Location: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind.
The Hoosiers managed a comfortable yet not overly impressive win over Western Michigan in last year's opener. IU defeated a MAC opponent for the 16th consecutive time, dating back to a loss to Miami in 1978. There was no evidence that Kellen Lewis would emerge as a promising freshman quarterback. Blake Powers, now a tight end, started and played respectably (16-28, 1 TD, 1 INT). The now-departed Graeme McFarland played late, but Lewis did not play at all.
The overall numbers were not great for the defense, with the exception of two interceptions. The defense allowed 20 first downs and allowed WMU's quarterbacks to complete nearly 75 percent of their passes (25-34). Both running games were equally hapless: IU rushed for 71 yards at 2.5 per carry, WMU for 72 yards at 2.2 per. Ultimately, the Hoosiers only moderately out-gained the Broncos in total offense (323 to 289) but benefited from two return touchdowns: a 66 yard interception return by Chris Phillips and a 86 yard punt return by Tracy Porter. Ultimately, the Hoosiers averaged 2.08 points per "true" offensive possession. Overall, it's tough to draw much statistical evidence from what ultimately was a blowout. IU led 29-6 late in the third quarter before WMU scored most of its points. WMU scored 14 points and gained 110 yards after the game was essentially over.
Not much to glean from this one, frankly. IU didn't really show the serious defensive problems exhibited against more talented opponents and this offense, while productive, looked nothing like the Lewis-led unit that finished the season.
IU plays WMU on the road this season, so I'm sure I will revisit this one during game week.