does it look like Lewis will be starting this season or not? Give me your best educated (or otherwise) guess. Only reason I ask is because my college fantasy draft is tonight and he may be available when I pick in the first round. Any insight would be appreciated.

  6. I don’t see Lewis being the starter for the opener on 8-30.

    I wouldn’t count him out for the entire season though, he is to good of an athlete not to get playing time.

  7. I tend to agree with Mike P. on Lewis. I think that Chappell will end up starting the first game and that Lewis will be worked in eventually. That’s just the feeling I get right now.

  8. Take Lewis in the draft. While I agree with Mike and Chris, he is just not totally comfortable yet and the coaching staff is being extra hard on him as they should be…I guess. He will start after the first game if his confidence is not shot! Hope the coaching staff is keeping tabs on that and watching what they say in the media.

  9. The offense should be ok, especially when Saffold and Saxon get back. I’m glad to hear the defense is looking good.

  10. I took him in the first round. Oh well. Hopefully he doesn’t go from first team Big 10 to first team clipboard holder just because I drafted him. I’ve had that effect on QB’s before. Remember Blake Powers? He was my second rounder two years ago.

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