J.T. Cocherell, Peegs.com

Once again Mitchell Paige stepping up at slot

Another year without J-Shun Harris means Mitchell Paige has to step up again at the slot position. So far, so good.

Making plays when Indiana needs one. Mitchell Paige does that as well as any Hoosier receiver.

Faced with 3rd-and-8 in their own territory early in the fourth quarter after Ball State had scored to pull within 30-13, Paige "climbed the ladder" to haul in a 12-yard first down reception.

It was one of six catches on the day for the fifth-year senior.

He did't want to take any credit for the catch, instead throwing all of that to new quarterback Richard Lagow.

"The biggest thing about that play is Richard," Paige said. "It's a simple little concept that we have but he was handling it. They kind of ran a funky defense, it was in the boundry, so not that much space over there, and he fit it in, made a really good pass."

The play helped Indiana burn some much needed clock and hold on for a 30-20 victory. That ended a three-game losing streak against Ball State and moved Indiana to 2-0 on the season.

No nightmare ending like Indiana fans have seen too many times over the years, including a big blown lead in 2015..

"What we kept talking about on the sidelines was Rutgers last year. We were up on them late and we just didn't do enough to win," PaIge said.

This is the second straight season that Paige has been called upon after expected starter J-Shun Harris has gone down with a knee injury. Last season he led the Hoosiers in touchdowns, finishing sixth in the league in reception TDs. He was also honorable mention All-Big Ten as a return specialist.

Not bad for a former walk-on who measures in at just 5-foot-7 and 180 pounds.

Indiana has this Saturday off and will return for another home game next weekend against Wake Forest. 

The Demon Deacons are 2-0 as well and should test the Hoosier defense. In his mind, that Hoosier defense is responsible for the perfect start thanks in large part to six takeaways already.

"That's two games in a row that they've kind of won the game for us," Paige said. "If they can keep doing that, we're in good shape. They play fast and they're physical and they get a lot of takeaways."


Catch more of what Mitchell Paige had to say following IU's win last weekend:

Peegs.com Top Stories