Saturday, October 9, 2010
Chappell Will Bounce Back From Ohio State Struggles
So Ben Chappell won’t win the Heisman Trophy, won’t be named first team All-Big Ten, or any of the other lofty honors that goes with being the nation’s best quarterback.
Yeah, getting overwhelmed by Ohio State can do that to you.
Still, Indiana’s fifth-year senior quarterback will continue to have an outstanding season. He’s too accurate with too many receiving weapons.
Chappell just ran into a Buckeyes defensive buzz saw, which is no surprise. They have a way of turning even the best quarterbacks into mush even with a healthy offensive line.
The Hoosiers line, by the way, is not healthy.
Mammoth offensive lineman James Brewer was sidelined with an ankle injury. At 6-8 and 331 pounds, he’s one of the biggest linemen in school history. Losing him hurts. IU also lost right guard Marc Damisch, who missed the game in the wake of his father’s death.
That forced the Hoosiers to scramble their line lineup, which is a major problem given how important continuity is to that area.
The result -– Ohio State put non-stop pressure on Chappell. It hit, hurried and harassed him. He wound up 16-for-26 for 106 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He came in averaging a Big Ten-best 342.5 yards passing a game.
Indiana (3-2), meanwhile, went 0-2 in its back-to-back games against Michigan and Ohio State. A lot of teams would do the same thing, of course. So what did the 38-10 loss tell us about the Hoosiers?
For starters, they still need to develop more depth, play better defense and keep tailback Darius Willis healthy. He missed the Buckeyes game because of a groin injury.
They won’t need Willis for Saturday’s game against Arkansas State. They will need him for the stretch that includes games at Illinois and at Wisconsin, home contests against Northwestern and Iowa.
Oh, yes. There’s a neutral-site game with reeling Penn Stat, and the annual showdown with arch-rival Purdue.
All that’s for later. For now, IU needs to get back on track, and it starts Saturday with Arkansas State.