Westbrook steps up for career day in Ball State win

It’s a familiar mantra on sidelines across the nation.

Next man up.

On Saturday, that man was Nick Westbrook.

When top receiver Simmie Cobbs left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter, Westbrook stepped in and authored a banner performance. The sophomore caught three passes and scored twice, connecting with quarterback Richard Lagow for 133 yards.

“It was unfortunate having him go down and me having the success I did on him going down, but coach always says next guy up,” Westbrook said. “He always emphasizes that. Next guy up. Someone’s always got to be there ready whenever somebody goes down or someone’s hurt. I just took the most out of my opportunity.”

Each of Westbrook’s touchdown receptions were highlighted by their beauty.

Midway through the first quarter, Lagow lifted a deep ball to the sophomore, who made a diving catch to snare it in the end zone for a 43-yard score that put IU ahead 10-0.

A minute into the third quarter, Lagow hit Westbrook on a screen and he sprung free thanks to a gorgeous block by tight end Danny Friend. It allowed Westbrook to race 79 yards to the end zone and build IU’s lead to 27-0.

“I told him he looked really slow,” joked Mitchell Paige, Westbrook’s roommate and fellow receiver.

For Westbrook it was his first career 100-yard game. The 79-yard touchdown reception was also a career high.

“It’s good to see him grow up a little bit,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said. “He’s just maturing. He was more physical today. Last week he had better maybe numbers as far as catches but he wasn’t as physical. Today he physically played a lot more competitive and played harder, and that was good to see.”

One comment

  1. It is good to see Westbrook step up this year as it seems Cobbs will miss the season. I still wonder where Jones is in the passing game; coaches need to find a way to get him included. I also would like to see our TEs involved in the passing game more.

    IU looks to have the makings of a very good team, coaches just need to focus on what they do best and who should be on the field. I worry once again about 3rd down conversions which indicates to me an issue with play calling since it happens every year. It is really nice to have a defense that can challenge offenses to help the team out. It was so discouraging last year to know the offense would put up points but know the defense would fail in most cases. This year I can believe the defense will hold giving the offense good field position.

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