Generic Recap You Can Get Anywhere: Indiana survived a final second Hail Mary pass to defeat the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 19-13 in Bloomington Thursday night. Quarterback Ben Chappell, the unquestioned point man for IU after Kellen Lewis's dismissal, went 27-36 for 326 yards with a TD and two picks. After Indiana went ahead 19-7 on a beautiful play action bomb to WR Demario Belcher, the Colonels began chipping away at the lead with two second half field goals and numerous defensive stops. After fumbling inside the Hoosiers 5 yard line early in the 4th quarter, Eastern Kentucky never threatened until a last gasp throw fell incomplete with 00 left on the clock.
Proof I Watched the Game: The amorphous blob Pistol Read Option is my nickname for that roving, meandering offense that EKU ran. I'm going to have to ask Smart Football for a name, but the Colonels ran a Pistol formation with a moving read option. I'll spell it out using bulletpoints:
-Quarterback lines up 3 yards behind center with a running back on one side.
-QB receives snap and starts shuffling sideways or toward the line of scrimmage. The running back tags along to block or receive a delayed handoff.
-Out of nowhere, QB snaps off a quick slant or deep bomb. Or runs right up the gut, Tebow style.
It was shockingly effective. The two-headed quarterback tandem put up almost 400 yards of total offense and effectively completed downfield throws into traffic. If not for the red zone failures, Eastern Kentucky would have won this game.
StarSearch: 6' 5'' Damarlo Belcher and 6' 3'' Tandon Doss looked like world beaters against the smaller Colonel secondary. The two combined for 14 catches, 222 yards receiving, one touchdown, and some of the best wide receiver blocking I've seen in awhile. On the quick outs to Doss, Belcher did all he could to push cornerbacks out of the play, holding a little bit (but never getting called on it) and shoving the CB's around. A Hat Tip to Belcher for his tremendous blocking, something that won't show up on highlight shows but will get you love on TRE.
Play of the Game: EKU quarterback Cody Watts leaned his body toward the goal line, stretching toward the end zone, when BAM! Indiana cornerback Ray Fisher came out of nowhere and smacked the ball loose. Jammie Kirlew recovered the fumble and the Hoosier fans (who almost filled that sharp looking newly modified stadium) breathed a sigh of relief.
Signs of Good Things in Bloomington! Chappell's 80% completion percentage is fantastic...the WR's looked aggressive and smart...the Hoosier offensive line got some nice pancake blocks, especially one by freshman OL Marc Damisch, who pushed a Colonel defensive end down and then just laid on him EXACTLY THE WAY THEY TEACH YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL ATTA BOY MARC...no sacks allowed...the defense got angry in the red zone, never allowing EKU to finish drives with touchdowns...
Signs of Bad Things in Bloomington? Chappell threw two unconscionable interceptions, so bad I might refer to them as Favre-like...there were no real holes to run through, leading to the inevitable cliche that it's hard to run between the tackles from the Pistol...a Big Ten team should probably smack an EKU-ish opponent, not survive them...