Monday, October 4, 2010

Doss And Receivers Want To Bear Indiana's Burden

After four games, there is no doubt -– Indiana has to win with its passing game.

Receiver Tandon Doss has just one thing to say about that:

Bring it on.

“I love it,” he said. “As receivers, we want to put the team on our backs. I hope we keep doing it.”

Doss has a lot of love to give after his record-setting effort against Michigan. He caught 15 passes for 221 yards. He added 21 rushing yards, 111 yards on kickoff returns and 10 on punt returns. That gave him 363 all-purpose yards, which is the third best in school history.

That leads to the obvious question -– who are the two people ahead of him?

First is tailback Anthony Thompson. He had 416 all-purpose yards at Wisconsin in 1989, 377 of them via the run. Receiver Thomas Lewis had 367 yards against Penn State in 1993.

Oh, Doss’ 15 catches were one off the school record set by Jason Spear against Purdue in 1997.

Doss’ receiving yards rank fourth in school history. Can you name the three people ahead of him?

Take a deep breath.

Third is Nate Lundy. He had 256 yards at Colorado in 1980. Can you guess the other two?

Take a moment.

Second is Tyrone Browning. He had 258 yards against Western Michigan in 1998.

Are you ready for the record holder? It’s Thomas Lewis. He had 285 receiving yards against Penn State in 1993.

Doss, by the way, is the new main weapon in the Wildcat formation, and if it didn’t do much against Michigan, figure it will in the future. Doss might even throw from it given he played some quarterback while at Indianapolis Ben Davis High School. IU quarterback Ben Chappell said Doss has a strong arm, although it might not always be the most accurate one.

Joining in on the receiving fun against Michigan was Damarlo Belcher. He had 10 catches for 91 yards. Terrance Turner had seven catches for 56 yards. Tailback Darius Willis had seven catches for 53 yards.

This means that Chappell isn’t shy about spreading around the wealth. It also means that teams can’t just target one receiver because the Hoosiers have too many weapons for that to work.

All this is great if you’re a Cream ‘n Crimson fan, but IU still lost a winnable game to Michigan. The defense isn’t good enough, and that’s a shame, because this really could be a special Hoosier team with even decent defense.

Can it be fixed? In simple terms, yes. As senior linebacker Tyler Replogle said, “It came down to tackles, angles and execution. We can get better.”

We’ve heard similar themes for 15 years, with no success. Indiana seems as likely to thrive on defense as the Buffalo Bills are to win a game. Sure, there’s always hope that something will kick in, perhaps as soon as Saturday’s game at No. 2 Ohio State.

We’ll believe it when we see it.

1 comment:

  1. They remind me so much of the Colt's; great QB and receivers, no running game, and no D.