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Indiana Hoosiers v. Indiana State Sycamores: the gameday basics.

Soon to be a bit livelier than this.  Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Soon to be a bit livelier than this. Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana State Sycamores
2012 record: 0-0
2011 record: 6-5 (3-5)
2011 Sagarin: 117 (IU was #139)
Conference: Missouri Valley
Coach: Trent Miles (5th season, 13-32)
Series: IU leads 3-0
Gametime: 8 p.m. Saturday

TV: Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee, John Jansen, Antwaan Randle El)

Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Buck Suhr, Joe Smith)

After a long offseason, it's finally here: game week! The Hoosiers open the 2012 season with their fourth meeting all-time with the Indiana State Sycamores. IU leads the series 3-0. All of the games have been played in Bloomington, and after a 78-year layoff IU and ISU are playing for the third time in the past ten seasons. Here is a brief history:

1925: Indiana 31, ISU 0. The 1925 Hoosiers beat the Sycamores in the opener on their way to a 3-4-1 season. This game may or may not have been the first game ever played in IU's original Memorial Stadium, later known as 10th Street Stadium. Old Memorial Stadium hosted Hoosier football until 1959 and the Little 500 until the early 1980s, when it was demolished and replaced by the Arboretum. This is the stadium used for the Little 500 scenes in Breaking Away. According to IU's media guide, the new stadium was "dedicated" during the season finale against Purdue, but it's not clear whether that was the first game (the dedication game often is not). A mystery, I suppose.

2003: Indiana 33, ISU 3: Gerry Dinardo's second IU team got one of its three wins over the Sycamores. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who later transferred to Mississippi and now plays for the New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals, ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

2007: Indiana 55, ISU 7: The Hoosiers' last bowl team began the season in style, and with a poignant moment. This was IU's first game after the death of head coach Terry Hoeppner, and James Hardy, upon scoring the game's first touchdown, pointed to the sky in tribute to his late mentor. Here's what I said at the time:

I am more excited about the 7 than the 55. I didn't have much doubt that IU's offensive weapons, particularly James Hardy, would allow IU to score against Indiana State. My concern was that nearly everyone gains yards against IU. In 2005, IU played I-AA Nicholls State, a team that nearly had to play in IU's practice game because of Hurricane Katrina-related difficulties, gained 459 yards against IU, including 408 on the ground, and nearly won. In 2006, albeit under trying circumstances, IU allowed 386 yards to Southern Illinois. On Saturday, IU outgained ISU 526-176. IU completely shut down ISU's rushing game, allowing only 46 yards and 1.6 per carry. ISU was 20-36 passing, but for only 3.6 yards per attempt. ISU punted 10 times, IU only 3 times.

The 2007 game was Indiana State's fourth loss in what became a 33-game losing streak that included parts of four seasons. After a win over Missouri State on October 21, 2006, the Sycamores didn't win again until October 24, 2009. Still, this isn't that ISU program. The Sycamores have gone 6-5 in each of the last two seasons, and unlike IU, knocked of an FBS opponent last year (Western Kentucky, but still). Shakir Bell may be the best player in FCS. More on this matchup as the week continues.