State routed by Hoosiers 55-7

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- James Hardy said many times he wanted to honor late Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner with his play this season.

Saturday night against Indiana State, he got off to a good start.

The junior receiver caught three passes, but two were for long touchdowns as the Hoosiers routed the Division I-AA Sycamores 55-7 before an opening night crowd of 34,715 at Memorial Stadium.

Hardy caught three passes for 153 yards before calling it a night with 4:44 to play in the third quarter. His touchdown catches were for 58 and 79 yards, the two longest throws of quarterback Kellen Lewis' career.

"They're just two really talented guys and a lot of times early in a game like that, players with that kind of talent can take over a game," Hoosiers coach Bill Lynch said. "I felt like they set the tone."

Both touchdowns came on the first play of their respective drives. The 58-yarder took just six seconds off the clock. The second, with Lewis scrambling, lasted 14 seconds.

Hardy has 22 touchdowns in 21 career games.

After his first touchdown catch, Hardy dropped to his knees and held the ball in the air, a tribute to Hoeppner. The officials flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"By the rule, that was a penalty, but I don't think anyone on our sideline didn't know what he was trying to do," Lynch said. "And we're certainly not going to get mad at him about that."

As good as Hardy was, Lewis might have been better. The sophomore quarterback completed 12-of-21 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 59 yards and another score. It marked the third time in 10 career starts that he has accounted for at least four touchdowns in a game.

IU limited Indiana State to 176 yards, just 38 on the ground.

IU jumped to a 14-0 lead after its first two possessions as Lewis hit Marcus Thigpen on a 22-yard screen pass for a touchdown, and then Hardy on the 58-yarder.

Indiana State scored on its next possession on a 1-yard run by Alex Thomas.

From that point on, it was all Indiana, which scored the final 41 points.

Indiana's second-team offense and defense played the entire fourth quarter.

IU's running game found its rhythm in the second half. Held to 44 yards in the first half, the Hoosiers ran for 173 yards in the second.

Lewis led the attack with 59 yards, but Bryan Payton added 56 yards and a score, and Trea Burgess had 50 yards and a touchdown.

IU finished with 516 total yards, and the 55 points was its most since scoring 56 against Northwestern in 2001.

Indiana State quarterback Reilly Murphy completed 20-of-36 passes for 138 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked five times.

Tony West led the Sycamores with 38 rushing yards.
 

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Sycamore624

The Wade Level
With all the emotion regarding this game this was a tough road test for the Trees. For the record oh I think flaging Hardy for his TD reaction is insane. The refs should have understood it wasn't some kind of taunting.
 

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
Administrator
Yeah, some common sense would go a long way in terms of interpreting and calling rules. I'm sure they could have even cleared it with Coach West prior to the game and he would have had no problems in Hardy or whomever doing the tribute.

As for the game itself, it was a paycheck game, plain and simple.
 
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