Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher shakes loose from Illinois defender Ian Thomas during Indiana’s win Saturday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
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Ben Chappell’s 333-yard, three-touchdown performance against Illinois earned him Co-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors, as he shared it with Michigan State wide receiver Blair White. Chappell became the first IU player to earn the honor since Kellen Lewis on Sept. 1, 2008.
From the Big Ten’s release:
Ben Chappell, Indiana
JR, QB, Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South
Chappell established career bests with 333 passing yards and three touchdowns without an interception to lead Indiana to a victory over Illinois. The junior quarterback completed 23-of-38 passes (60.5 pct.), marking a career high in attempts, to produce his second career 300-yard game. After the Illini went up 7-3 in the second quarter, Chappell responded with a 29-yard scoring strike to reclaim the lead, then drove the Hoosiers to a field goal to enter the half up 13-7. The Indiana native poured it on in the fourth quarter, connecting on scoring tosses of 44 and 13 yards to push the advantage to 27-7. Chappell’s 333 passing yards are the most for a Hoosier signal caller since the 2007 campaign. He nabs his first career weekly laurel.
HEAD COACH MIKE FREITAG’S POST-GAME COMMENTS
“You gotta play every second of every game. That’s the most we’ve ever dominated a Michigan State team. That’s the good news. The bad news is they found a way to win. Very disappointing. This one hurts. So much of the game is the psychological part. Sometimes in a game like this where you’re having your way with things you get lulled to sleep.”
“I think they just came in to get a tie today. I think they would have been very, very happy with a tie.”
“You gotta put ‘em away. Soccer, that’s the hardest thing to do is score. I thought we created a lot of chances and took some of them fairly well. Those come back to bite you, and we got bit in the end.”
“Believe me I’m proud of this team. The way they played today, I’ll take it. If I’m Michigan State or Indiana, I’d much rather be Indiana right now based on the play. I like the progress of the team. It’s a hard one to swallow because we did play well. It’s a cruel game. I’m happy with my guys, except for that final play. We’ll continue to get better and people better watch out.”
9:00: Michigan State wins it, as Rubin Bega gets through the IU defense and slides a shot across the ground. It’s deflected away by Luis Soffner, but somebody….couldn’t be sure….slid in and scored. Devastating for Indiana.
1:00: They’re playing soccer. No one is scoring. To OT 2.
After showing off his team in what was basically a fake practice Friday night, Tom Crean allowed Indiana to see a real one Saturday, and as he said he would be, he was much less tolerant of screwups than he was at Hoosier Hysteria.
There’s no confusing Tom Crean with Bob Knight, of course, but Crean didn’t have any problem calling out players when he thought they were dogging it, even a little. In a five-on-five drill, Jordan Hulls was called for a turnover, for “walking the ball up the court,” Bobby Capobianco was chastised for taking what Crean called a “stroll in the park,” and Crean made his most telling point of the evening early in practice when he was trying to make sure the team was properly communicating on defense.
“I don’t have time for freshmen to be freshmen,” he said. “I don’t have time for people to be quiet.”
That’s not to say the Hoosiers were dogging it by any means or being generally lackadaisical, but any time he saw even the hint of malaise, he called it out.
He didn’t, however, stay in any players’ face for more than one play, making his criticisms and moving on.
Mostly, though, he was teaching on Friday, making sure his guys knew where they were supposed to be on each drill and making sure they knew why they had to be there.
Much of practice was dedicated toward getting players prepared for the physicality of the Big Ten. They had to drive against two and three defenders with pads on one layup drill and then rebound while two or three padded defenders boxed them out. There was also a lot of running and fast breaking, though, as Crean is attempting to go much more uptempo than he was a season ago.
They’re kicking me off press row here, so I’ll have more later.
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