IU Saturday FB Scrimmage Report

Bloomington, Ind. – In Bill Lynch's mind, it was mission accomplished during Saturday's 100-play IU football scrimmage at Memorial Stadium. Lynch talks about the Hoosiers' play, and HoosierNation.com provides a detailed look at what the big plays were during each of the series for the No. 1 and No. 2 units...

Bloomington, Ind. – In Bill Lynch's mind, it was mission accomplished during Saturday's 100-play IU football scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.

In the Hoosiers' first extended scrimmage of the spring practice season, IU's assistant head coach saw some big plays from the IU passing game, a few big runs from the IU tailbacks, some forced turnovers from the defense…and ultimately a lot of reps for everyone in a Hoosier uniform.

Saturday's scrimmage included 40 plays pitting the No.1 units against each other, 40 plays for the No. 2s, and 20 plays for the No. 3s as well during the 2 ½ session.

"I thought it was clean," Lynch said. "There were some turnovers, and that was good and bad. That's what happens when you go against each other. That's good for the defense – they stripped the ball and recovered it – and bad for the offense. You can't put the ball on the ground.

"Overall, I thought the guys were playing hard and were hitting. The first scrimmage is never as good or bad as you think – the truth is somewhere in between."

Just about everyone on the IU roster got plenty of work. The exceptions were a couple of players who are out temporarily – defensive end Jammie Kirlew (elbow) and defensive tackle William Kegler (foot) should be back any day, while offense tackle Sean Edmundson is out for the spring with a shoulder.

So what stood out? Here's a glimpse of the highlights from each session:

- No. 1s vs. No. 1s – Kellen Lewis opened the day's work with an eight-yard completion to James Hardy, and wound up 2-for-4 for 68 yards during the 10-play series. The big play was a short completion to Marcus Thigpen, who then broke free for a 60-yard gain inside the five-yard line. Lewis also had a pass seemingly dropped by Brandon Walker-Roby in the end zone on one of his four throws. The series was capped by back-to-back 37-yard field goals by Austin Starr.

- No. 2s vs. No. 2s – The emphasis for the No. 2s was moving the ball on the ground, and Bryan Payton did just that, carrying four times for 50 yards during the No. 2s series. The big play was a 43-yard touchdown run where took the handoff and cut back up the middle and raced into the end zone. No. 2 QB Benn Chappell was 3-for-4 for 27 yards, but did have an overthrow intercepted by J.T. Owens for the day's first turnover.

No. 1s vs. No. 1s – The second set of plays for the No. 1s had the first of two big completions on the day from Lewis to quarterback-turned tight end Blake Powers. Powers ran an out and Lewis hooked up with him for a 27-yard gain on the series' second play. After that, the No. 1 defense had a series of good play – Greg Middleton had a nice tackle from behind to limit Marcus Thigpen to a two-yard gain, and then Leslie Majors forced a Thigpen fumble, which was recovered by Adam McClurg. The offense did bounce back on the series' final two plays, as Lewis ran for 10 yards on a keeper, and then James Bailey broke free for a 32-yard gain to cap the series.

No. 2s vs. No. 2s – Ben Chappell's second series included a couple of nice throws – he started things off with an 11-yard screen to Josiah Sesrars, and had an 18-yard completion to Terrance Turner over the middle as well. He capped the series with a 27-yard completion to Nick Polk down the sideline, and wound up 3-for-5 for 56 yards on the drive.

No. 1s vs. No. 1s – The No. 1 offense didn't have much luck moving the ball on its third series except for one play – Lewis scrambled after feeling pressure and hooked up with Hardy 10 yards down field, Hardy then made Leslie Majors miss, cut back to the middle, and raced inside the 10-yard line. But Hardy was then hit and fumbled, and McClurg came up with his second fumble recovery of the day. The offense tried to move the ball on the ground during the series but wound up with only seven yards on five carries.

No. 2s vs. No. 2s – Chappell immediately moved the offense into the defense's territory, connecting with Brandon Walker-Roby for a 25-yard gain on the series' first play. After a penalty on the defense on the next play, Chappell then hooked up with tight end Troy Wagner for a 13-yard gian that moved the ball to the 20. But the No. 2s were eventually unable to punch it into the end zone.

No. 1s vs. No. 1s – The fourth and final set for the No. 1 offense was probably its best work. Nick Polk took a reverse for a seven-yard gain on the first play, followed by another Lewis-to-Powers completion for 24 yards. After a Lewis incompletion, the Hoosier signal caller hooked up with Polk for a 12-yard gain where Pol made both Will Patterson and Leslie Majors miss before being brought down. With the ball at the 34, Lewis then connected with Thigpen for a 34-yard touchdown as the IU tailback got behind Geno Johnson down the sideline. The defense came up with a turnover on the next playas Demetrius McCray fumbled and Austin Thomas recovered, but the series' final four plays included an eight-yard completion to Hardy, a 9-yard run for Thigpen and then a 9-yard completion from Lewis to McCray.

No. 2s vs. No. 2s – The final series for the No. 2s wasn't quite as productive as it was for the No. 1s. Chappell went 3-for-4 for 25 yards during the series, while Bryan Payton carried two times for seven yards and Sears added an 11-yard run. The No. 2s drive eventually stalled at the defense's 17-yard line.

Other News and Notes:
- Alex Perry appears to have climbed to No. 2 on the depth chart at center…Marcus Thigpen is getting the most work with the No. 1s at tailback…J.T. Owens is getting some work with the No. 2s at safety.

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