Going Through Some Growing Pains

Blake Powers threw three touchdowns against Wisconsin Saturday, but three turnovers show there's plenty of room to grow for the sophomore quarterback.

Madison, Wis. – There was no fourth-quarter magic this time around for the Indiana Hoosiers. Sophomore quarterback Blake Powers continued his onslaught on the Indiana record books, but he was unable to lead his Hoosiers to the win as Indiana fell to the Wisconsin Badgers, 41-24 at Camp Randall Stadium.

"We had some good opportunities to get ourselves back into the game," said Powers. "If we can take advantage of those opportunities it's a completely different ball game.

"We had what we wanted all day in the passing game, but there were some throws that I just didn't make. I didn't take advantage of the routes our receivers were running."

Powers threw for three touchdowns in the game, giving him 14 on the season – already the second-most for an Indiana Hoosier in one season. The school record is 17 set by Antwaan Randel El in 1999. Randel El was in attendance to give a short speech in the locker room at halftime and to see his brother Marcus who is a sophomore wide receiver for the Badgers.

"Blake made some plays when he had to," said Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner. "He hung in there until the last throw. There were just too many things going on.

"It was his first Big Ten game as a starter as it was for many of our receivers. Not an excuse, but it is facing the reality I think we'll learn from this game a lot."

It was not quite the perfect day for Powers, however. He completed just 20-of-41 passes for 244 yards, but started the game 3-of-15 and had two interceptions to go with a third quarter fumble.

"You can't have a great game everyday," said redshirt freshman James Hardy who has 24 of Powers' 73 completions and five of his 14 touchdowns. "We know he played his heart out, that's all we can ask of him."

The numbers Powers put up against Wisconsin were helped by touchdowns to a couple of redshirt freshmen. He hit Hardy for an 83-yard touchdown and James Bailey for one of 46 yards. His other 18 completions accounted for just 115 yards.

"I had some jitters before the game," said Powers. "I'm not going to say I didn't. I need to play better if we're going to be a successful team in a conference like this. I need to make a lot of throws that I didn't make today."

Powers now has 962 yards passing through four games to go along with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 240.5 yards a game has him on pace for the best single season by a Hoosier quarterback. Trent Green holds the Indiana record with 2,627 yards in 1991 when he led the Hoosiers to a Copper Bowl win.

"As we continue to get more experience, I think we can compete with anyone in this conference," said Powers. "Not only compete, but beat anybody in this conference. We didn't get the job done today. I didn't get the job done. We played good enough to stay in the game, but not good enough to win."

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