Bolser shows why he's on Mackey watch list

After he recorded six receptions for 78 yards and two scores in IU's 73-35 season-opening win Thursday night, senior tight end Ted Bolser needs just 158 yards to set the record for receiving yards by a tight end in Indiana history.

Maybe it was playing under the lights. Maybe he was tired of working on run blocking. Or maybe he just got tired of hearing about how good Indiana's wide receivers are.

Whatever the reason, Indiana senior tight end Ted Bolser was locked in Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.

Bolser caught a game-high six balls for a game-high 78 yards and two touchdowns in the Hoosiers' 73-35 win over Indiana State, setting the tone for an offense that scored the second-most points in a single game in school history.

"It gives us confidence but we kind of knew it going in," he said of scoring 73 points. "That's what we needed this year. We needed confidence, we needed to know we're better than anyone we're playing against and especially at our skill positions."

Along with having the most productive night in the receiving corps, Bolser moved further up the IU tight end leaderboard. He took sole possession of second place in career receiving yards for a Hoosier tight end, surpassing Dave Lilja's total of 1,045 yards. The two scores gives him 11 for his career, adding on to what was already the program record for tight ends.

Bolser got Indiana on the board on its first drive Thursday night. Matched up against 5-foot-11 Sycamores corner Donovan Layne, the 6-foot-6 tight end got the step and scored with ease on a 12-yard pass from Tre Roberson.

"It was just a little spread play, just a little dig," he said. "I mean Tre saw me at the last second and zinged it in there and it was a clean, easy catch. It felt good."

It is the exact type of mismatch Indiana wants to exploit in the redzone, and it's what makes Bolser so valuable.

"I knew he was going to throw me the ball right when the coverage came out and I saw him play a little bit inside," Bolser said. "If you're not excited [by the single coverage] something's wrong with you."

Bolser's first touchdown looked relatively easy. He more than earned the second one.

On third-and-four at the Indiana State 9-yard line, Bolser caught a pass between a triangle of ISU defenders. From about three yards out, Bolser was met by several Sycamores before bulldozing them into the end zone to put Indiana up 27-7 early in the second quarter.

"Literally right when I caught the ball I was just thinking to myself that I had to score," he said. "I know I got hit right away but it was literally what I thought in my head, and thanks to some determination and about six O-Lineman pushing me in."

Those O-Lineman helped Indiana rush for 313 yards. Revamping the run game was a focus during camp, so Bolser worked on run blocking more than ever.

He looked more than happy to get out in space again.

"I felt really good," he said. "I'm glad our offensive coordinator and quarterbacks have the confidence in myself and I've been really just working on my mental game, and just trying to play as hard as I can literally every play like it's my last."

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