2008 Indiana Hoosiers Season

Indiana RB Marcus Thigpen

2008 Indiana Hoosiers Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews


 

2008 Indiana Hoosiers

Nov. 22
Purdue 62 … Indiana 10
Curtis Painter was unstoppable in head coach Joe Tiller's final game at Purdue. Painter threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns, and Kory Sheets ran for three scores, as the Boilermakers cranked out 596 yards of total offense and made it a laugher from the start. Purdue scored 24 points in the first quarter and held a 41-3 halftime lead. A 17-yard Sheets run made it 55-3 after three quarters. IU only managed 214 yards of total offense and didn't get into the end zone until the fourth on a 16-yard Ray Fisher catch.
Player of the game: Purdue QB Curtis Painter completed 38-of-54 passes for 448 yards and five touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 13-25, 92 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 10-53. Receiving: Tandon Doss, 2-28
Purdue - Passing: Curtis Painter, 36-54, 448 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: Kory Sheets, 15-61, 3 TD. Receiving: Keith Smith, 12-136, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Thud. So much for capitalizing on the win over Northwestern at the end of October. The Hoosiers ended the year with an ugly four game losing streak in an awful season that showed that 2007 might have simply been a fluke. Kellen Lewis was never right, but he went the whole way against Purdue. If he's going to be the franchise next year, and if he's still allowed to be the starter, he needs to show it right away. It'll be interesting to see if he can go back to being a sparkplug and a playmaker once he has an off-season to heal up.

- 2008 Indiana Preview
- 2007 Indiana Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2008 Results: 3
-9

Aug. 30 Western Kent. W 31-13
Sept. 6 Murray State W 45-3
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 Ball State L 42-20
Sept. 27 Michigan State L 42-29
Oct. 4 at Minnesota L 16-7
Oct. 11 Iowa L 45-9
Oct. 18 at Illinois L 55-13
Oct. 25 Northwestern W 21-19
Nov. 1 Central Michigan L 37-34
Nov. 8 Wisconsin L 55-20
Nov. 15 at Penn State L 34-7
Nov. 22 at Purdue L 62-10

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2007 Results: 7-6

Sept. 1 Indiana State W 55-7
Sept. 8 at West Mich W 37-27
Sept. 15 Akron W 41-24
Sept. 22 Illinois L 27-14
Sept. 29 at Iowa W 38-20
Oct. 6 Minnesota W 40-20
Oct. 13
at Michigan St L 52-27
Oct. 20 Penn State L 36-31
Oct. 27 at Wisconsin
 L 33-3
Nov. 3 Ball State W 38-20
Nov. 10 at Nwestern L 31-28
Nov. 17 Purdue W 27-24
Insight Bowl
Dec. 31 Oklahoma State L 49-33

Nov. 22
Purdue 62 … Indiana 10
Curtis Painter was unstoppable in head coach Joe Tiller's final game at Purdue. Painter threw for 448 yards and five touchdowns, and Kory Sheets ran for three scores, as the Boilermakers cranked out 596 yards of total offense and made it a laugher from the start. Purdue scored 24 points in the first quarter and held a 41-3 halftime lead. A 17-yard Sheets run made it 55-3 after three quarters. IU only managed 214 yards of total offense and didn't get into the end zone until the fourth on a 16-yard Ray Fisher catch.
Player of the game: Purdue QB Curtis Painter completed 38-of-54 passes for 448 yards and five touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 13-25, 92 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 10-53. Receiving: Tandon Doss, 2-28
Purdue - Passing: Curtis Painter, 36-54, 448 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: Kory Sheets, 15-61, 3 TD. Receiving: Keith Smith, 12-136, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Thud. So much for capitalizing on the win over Northwestern at the end of October. The Hoosiers ended the year with an ugly four game losing streak in an awful season that showed that 2007 might have simply been a fluke. Kellen Lewis was never right, but he went the whole way against Purdue. If he's going to be the franchise next year, and if he's still allowed to be the starter, he needs to show it right away. It'll be interesting to see if he can go back to being a sparkplug and a playmaker once he has an off-season to heal up.

Nov. 15
Penn State 34 … Indiana 7
Penn State struggled early on with turnovers and inefficiency, but it still went into the locker room with a 10-7 lead on a 32-yard Kevin Kelly field goal with four seconds to play. And then it was all Nittany Lions as Evan Royster ran for a 19-yard score and Daryll Clark hit Deon Butler with a six-yard touchdown pass. Derrick Williams caught a 39-yard touchdown pass to start the scoring, and finished off the day with a 36-yard touchdown run. IU's only points came on a 57-yard Marcus Thigpen run in the second quarter.
Player of the game: Penn State QB Daryll Clark completed 20-of-36 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran for 26 yards
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 9-21, 57 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 8-72, 1 TD. Receiving: Ray Fisher & Andrew Means, 3-17
Penn State - Passing: Daryll Clark, 20-36, 240 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Evan Royster, 12-63, 1 TD. Receiving: Jordan Norwood, 7-69
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Indiana managed just 180 yards of total offense against Penn State with six first downs, and 57 of the yards came on a Marcus Thigpen touchdown run. With Ben Chappell out and Kellen Lewis way too hurt to be Kellen Lewis, the offense wasn't able to do anything against the stingy Nittany Lion defense. The D did what it could in the first half, but with no help from the O, it wore down as the game went on and buckled in the second half. The dismal season comes to a close with Purdue next week, but to win that game, in Joe Tiller's final game, the defense will have to come up with a heroic effort.

Nov. 8
Wisconsin 55 … Indiana 20
Wisconsin tore off 441 rushing yards and 601 yards of total offense with three players David Gilreath, P.J. Hill, and John Clay each rushing for more than 100 yards. Hill rumbled in for two short first quarter scores and ripped off a 19-yard scoring dash in the fourth quarter, while Gilreath ran for a 90-yard score on Wisconsin's first play from scrimmage in the second half after running for an eight-yard score earlier in the second quarter. Indiana tried to keep up with a 43-yard Andre Means touchdown catch in the first quarter and a one-yard Ben Chappell touchdown dive making it 21-20 UW, but the Badgers scored 34 unanswered points.
Player of the game: The entire Wisconsin offensive line for paving the way for 441 rushing yards, seven rushing scores, and a 7.2 yard-per-carry average.
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Ben Chappell, 11-20, 126 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Demetrius McCray, 9-53. Receiving: Terrance Turner, 5-33
Wisconsin - Passing: Dustin Sherer, 10-19, 143 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: David Gilreath, 8-168, 2 TD. Receiving: Garrett Graham, 5-69
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The loss to Wisconsin was one of those times when going with the smaller, quicker defenders proved costly. The Badgers used their big backs and their big linemen to beat up the IU defensive front. The Hoosier front four didn't come through and the linebackers and safeties weren't able to help. Offensively, Kellen Lewis just isn't able to go. He tried to come out and get the offense going, but he's not able to cut or move on his bad ankle. He misfired on all five of his pass attempts. The rough season is only going to get rougher with a trip to Penn State up next and Joe Tiller's final game at Purdue to finish.

Nov. 1
Central Michigan 37 … Indiana 34
Brian Brunner, filling in for an injured Dan LeFevour, ran for a one-yard score with just under nine minutes to play, and the Central Michigan defense was able to hang on to give Indiana its second defeat to a MAC team this year (the other was against Ball State). Indiana got a 64-yard touchdown pass to Ray Fisher and Marcus Thigpen touchdown runs from 22 and 77 yards out, but CMU matched home run for home run. Brunner threw four touchdown passes with two to Antonio Brown, including a 79 yarder, and short scores to Bryan Anderson and Joe Bockheim, but IU held the lead going into the fourth quarter after a three-yard scoring run from Demetrius McCray.  A 48-yard Andrew Aguila field goal and the Brunner run gave the Chippewas the win.
Player of the game: Central Michigan QB Brian Brunner completed 35-of-53 passes for 485 yards and four touchdowns with an interception, and he ran for the game-winning touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Ben Chappell, 8-16, 156 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 6-109, 2 TD. Receiving: Ray Fisher, 3-75, 1 TD
Central Michigan - Passing: Brian Brunner, 35-543, 485 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Antonio Brown, 3-44. Receiving: Bryan Anderson, 9-132, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Indiana now needs to win out to become bowl eligible, and that's just to get to 6-6. In other words, a second straight bowl season isn't going to happen after the loss to Central Michigan. The pass rush was incredible, cranking out seven sacks with Matt Mayberry coming up with four, along with 13 tackles, but the offense struggled, especially in the fourth quarter. Ben Chappell isn't Kellen Lewis, and Kellen Lewis isn't Kellen Lewis at the moment, getting sacked three times before giving way to Chappell. There was some offensive pop with Marcus Thigpen running well when he got the chance, but he only ran six times for 109 yards and two scores. With Wisconsin, a trip to Penn State, and Purdue in Joe Tiller's last game, the season isn't going to end on a pretty note.

Oct. 25
Indiana 21 … Northwestern 19
Northwestern turned it over five times, lost RB Tyrell Sutton and QB C.J. Bacher to injuries, and couldn't stop Ben Chappell. Filling in for a banged up Kellen Lewis, Chappell threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Damarlo Belcher in the first quarter, and he ran for a three-yard score. Mitchell Evans threw 28-yard touchdown pass on a trick play to Tandon Doss for a third quarter 21-12 lead and, as it turned out, the win. Sutton ran for a one-yard touchdown, but was lost to a wrist injury, and Bacher ran for a three-yard touchdown, and tried to come out and play, but limped when he was out there.  
Player of the game: Indiana S Austin Thomas made 10 tackles and two interceptions
Stat Leaders: Northwestern - Passing: C.J. Bacher, 21-34, 155 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Tyrell Sutton, 27-77, 1 TD. Receiving: Ross Lane, 5-31
Indiana - Passing: Ben Chappell, 21-34, 219 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Bryan Payton, 11-42. Receiving: Tandon Doss, 8-107, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Ben Chappell is never going to be Kellen Lewis, but he held up well under the pressure of the Northwestern pass rush and he didn't make any big mistakes. As crazy as it might sound considering how poorly the team has played, if the Hoosiers can get by Central Michigan, all of a sudden, they need two wins to be bowl eligible. Upsetting Wisconsin is the must, with Penn State to follow, and then they need to be Purdue in Joe Tiller's final game. Fine, so a bowl isn't going to happen, but this win at least makes the season more interesting.

Oct. 18
Illinois 55 … Indiana 13
Illinois rolled for 563 yards with freshman Jason Ford scoring three times including a 41-yard dash early in the third quarter. Indiana, who was without an injured Kellen Lewis, struggled to get the offense moving with a 25-yard Bryan Payton touchdown dash in the first quarter doing little to stop the momentum. Juice Williams got the Illinois passing game involved with three touchdown passes to go along with an eight-yard scoring run. The special teams added the finishing touch answering a fourth quarter Austin Starr field goal with a A.J. Jenkins kickoff return for a score.
Player of the game: Illinois RB Jason Ford ran 19 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Ben Chappell, 12-29, 172 yds
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 17-69. Receiving: Andrew Means, 4-67
Illinois - Passing: Juice Williams, 16-22, 271 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Jason Ford, 19-172, 3 TD. Receiving: Arrelious Benn, 7-130, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... How valuable is Kellen Lewis? IU is struggling enough as is, but with Lewis out, the Hoosiers were blown away by Illinois; the offense simply couldn't keep up. The defense continues to struggle to come up with a key stop, and now on a five-game losing streak, the season has completely slipped away. The team has yet to come up with a win over a FBS team, but now come three home games against Northwestern, Central Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Oct. 11
Iowa 45 … Indiana 9
Iowa dominated on both sides of the ball as the offense controlled the clock for close to 40 minutes and the defense only allowed a 17-yard Ray Fisher touchdown catch and a 46-yard Austin Starr field goal. Jewel Hampton ran for three short scores and Shonne Greene added a 12-yard touchdown dash as part of a 227-yard rushing day from the Hawkeyes. Indiana was shut out in the second half as Iowa scored 28 unanswered points.
Player of the game: Iowa RBs Shonn Greene and Jewel Hampton combined for 235 yards and four touchdowns on 45 carries
Stat Leaders: Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 13-18, 108 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Ben Chappell, 8-42. Receiving: Ray Fisher, 5-68, 1 TD
Iowa - Passing: Ricky Stanzi, 12-20, 184 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Shonn Greene, 23-115, 1 TD. Receiving: Andy Brodell, 4-95, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Kellen Lewis just isn't making things happen. He's not getting a while bunch of help from the running game and his receivers aren't doing much after the catch, but against Iowa, he was able to come up with anything big. The team needs a spark from somewhere. The defensive line isn't playing up to its potential, and the offense needs to get ready for a shootout against Illinois. Averaging more than 4.5 yards per play is a must.

Oct. 4
Minnesota 16 ... Indiana 7
Eric Decker caught a career-high 13 passes, but Minnesota had a hard time putting Indiana away as Joel Monroe hit three field goals and Shady Salamon ran for a one-yard score. Indiana got a 77-yard scoring grab from Marcus Thigpen, but the offense sputtered and coughed all game long with just 216 yards outside of the one big play. The Hoosiers managed just 10 first downs and 49 rushing yards, but the defense came through with a strong day against the run allowing just 1.3 yards per carry. Each team had four sacks.
Player of the game: Minnesota WR Eric Decker caught 13 passes for 190 yards
Stat Leaders: Minnesota
- Passing: Adam Weber, 22-37, 274 yds
Rushing: DeLeon Eskridge, 29-74. Receiving: Eric Decker, 13-190
Indiana
- Passing: Kellen Lewis, 15-21, 167 yds
Rushing: Kellen Lewis, 9-18. Receiving: Ray Fisher, 5-46

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Where's the running game? Minnesota?! If IU can't get the offense moving against the Gophers, then it's time to really worry. IU only gained 49 yards, held on to the ball for just 22:19, and didn't do enough to keep the chains moving. Kellen Lewis didn't have a big game, so IU didn't have a big game; it's that simple. After losing three straight, and without a win over a FBS team, the team needs a spark in a real hurry. There were four sacks against the Gophers, but the D line has still been a disappointment. Marcus Thigpen got a big touchdown catch, but he wasn't used enough for the ground game. IU had better beat Iowa next week or all bowl hopes are gone.

Sept. 27
Michigan State 42 … Indiana 29
Javon Ringer ran for 198 yards and a one-yard touchdown, but the rest of the Spartans came through to help out in the win. Brian Hoyer ran for a score and connected with Mark Dell for a 14-yard touchdown pass and with Charlie Gantt for an 82-yard touchdown as part of a 27-point first half, but Indiana stayed alive with a 78-yard Marcus Thigpen touchdown run with 48 seconds to play. Michigan State controlled the second half, but IU came up with some big plays, for good and bad. Thigpen took a pass 79 yards for a touchdowns, and late in the third quarter the Hoosiers got what appeared to be a 97-yard touchdown play from backup QB Ben Chappell to Terrance Turner, but IU was called for a holding penalty for a safety. Michigan State finished with 497 yards of total offense, IU had 473.
Player of the game: Michigan State RB Javon Ringer ran 44 times for 198 yards and a touchdown, adding two receptions for 20 yards.
Stat Leaders: Michigan State
- Passing: Brian Hoyer, 14-26, 261 yds, 2 TDs
Rushing: Javon Ringer, 44-198, 1 TD. Receiving: Keshawn Martin, 3-31
Indiana
- Passing: Kellen Lewis, 12-21, 177 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 9-113, 2 TDs. Receiving: Ray Fisher, 7-43, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Kellen Lewis got banged up against Michigan State, but that was hardly the problem. The defensive line that was supposed to be the strength coming into the season hasn't come close to playing up to its talent level. Offensively, Ben Chappell struggled in place of Lewis, and Lewis didn't shine when he came back in. As this game showed, Marcus Thigpen has to keep getting the ball in his hands. He's a devastating home run hitter who needs to be in space as much as possible. Until the defense comes around, the team's going to need all of its available weapons.

Sept. 20
Ball State 42 … Indiana 20
It was a see-saw battle for a half with Kellen Lewis bringing the Hoosiers within one on a one-yard touchdown run to make it 21-20, and then it was all Ball State as Sean Baker took a Lewis interception 40 yards for a touchdown with just over a minute to go in the first half. MiQuale Lewis ran for two short scores in the fourth quarter as Ball State pulled off the surprising blowout. Lewis finished with 166 yards and four touchdown runs, while Nate Davis connected with Myles Trempe for a 45-yard score. Indiana got a 31-yard fumble return for a touchdown from Nick Polk and two Austin Starr field goals, but the offense sputtered in the second half. The only bad thing that happened for Ball State was the loss of star receiver Dante Love to an injury. He had to be carted off the field and taken to the hospital after experiencing tingling and numbness following a big hit.
Player of the game: Ball State RB MiQuale Lewis ran 29 times for 166 yards and four touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Ball State
- Passing: Nate Davis, 16-25, 239 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: MiQuale Lewis, 29-166, 4 TD. Receiving: Darius Hill, 5-69
Indiana
- Passing: Kellen Lewis, 11-25, 159 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Kellen Lewis, 25-148, 1 TD. Receiving: Andrew Means, 4-103
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Kellen Lewis was great running the ball against Ball State, but for the first time this year, the offense looked like it missed James Hardy, or a top shelf receiver who could get the passing game going. The ground game was all Lewis as the running backs were all but ignored for long stretches. This was a bad loss. Seven penalties, two turnovers, no points in the second half, and a double-digit home loss to a MAC team. This was a disaster going into the Big Ten opener against Michigan State.

Sept. 6
Indiana 45 … Murray State 3
The Hoosiers ran for 254 yards, and held MSU to 28, with Marcus Thigpen tearing off touchdown runs from 67 and 31 yards on his first two carries to pave the way to an easy win. In between the two Thigpen scoring runs was a 27-yard field goal from Murray State's Kienan Cullen, and that was it for the Racer scoring. IU ripped off 38 unanswered points with four short touchdown runs from four different players.
Player of the game:
 Indiana RB Marcus Thigpen ran seven times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 24 yards. He also took two kickoffs for 57 yards
Stat Leaders: Murray State - Passing: Nico Vantko, 16-24, 95 yds
Rushing: Paul McKinnis, 7-15  Receiving: JaVonta Trotter, 5-25
Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 15-21, 170 yds
Rushing: Marcus Thigpen, 7-100, 2 TD. Receiving: Andrew Means, 4-40
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The more Marcus Thigpen can do, the better. Kellen Lewis is obviously a dangerous runner, and Bryan Payton is a serviceable back, but Thigpen is the home-run hitter who can change the game any time he gets the ball. He all but ended the Murray State game after two carries. Now he needs more work. Used sparingly as a runner, but an elite kick returner, the coaching staff has to invent ways to get the ball in his hands in space.

Aug. 30
Indiana 31 ... Western Kentucky 13
It was the Kellen Lewis show as the IU quarterback started off the scoring with a 75-yard touchdown run and ripped off a 62-yard scoring dash to end the fun in the fourth quarter. In between, he threw two touchdown passes including an 11-yarder to Ray Fisher. Western Kentucky managed two Zac Minturn field goals before getting a 32-yard touchdown catch from Jake Gaebler in the fourth to pull within 24-13. On IU's next play from scrimmage, Lewis ripped off his 62-yarder.
Player of the game: Indiana QB Kellen Lewis completed 17 of 27 passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran nine times for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Western Kentucky - Passing: K.J. Black, 19-31, 219 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: K.J. Black, 16-47. Receiving: Jake Gaebler, 6-81, 1 TD
Indiana - Passing: Kellen Lewis, 17-27, 144 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Kellen Lewis, 9-185, 2 TD. Receiving: Andrew Means, 6-63
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
So much for Kellen Lewis being rusty after missing the off-season. He was tremendous against Western Kentucky showing off home run hitting rushing ability along with a good command of the new up-tempo passing game. The defense did its job, without Greg Middleton to lead the charge up front, and did what it needed to do to keep the Hilltoppers out of reach by stuffing the run time and again. One down side to note, RB Marcus Thigpen only averaged 2.2 yards per carry. Bryan Payton was the most effective back.

2008 Lookahead
Why to get excited: 2007 wasn't a one-year fluke. With QB Kellen Lewis back, the offense should continue to improve as long as the line, with four returning starters, gives him time to work. The defense was among the best in the nation at getting into the backfield, and 270-pound pass rushing terror Greg Middleton is back along with seven other defensive starters. PK Austin Starr will be in the mix for the Lou Groza Award. Merry Christmas, IU. For the second straight year, no Ohio State and no Michigan. 
Why to be grouchy: The running game has a talented back in Marcus Thigpen, but it has to prove it can get moving without Lewis tearing off big runs. Receivers like James Hardy don't come through Bloomington all that often, and the graduation of the sensational corner tandem of Tracy Porter and Leslie Majors could be a killer for a D that likes to rush the passer.  
The number one thing to work on is: Getting Lewis more help. While he's a tremendous talent, he's not big enough to handle much of a pounding and there has to be a few more offensive weapons involved to spread things around. If Lewis goes down for any appreciable stretch of time, or if he has a bad game, pack up the bus.
Biggest offensive loss: WR James Hardy
Biggest defensive loss:
CB Tracy Porter
Best returning offensive player: QB Kellen Lewis, Jr.
Best returning defensive player:
DE Greg Middleton, Jr.

2007 Recap
2007 Recap: In the feel-good story of 2007, Indiana fulfilled the vision of late head coach Terry Hoeppner, earning a 13th game, an Insight Bowl invitation, for the first time in 14 years.  The Hoosiers got whacked by Oklahoma State on New Year's Eve, but it couldn't overshadow all that the young program accomplished, including a last-second win over Purdue for the first time since 2001.  QB Kellen Lewis solidified his spot as the face of the IU program, throwing for 3,043 yards and 28 touchdowns, while rushing for nine more scores and a team-high 736 yards.         

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Kellen Lewis

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Greg Middleton

Biggest Surprise: Middleton.  Modestly recruited coming out of high school, Middleton went from a quiet rookie season to one of the nation's top pass rushers.  Using a great first step off the edge, he led the country with 16 sacks, earning a spot as a finalist for the Hendricks Award.     

Biggest Disappointment: With a rare national spotlight to show off how far it's come, Indiana flopped in the Insight Bowl, playing one of its worst games of the season.  While the offense was slow to take advantage of a weak Oklahoma State pass defense, the defense was hapless, yielding 35 points in the first half and 526 total yards on the night.  

Looking Ahead: After serving brilliantly under impossible circumstances in 2007, Bill Lynch had the interim tag stripped from his title at the end of the season.  The stability should help a program that'll be looking to capitalize on last year's success with a return to the postseason in 2008.   

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Will Matte, OL, 6-2, 270, Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South
Offensive lineman for head coach Ron Muhitch at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School ... an all-state, all-area and all-conference selection ... 2007 Chicago Sun-Times All-Chicago Area selection ... rated the 20th-best prospect in the state of Illinois by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Wheaton-Warrenville South compiled a 39-2 record in his three seasons on the varsity, including a 2006 state title (14-0) and a state runner-up finish in 2007 (13-1) ... team reeled off 27 straight victories before falling in the 2007 state championship ... one of three members in the class from the state of Illinois


Potential Instant Impact Players

Shane Covington, RB, 6-1, 185, Milwaukee, Wis./Riverside University
Running back for head coach Patrick Wagner at Riverside University High School ... two-time all-conference and all-area honoree ... named utility player of the year and selected to the 2008 Wisconsin All-Star Game ... rushed for 504 yards and six touchdowns on 71 carries his senior season in addition to passing for 608 yards and seven scoring strikes ... Scout.com No. 3 prospect in the state of Wisconsin ... listed as the No. 83 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... an all-conference selection as a junior after rushing for 780 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 carries ... also caught 30 balls for 478 yards with two touchdowns ... team went 11-2 and became the first city school since 1976 to earn a trip to the state semifinals ... earned four varsity letters in football and four in track and field ... placed second in the 4x100 relay at state three years running ... finished third in the nation in the triple jump in 2006 (46-11) and fifth nationally in the long jump (22-02) ... a two-time student of the month ... lone member in the class from the state of Wisconsin


Nicholas Sliger, DT, 6-3, 275, Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern
Defensive tackle and offensive lineman for head coaches Scott May and Rob Cutter at Hamilton Southeastern High School ... awarded Indiana Mr. Football - defensive line award (first place) ... named to the Indianapolis Star All-North (second straight year) and Super Teams ... Associated Press all-state selection and selected as one of the top 50 players in the state by the Indiana Football Coaches Association for the second consecutive year ... two-time all-conference and all-county selection ... recognized on the Bloomington Herald-Times Top 33, the Indiana Football Digest Prime Time 25 and the Indiana High School Football Guide Tremendous 26 Teams ... rated the 56th-best defensive tackle nationally by ESPN.com and the 73rd-best nationally by Scout.com ... ranked the 15th-best prospect in the state of Indiana by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Hamilton Southeastern finished 2007 season 10-3 with a loss to No. 1 Pike in the regional ... team won sectional and Hoosier Crossroads Conference championships ... Hamilton went undefeated during the regular season and won a conference title in 2006 and claimed sectional, regional and semi-state championships in 2005 en route to a 5A state runner-up finish ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... earned three varsity letters in football and collected letters in wrestling and track


Rest of the Class

Tyler Adetona WR 6-1 204 Gainesville, GA
Larry Black DE 6-3 290 Wyoming, OH
Shane Covington RB 6-0 181 Milwaukee, WI
Marc Damisch OL 6-6 268 Buffalo Grove, IL
Tandon Doss WR 6-3 195 Indianapolis, IN
Adam Follett QB 6-4 201 Alma, MI
Alex Hunt RB 6-0 202 Duluth, GA
Kyle Kozak DE 6-5 238 Chatham, VA
Charles Love III WR 6-3 190 Memphis, TN
Will Matte OL 6-2 263 Wheaton, IL
Mick Mentzer DT 6-3 280 Fort Wayne, IN
Justin Pagan OL 6-4 285 Chicago, IL
Chad Sherer RB 6-0 192 Cicero, IN
Nicholas Sliger DT 6-3 290 Cicero, IN
Cortez Smith DB 5-10 193 Detroit, MI
Peter St. Fort DB 6-2 180 Naples, FL
Marquelo Suel WR 6-3 175 Fort Wayne, IN
A.J. Thompson OL 6-2 298 Lakeland, FL
Darius Willis RB 6-0 215 Indianapolis, IN

 

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