Friday Fall Camp Practice Report

Bloomington, Ind. – The reigns have now all been removed from the Hoosiers in fall camp. On Friday, Coach Terry Hoeppner's team went to full pads for the first time, which freed them up for some more spirited work in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills late in practice...

Bloomington, Ind. – The reigns have now all been removed from the Hoosiers in fall camp.

On Friday, Coach Terry Hoeppner's team went to full pads for the first time, which freed them up for some more spirited work in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills late in practice. While ball carriers were still staying up with no live tackling, there was more of an opportunity for some bigger hits from the IU defense, and there was more of a chance for the offensive and defensive lines to tangle in 11-on-11.

Friday also marked the fifth and final day of the acclimation period, which limited the team to one practice per day. The Hoosiers will have their first two-a-day Saturday, starting with a 9:15 a.m. practice at the IU Practice Fields.

That will be an adjustment for the players to make, but IU wide receivers coach Billy Lynch doesn't anticipate it being to big of an obstacle to overcome.

"I think (two-a-days) is more mental than it is physical," Lynch said. "Our guys did a great job over the summer, getting in shape and getting ready to play. So we're in good shape, good condition. It's the mental aspect of double the practice time, double the meeting time, really getting locked in and focusing and preparing for two (practices)."

During Friday's 2 ½-hour practice – which began amidst sprinkles at the IU Practice Fields – Leslie Majors turned some heads with an interception in the one-on-one, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but it was still the offense that shined the brightest, particularly during one-on-one passing drills and 7-on-7 work.

During one-on-one drills against the IU cornerbacks, Blake Powers, Graeme McFarland, Kellen Lewis, Ben Chappell and Dustin Haas combined to complete 32-of-48 passes, including a handful of big scoring strikes. Most impressive were Powers (10-of-12) and McFarland (10-of-14), the projected No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks this fall. They were certainly aided by some solid play from IU's deep receiving corps – redshirt freshman Nick Polk made a one-handed catch for a touchdown on a McFarland 40-yard strike, while fellow redshirt freshman Andrew Means also came up with a couple of big plays during the one-on-one session.

Leslie Majors did step in front of a McFarland throw that was intended for James Hardy and returned it for a touchdown, but the wideouts certainly had the best of it during one-on-ones.

"We had a really good one-on-one session, maybe as good as we've had," Lynch said. "We were on the same page with the quarterbacks and we were running good, clean, crisp routes."

During 7-on-7s the quarterbacks continued to put up big numbers, combining to go 23-of-35. Lewis led the way with an 8-for-10 effort, while Powers was 7-of-10, McFarland 5-of-10 and Chappell 3-of-5. The defense did produce a couple of turnovers, though, as safety Troy Grosfield picked off a Powers pass, and Majors had his second interception of McFarland on the day.

"Seven-on-seven was pretty good," Lynch said. "I told the wideouts we got on a roll, and then we hit a three or four-play spell where we didn't execute as well, and then we picked it up again and finished pretty well.

"But that's the key – you can't have those 3-4 play spells. The biggest thing for us is consistency. We have to be better from a consistency standpoint. That speaks generally for the offense, and I'm sure the defensive coaches feel the same way. We're doing a lot of good things and you see a lot of good plays, but there you'll see a missed assignment or a lack of execution. Those are the things coach is preaching we have to clean up."

After 7-on-7s the team went into 11-on-11s, where the No. 1s were pitted against the No. 1s, and the No. 2s vs. the No. 2s. Majors came up with his third interception of the day on the third play of 1s vs. 1s, but Powers bounced right back with a 35-yard gain along the sideline to James Bailey on the ensuing play.

In the No. 2s vs. No. 2s McFarland was sharp, completing a 15-yard pass to Lance Bennett over the middle, followed by an 18-yard strike to Chris Banks. After the No. 1s ran four more plays, McFarland struck again with the No. 2s, hitting Andrew Means for a quick hitter that he took the distance for a 40-yard score.

Practice concluded with work for the field goal kickers, and it was a much better effort for the Hoosiers' kicking quartet. After Kevin Trulock missed wide right on a 27-yarder and Nick Ford missed wide left from the same distance to start the session, the kickers (Trulock, Ford, Austin Starr and Michael Hines) proceeded to convert five straight to end practice (one from 27, four from 30). Practice concluded with Starr knocking through a 30-yard attempt, a conversion that kept the practice's final conditioning drill from expanding in length.

"As an offense we have to score points, and obviously we want touchdowns and to hit extra points," Lynch said. "But there are times we're going to have to make some field goals. Any time we can get points on the board that helps, so it's good to see them knocking them through."

Note: I have some additional notes and quotes in the Red Alert Premium Forum from today's practice. It includes some information from Lynch on how many of IU's wideouts can help the team this fall; the emergence of James Bailey; what the return of Jahkeen Gilmore means; which true freshmen are surfacing in the two-deep; and more…

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