BLOOMINGTON - Marcus Thigpen rushed for 102 yards - in the first quarter.
But in the fourth quarter, all the Indiana senior running back could do was watch from the sideline because of an ankle injury. Injuries also ended the day early for quarterback Kellen Lewis and running back Bryan Payton.
None of the trio played in the crucial fourth quarter of an eventual 37-34 loss to Central Michigan.
IU's offense stalled in the final quarter. The Hoosiers were outscored 9-0 to fall for the sixth time in seven games.
"Offensively, we did the things we wanted to until the fourth quarter," IU coach Bill Lynch said. "We continued to move it in the third quarter, we had some good drives. We didn't execute, didn't make enough plays in the fourth quarter."
Lewis played in his first game since suffering a high-ankle sprain Oct. 11 against Iowa. He started and shared time with Ben Chappell.
The two combined for 213 passing yards. Lewis went 5 of 9 for 57 yards. Chappell was 8 of 16 for 156 yards. He had one touchdown and one interception.
Lewis left late in the third quarter.
"What we had planned was good. Both were beat up going into the game," Lynch said. "We had different offensive packages when Kellen was going to play and when Ben was going to play. It was a good plan. It worked early. But when Kellen couldn't play any more, it changed. We'll have to see where everybody's health as we get into this week."
That includes Thigpen and Payton. Thigpen finished with 109 yards and two touchdowns. Payton, a Concordia product, had 77 yards. He left in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. Lynch didn't have an update on their status immediately after the game.
"They were serious enough where they couldn't finish the game," he said.
Matt Mayberry tied a school record with four sacks. Adewale Ogunleye (at Ohio State, Oct. 18, 1997) and Van Waiters (at Michigan State, Nov. 8, 1996) also share the mark. "I was just hitting it. They couldn't really stop me through the middle so I kept going through the middle," Mayberry said. The Hoosiers' seven sacks were a season-high.
Lynch offered words of encouragement for Austin Starr, who missed a 30-yard field goal and had an extra point blocked. Starr is 7 for 13 on field goals of the season, but just three of his last seven. "I know he works very hard at it and will continue to work hard at it," Lynch said of Starr's struggles. firstname.lastname@example.org