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The season that was, game 3: Indiana 41, Akron 24.

As in the Western Michigan game that preceded the Akron game, IU squandered an early lead, but as in the WMU game, managed to hold on and defeat the Zips, 41-24. Box score here, discussion here. IU led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, but Akron scored 17 unanswered to briefly take the lead until IU tied the game just before halftime. IU took the lead for good early in the third quarter on an Austin Starr field goal, but didn't take control of the game until stretching the lead to 10 with 6 minutes left in the game.
The previous week, Akron lost 20-2 loss in Columbus. After forcing an early safety, Akron led 2-0 until midway through the second quarter, but managed what must have been one of the worst offensive performances by any college team in the 2007 season. The Zips produced only 69 yards of offense, 34 of which came on the opening drive. In light of that pathetic performance, even against the eventual national runner-up, I was concerned about the poor performance of IU's pass defense, which allowed Akron to complete nearly 70 percent of its passes and manage 13 yards per completion. IU did, however, continue its excellent pass rush, with 4 sacks, and stopped the run effectively, allowing only 2.9 yards per carry on 41 attempts.
Individual performances:
  • Kellen Lewis played very well, perhaps his best game, statistically, as a Hoosier: 19-24 passing, for only 137 yards, but three touchdowns; 199 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
  • Ray Fisher had an odd line, more like a fullback's than a receiver's: 5 catches, 10 yards, and a touchdown. Oddly enough, Fisher managed a 17 yard loss on IU's first play from scrimmage, and had another five yard loss and a no gainer. So, his two positive catches yielded 32 yards and a touchdown.
  • While Lewis stole the show, Marcus Thigpen ran well: 6.5 yards per on 12 carries.

Ultimately, this was an adequate but unsatisfying lead-in to the Big Ten season. Next on the schedule was eventual Rose Bowl participant Illinois.