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Indiana University

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IU NOTEBOOK

Long plays exaggerate Hoosiers' run stats

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana has averaged 275.5 rushing yards in their first two games. But coach Bill Lynch said the number doesn’t tell the entire story.

“I think we still have to continually work at it to run the ball better. We’re not fooled by the numbers,” Lynch said Tuesday. “We have some big numbers, but we have some big numbers because of some big hits. (Quarterback) Kellen (Lewis) had the big hits in the first game, and (running back) Marcus (Thigpen) had the big hits in the second game.

“But I think it’s still coming.”

Lewis ran for touchdowns of 75 and 62 yards in the Hoosiers’ 31-13 victory over Western Kentucky on Aug. 30. Thigpen ran for touchdowns of 67 and 31 yards in IU’s 45-3 victory over Murray State.

Those four plays have skewed the run figures. They account for 235 of Indiana’s 551 rushing yards.

Lynch said that with time, the ground game will become more consistent.

“We worked on it very hard last week (during the bye). When you go back to it, it’s really a new offensive line,” Lynch said. “… It’s still new guys, the backs are the same, but there are a lot of new guys up front. Each week you run into different defenses and schemes, you have to learn to communicate and work together.

“We know we will continue to work at it because it’s something we have to become good at. Not disappointed, but not caught up in the numbers anyway.”

Filling in?

Safety Austin Thomas, who has seven tackles this season, is questionable after suffering a leg injury. If he can’t play Saturday against Ball State, Lynch said there are plenty of options in place.

“Joe (Kleinsmith) is ready to go,” Lynch said. “We have some flexibility there. Jerimy (Finch) is that much further along, and Brandon Mosley is a senior, too.”

Kleinsmith and Finch both have one tackle.

lpope@jg.net

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