Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana's shuffled and makeshift offensive line could very well have an identical look again this weekend.
IU Coach Bill Lynch said Tuesday when the team takes the practice field Tuesday afternoon, it will do so with former guard Jon Sandberg once again at center, and former tackle Charlie Emerson lining up at right guard. Season-long starters Rodger Saffold and Pete Saxon will be on the left side of the line, while redshirt freshman Mike Stark will likely make his fourth straight start at right tackle.
The IU coaching staff has been forced to make the adjustments thanks to injuries to its first and second-string centers, Ben Wyss and Matt Moses. Moses is out for the season, while Wyss suffered a broken foot and missed most of the Wisconsin game and all of the Ball State contest.
"Ben's…a tough guy, but he's playing with a broken foot," Lynch said. "So we're not going to pound away on him this week. By Thursday, we'll have a pretty good idea."
With Wyss and Moses both sidelined, Lynch had to turn to the fifth-year senior Sandberg to make the move from right guard a week ago. Emerson, meanwhile, returned from an injury and was inserted at right guard because the staff wanted to keep Stark in the starting lineup.
"Jon felt pretty good about playing center, Charlie felt comfortable at guard, and Mike's played pretty well at tackle," Lynch said. "The biggest factor is Ben and how fast Ben comes back. We need him because he gives us those options and depth there."
While IU might be without its usual starter at center, Lynch said he's optimistic that both Joe Kremer (shoulder) and Leslie Majors (foot) will be back from injuries this week. There's also a remote possibility that running back Demetrius McCray could make the trip to Evanston, Ill., as well. McCray was averaging 46 yards and 6.3 yards/carry in the season's first three weeks before a foot injury sent him to the sidelines for the last seven weeks.
"With McCray, we don't know," Lynch said. "He's going to practice a little more, but I don't know. That's a tough injury for that position because everything is predicated on cutting…we left some slots open for him in travel if he can go, so we'll have to wait and see."
IU's Injury Situation Still Muddled
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