Bennett performs well against Robinson

Tim Bennett extended his national lead on pass breakups with four against Penn State Saturday.

With four pass breakups Saturday vs. Penn State, Tim Bennett extended his national lead in the category to 14.

Not bad for a first-year corner.

"It feels good," said Bennett of leading the country in pass breakups. "I know I'm getting better. I'm trying to get better, taking it day by day and I keep improving. That's what it means to me."

Bennett drew perhaps his toughest assignment yet in the form of Penn State's Allen Robinson, who finished with 12 catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. One of those came against Michael Hunter as the two switched around in coverage.

"He's a good receiver," Bennett said. "He has great routes and he knows what he's doing. He's a Big Ten receiver, and me and him just went back and forth. He had his yards, I had mine — I didn't make a couple plays of mine."

Early in the third quarter Bennett was burned by Robinson on a double move and allowed a 26-yard touchdown catch. It didn't seem to bother him.

"With playing corner you've just got to forget the last play, good, bad, it doesn't matter,'' Bennett said. "Just forget that last play and focus on the next play."

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said he wasn't surprised by Bennett's play and how Bennett responded to getting beat by Robinson.

"Again, I like him, not surprised," Wilson said. "Pretty smart, pretty heady, pretty grounded. He got beat out there a couple times and didn't take it."

In the second quarter, Bennett owned Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and receiver Eugene Lewis. With second and eight at the Indiana 43, Hackenberg went for Lewis in the flat. Bennett jumped the route and nearly had a pick six.

"Yea, I've got to look at film to see where I was at," said a laughing Bennett of the near-pick six. "But that's any breakup you feel like you could have picked it."

Two plays later, Hackenberg looked for Lewis again and Bennett dove to deflect it away. Two plays after that Bennett nearly picked off Hackenberg, but dual possession was ruled in favor of Lewis.

"I just drove the routes on the wide receivers," Bennett said. "When their hips dropped, I tried to get to them as quick as possible."

Wilson said Bennett's play has helped motivate Hunter, who was continually burned by Robinson but showed flashes of good plays. Hunter finished with one pass breakup.

"He's got a lot of football in front of him because he's not close to what he can be … I think Tim has impacted the perimeter of our defense and we've still got a lot of work to do, but he's helped us a bunch," Wilson said.


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