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…two former Indiana players will be playing in the Super Bowl. They would be New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter and wide receiver Courtney Roby. Indiana’s press release follows.
PORTER, ROBY HEADED TO SUPER BOWL XLIV
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Former Hoosiers Tracy Porter (2004-07) and Courtney Roby (2001-04) of the New Orleans Saints are headed to Super Bowl XLIV after their 31-28 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday evening.
The Saints will take on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Feb. 7, in Miami. Kickoff is set for 6:25 p.m. and the game will be televised by CBS.
Porter picked off a Brett Favre pass at the Saints 22-yard line and returned it 26 yards with seven seconds remaining to force the overtime period. He also thwarted another Viking scoring opportunity when he forced a fumble inside the New Orleans 10-yard line as the Saints held a 28-21 lead with 9:45 remaining. The Port Allen, La., native finished the game with eight solo stops.
Roby averaged 28 yards on five kick returns. He opened the second half with a 61-yard return to the Minnesota 37-yard line, which set up a New Orleans touchdown.
A four-year starter for the Hoosiers, Porter closed out his career second in IU history with 16 interceptions and topped the record book with 413 return yards. Porter claimed first team All-Big Ten honors following his senior season when he picked off six passes and led the Hoosiers to the Insight Bowl.
Roby sits second on the Indiana career lists with 2,524 receiving yards and 170 receptions to go along with 12 touchdowns. In 2002, he made 59 catches (sixth on IU single-season list) for 1,039 yards (fourth) and four touchdowns.
In addition to Porter and Roby, Mike Mallory is a member of the NFC champions. Mike, the son of IU’s all-time winningest coach Bill Mallory, spent the 1986-87 seasons as a graduate assistant in Bloomington. He is in his second season as the Saints assistant special teams coach.
Indiana forward Christian Watford hangs his head as he comes out of the game during the second half Sunday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
Indiana was outrebounded 39-23 and badly outscored in the paint as the undermanned Iowa Hawkeyes came into Assembly Hall and simply worked harder than the Hoosiers.
According to a good source near a radio, Tom Crean has already said this was one of the softest low post performance he’s ever seen.
Should be interesting to hear what he has to say when he gets in here.
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter was just at the mic, and was obviously pleased with how his team fared. Said the key was defending hard — Indiana did not get many clean looks — and that being in the right position on defense led to the rebounding advantage.
And some audio files to listen to.
OK, Dustin Dopirak here throwing on some additional thoughts while Korman finishes his column and while I watch the end of this Saints-Vikings game.
Comb through the above audio and you’ll find people saying much of the same thing. The Hoosiers weren’t tough enough, they didn’t fight hard enough, they didn’t block out, they didn’t screen well.
If you look through the statistics, it’s impossible to argue. The Hoosiers lost the rebounding battle, 39-23. Iowa scored 20 second-chance points to their seven and 34 points in the paint to their 16. This loss certainly had a lot to do with that. Though the Hawkeyes didn’t have a height advantage, they clearly had an advantage in bulk and in strength.
But this had almost as much to do with offensive dysfunction. The Hoosiers shot just 16-for-45 from the field and managed just three assists against 16 turnovers. That’s not going to do a lot for the ratio.
One thing that became obvious is the Hoosiers can’t win if they aren’t getting offense from anyone other than Verdell Jones and Christian Watford. Neither were spectacular. Jones had 14 points and Watford finished with 10 on 4-for-12 shooting. No one else made more than two field goals.
Crean said he might change the lineup to include three forwards instead of three guards, because Jeremiah Rivers, Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls combined for just two rebounds. Crean wouldn’t say who that meant would come into the lineup or who would join it (though Derek Elston seems like a safe bet there). One way or another, this one’s going to require some soul-searching on the Hoosiers’ part during their six day layoff before traveling to Champagne for a 2 p.m. game next Saturday.
This Indiana team isn’t used to this.
In the past two seasons — which encompass the IU careers of everyone but walk-on Brett Finkelmeier — there has never been a Big Ten game the Hoosiers were supposed to win. Even going into the home game against Iowa last season, the lone conference contest the Hoosiers won all year, they were heavy underdogs.
But when the Hoosiers play Iowa on Sunday at 6 p.m., they’ll probably be giving points in the Las Vegas sports books, and the Assembly Hall faithful will consider it an upset if they don’t see a victory. That’s the situation thanks to back-to-back conference victories for the Hoosiers, including Thursday’s win at Penn State.
“It’s put a lot of pressure on us now,” sophomore guard Verdell Jones said. “The fans are expecting us to win. Deep inside we’re expecting to win, so we just gotta come out here and play 40 minutes … It’s a good feeling. Last year, reading our own paper, seeing that Iowa came in and we were a 10-point underdog against Iowa last year here, now looking in the paper and seeing us as a winner, it’s a good feeling. I like it.” (more…)
Indiana’s Devan Dumes (33) looks to the basket and past Penn State’s Andrew Jones during the second half Thursday. Ralph Wilson | Associated Press
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