Indiana’s comeback to Big Ten play was far less than stellar Saturday afternoon. They allowed the Fighting Illini to take an early lead with a field goal kicked by Derek Dimke. Towards the end of the first, quarterback Ben Chappell threw a 22-yard pass to Ted Bolser for a touchdown but Illinois quickly fought back scoring a touchdown of their own to retake the lead.
In the second quarter of the game, Illinois quarterback, Nathan Scheelhaase once again threw for a touchdown. Indiana’s Chappell tried to answer with a touchdown pass of his own but was intercepted by Illinois’ Patrick Nixon-Youman and returned for a 68-yard touchdown. With a little over two minutes to go in the half, kicker, Mitch Ewald, came on to insure three more points for the Hoosiers by kicking a 19-yard field goal. With four second left in the half, Illinois’ Derek Dimke kicked his second field goal of the game.
Indiana was down by 17 points going into the second half; this clearly was not a good day for their defense. The Hoosiers were known to have one of the weakest secondary lines in all of division one college football this season. And it only got worse…
The Hoosiers took the field in the second half with the mindset that they were going to turn this game around and knock the fight out of the Fighting Illini. No such luck.
The third quarter was the only quarter of the game in which the Hoosiers scored more than the Fighting Illini. Illinois scored a safety and Indiana scored a 21-yard field goal. That field goal was the last time the Hoosiers would score.
Going into the fourth quarter, it was 29-13 Illinois. With a little less than four minutes of regulation play, Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure, rushed for seven yards for a touchdown. The extra point kicked by Dimke was good. Up by 23 points, the Fighting Illini added another big blow to Indiana’s defense by intercepting a pass and returning for 75 yards for a touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game. The final score was 43-13 Illinois.
The Hoosiers will return to Bloomington, suffering their biggest loss of the 2010 season. Coach Bill Lynch will have to wait at least another week for his 100th career win. Lynch’s team will go into next week’s game against Northwestern with a record of 4-3. The rest of the season will be a challenge for Indiana and although there looks to be no bowl game in their future, hopefully they can start winning some of their Big Ten games.
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Written by Katherine Sarasohn