“When the Zips travel to Bloomington, Ind., Saturday to play the Indiana Hoosiers, it will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the football field. While Akron (1-1) is coming off a 20-2 defeat to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Indiana (2-0) comes into the contest undefeated after beating Mid-American Conference West Division member Western Michigan, 37-27.””
When the Zips travel to Bloomington, Ind., Saturday to play the Indiana Hoosiers, it will mark the first meeting between the two schools on the football field.
While Akron (1-1) is coming off a 20-2 defeat to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Indiana (2-0) comes into the contest undefeated after beating Mid-American Conference West Division member Western Michigan, 37-27. The IU defense forced five turnovers and compiled eight sacks at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Indiana opened the season with a 55-7 home win Sept. 1.
The Hoosiers have dedicated their 2007 season to former head coach Terry Hoeppner, who succumbed to brain cancer on June 17 at the age of 59. Hoeppner was named IU’s 26th head coach in December 2004, after spending the previous 19 seasons at Miami University – the last six as head coach. Hoeppner took a leave-of-absence from the team March 18.
Shortly after his arrival at IU, Hoeppner began to revitalize the Hoosiers’ football program and its fan base.
Akron head coach J.D. Brookhart, who coached against Hoeppner in the final game of the 2004 season, said that he has great respect for what Hoeppner was able to accomplish during his short time in Bloomington.
I have always had just great respect for Coach Hoeppner and what he accomplished there, Brookhart said during his weekly news conference Monday. He carried on a tradition (and) elevated it. He was in the process of really changing Indiana football.
I know Coach Lynch will carry that on, but I think the foundation of it is going to go to Coach Heoppner and how he got them going.
Indiana at a glance
Bill Lynch was chosen as Hoeppner’s successor on June 15. Over the previous two seasons at Indiana, Lynch served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. Lynch has 14 years of coaching experience.
The Hoosiers have an explosive offensive attack led by redshirt sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound signal caller is effective, moving the ball both with his arm and his legs. Lewis was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2006, after throwing for 2,221 yards and 19 touchdowns. He was also named a Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and Rivals.com.
Redshirt junior Marcus Thigpen makes plays on special teams and while lining up in the backfield. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back led the nation in 2006 with a 30.1-yard average on 24 kick returns. He returned three kicks for touchdowns. Thigpen was named a first team All-American by Rivals.com, Scout.com and SI.com.
At 6-foot-7, 220-pounds, redshirt junior wide receiver James Hardy will look to stretch the field against Akron’s undersized secondary. Hardy was named second team All-Big Ten for the second straight year in 2006, after catching 51 passes for 722 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Offensively, they’re scary, Brookhart said. I think they are back and much improved. They have one great receiver, a quarterback that can throw and he can tuck it and run. They will spread us out so we have to be on our game defensively.
Indiana is 30-4-1 all-time against MAC opponents in football. Lynch points to the backgrounds of several Indiana coaches, which include stops in the MAC – either as coaches or players – as a reason for that success. All of IU’s defensive coaches played in the MAC.
I think all of us, for one, have great respect for the MAC and know how many good players are there, Lynch said Tuesday. And two, we know how good the coaching is there.
There is certainly no one on our staff that takes anybody for granted, and they know the kind of football that can be played there.
Lynch also said that the Zips played competitively against Ohio State and expects them to do the same against the Hoosiers Saturday.
They didn’t back off against Ohio State, he said. They went after them and did a great job. They are not afraid to give you their best shot, and they certainly did against Ohio State.
Kickoff is at noon on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
“” #1.1361850:114698423.jpg:Image: Zips face tough odds:Defensive back Andre Jones will help lead the Zips vs. Indiana:Paul Ferrer / The Buchtelite”