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Indiana
at Virginia
When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Internet: ESPN360.com
Radio: 100.1 FM

Doss grows into playmaker

– Early in the second quarter of Indiana’s game against Ohio State on Saturday, wide receiver Tandon Doss stretched his right arm, stuck out his hand and hauled in the ball for a remarkable one-handed catch.

The reception made various top-10 highlight segments during the weekend. But it’s something Bill Lynch has seen before.

“He does that a lot in practice,” the IU football coach said during his weekly news conference Tuesday at Memorial Stadium, “almost to the point where I got on him.”

The 7-yard play set up a touchdown on the next play and served as one of the few IU highlights in a 33-14 loss.

“I didn’t see it, didn’t get my head around too fast and (quarterback) Ben (Chappell) put it right on me, so I just had to reach out and get it,” Doss said.

Lynch saw a similar play in the days leading up to the Ohio State game.

“Thursday, he made one of those one-handed catches behind him. I said, ‘Get your other hand up there.’ He looked at me like ‘I couldn’t,’ ” Lynch said. “When I watched the tape, he was right. Just like the one Saturday, you couldn’t have got the second hand out there.

“… If it’s the first time I’d seen him do it, I’d say, ‘Boy, that was a lucky catch.’ But doing it over and over again, he has some great skills.”

Doss battled shoulder and knee injuries last season and missed four games, finishing with 14 receptions for 186 yards and one touchdown.

The sophomore is showing what he can do when healthy.

Doss followed a 104-receiving yard performance against Michigan with six catches for 96 yards and one touchdown against the Buckeyes.

Doss has led the Hoosiers in receiving all five games and has 32 catches for 470 yards. Doss also has 66 rushing yards, 25 coming on an option-type play for a touchdown in the first quarter last month against the Wolverines.

“I have great receivers all around me, and they encourage me to bring my game up every day,” Doss said. “Ben Chappell puts the ball on me, so I don’t have to do too much.”

Doss said he’s seen the one-handed catch once, during film practice. But it’s a play he says that’s been a competition between the receivers at practice.

“We call can make them,” he said. “It just happened to me in the game.”

lpope@jg.net

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