for this game

Strong defensive effort leads Indiana to upset of Northwestern

Oct 25, 2008 - 10:07 PM BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (Ticker) -- It took a standout effort from one of the weakest defenses in the Big Ten Conference, but Indiana finally put an end to its losing streak.

The Hoosiers forced five turnovers - including a pivotal fumble recovery with less than two minutes remaining - to pull off a 21-19 upset of 24th-ranked Northwestern on Saturday.

"It was a great team win for us," Indiana head coach Bill Lynch said. "When we were struggling, we were turning it over and not creating any turnovers and that was the difference in the game today ... was the turnovers. The defense did a great job in forcing fumbles and getting interceptions."

Indiana (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) came into the game as one of the lowest-ranked scoring defenses in the country - yielding an average of 30.9 points. The Hoosiers also were second-to-last in the Big Ten in total defense.

But the Hoosiers showed an uncharacteristic explosiveness Saturday, as they won for the first time since September 6 over Murray State. They took the lead late in the first half on quarterback Ben Chappell's 3-yard touchdown run.

The Wildcats (6-2, 2-2) trimmed their deficit to 21-19 and drove into Indiana territory with less than five minutes to play. But junior safety Austin Thomas picked off C.J. Bacher for the second time to end the threat.

"I think we got the attitude back that if we play physically and mentally tough football for four quarters, we can win," said junior defensive end Jamie Kirlew, who had nine tackles and a forced fumble. "They drove on us, but I think we made critical stops when we had to."

Bacher, who turned the ball over three times, took a hit on the play and was knocked out of the game with a leg injury.

The Hoosiers could not capitalize on the turnover, giving the Wildcats one last chance to avoid the upset. But with Bacher sidelined, Northwestern was forced to turn to seldom-used junior Mike Kafka, who failed to jump-start the offense.

After completing his first pass - a 9-yard strike to Rasheed Ward - Kafka lived up to his namesake on a bizarre play that put Northwestern back near its own goal line. He was brought down by a heavy rush, but then launched the ball backward just before hitting the ground.

That set up a third-and-35 from the Wildcats' 5-yard line, and once again Indiana brought pressure. Kafka was pushed out of the pocket and hit just as he tried to let off a pass, fumbling the ball near the sideline. Indiana defensive end Greg Middleton picked it up to end Northwestern's chances.

The game was a close statistical contest, as Indiana held just a 319-316 edge in total yardage.

"You turn the ball over five times, they're going to lunge back," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "A good football team like Indiana, a team that can make big plays, is going to make the play."

Chappell, a sophomore, provided the offense for the Hoosiers, completing 21-of-34 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown.

Freshman wide receiver Tandon Doss registered his first career 100-yard performance, hauling in eight passes for 107 yards and a 28-yard touchdown reception that gave the Hoosiers a 21-12 lead late in the third quarter.

"(Offensive coordinator) Bobby Johnson has done a great job with the offensive line - we kept rotating new people in there today and I thought they really handled themselves well," Lynch said. "Some young freshman wideouts made some big plays for us."

Bacher completed 21-of-34 passes for just 155 yards and a pair of interceptions, while senior tailback Tyrell Sutton was held to just 77 yards on 27 carries - an average of 2.7 yards per carry. His 1-yard touchdown early in the second quarter gave the Wildcats their last lead of the game.

Coming into the day, Indiana had given up a combined 100 points in its last two games in losses to Iowa and Illinois.

"This is a big confidence builder for everybody, and you can do so much with confidence," Kirlew said. "You can play your best games with a lot of confidence and, if we continue to play confident and practice confident and go through every game, I think we'll be all right."








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 3 6 10 0 19
    INDIANA 7 7 7 0 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - FG, AMADO VILLARREAL 25 YD, 9:07.
    NORTHWESTERN 3-0
    INDIANA - TD, DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS
    FROM BEN CHAPPELL (AUSTIN
    STARR KICK), 12:36. INDIANA
    7-3
    2ND QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - TD, TYR

    Oct 25 3:06 PM
  • 137
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 16 roots (Close Finish)

    Northwestern 19, Indiana 21  4th - 2:17Oct 25 2:58 PM
  • 121
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Northwestern 19, Indiana 21  4th - 3:08Oct 25 2:54 PM
  • 116
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 39 roots (Close Finish)

    Northwestern 19, Indiana 21  4th - 3:08Oct 25 2:54 PM
  • 77
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 44 roots (Close Finish)

    Northwestern 19, Indiana 21  4th - 5:50Oct 25 2:47 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 3 6 10 19
    INDIANA 7 7 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - FG, AMADO VILLARREAL 25 YD, 9:07.
    NORTHWESTERN 3-0
    INDIANA - TD, DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS
    FROM BEN CHAPPELL (AUSTIN
    STARR KICK), 12:36. INDIANA
    7-3
    2ND QUARTER: NORTHW

    Oct 25 2:22 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTHWESTERN
    C.J. BACHER 3 YD RUN
    (AMADO VILLARREAL KICK)
    NORTHWESTERN 19
    INDIANA 21 2:27 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Northwestern 19, Indiana 21  3rd - 2:27Oct 25 2:17 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD INDIANA
    TANDON DOSS 28 YD PASS FROM MITCHELL EVANS
    (AUSTIN STARR KICK)
    NORTHWESTERN 12
    INDIANA 21 4:28 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Northwestern 12, Indiana 21  3rd - 4:28Oct 25 2:09 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NORTHWESTERN
    AMADO VILLARREAL 26 YD
    NORTHWESTERN 12
    INDIANA 14 6:13 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Northwestern 12, Indiana 14  3rd - 6:13Oct 25 2:04 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 3 6 9
    INDIANA 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - FG, AMADO VILLARREAL 25 YD, 9:07.
    NORTHWESTERN 3-0
    INDIANA - TD, DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS
    FROM BEN CHAPPELL (AUSTIN
    STARR KICK), 12:36. INDIANA
    7-3
    2ND QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN -

    Oct 25 1:23 PM
  • 33
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 28 roots

    Northwestern 9, Indiana 14  HalfOct 25 1:23 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Northwestern 9, Indiana 14  2nd - 0:22Oct 25 1:22 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD INDIANA
    BEN CHAPPELL 3 YD RUN
    (AUSTIN STARR KICK)
    NORTHWESTERN 9
    INDIANA 14 0:22 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Northwestern 9, Indiana 14  2nd - 0:22Oct 25 1:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NORTHWESTERN
    TYRELL SUTTON 1 YD RUN
    (PAT FAILED)
    NORTHWESTERN 9
    INDIANA 7 4:57 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Northwestern 9, Indiana 7  2nd - 4:57Oct 25 1:04 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 3 3
    INDIANA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - FG, AMADO VILLARREAL 25 YD, 9:07.
    NORTHWESTERN 3-0
    INDIANA - TD, DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS
    FROM BEN CHAPPELL (AUSTIN
    STARR KICK), 12:36. INDIANA
    7-3

    Oct 25 12:40 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NORTHWESTERN 3 3
    INDIANA 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NORTHWESTERN - FG, AMADO VILLARREAL 24 YD, 9:07.
    NORTHWESTERN 3-0
    INDIANA - TD, DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS
    FROM BEN CHAPPELL (AUSTIN
    STARR KICK), 12:36. INDIANA
    7-3

    Oct 25 12:38 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD INDIANA
    DAMARLO BELCHER 43 YD PASS FROM BEN CHAPPELL
    (MIKE STARK KICK)
    NORTHWESTERN 3
    INDIANA 7 2:24 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Northwestern 3, Indiana 7  1st - 2:24Oct 25 12:28 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG NORTHWESTERN
    AMADO VILLARREAL 24 YD
    NORTHWESTERN 3
    INDIANA 0 5:53 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Northwestern 3, Indiana 0  1st - 5:53Oct 25 12:19 PM