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Indiana University

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IU feels good again after beating Illini

A reporter asked Indiana coach Bill Lynch to evaluate his team after Saturday’s 27-14 victory against Illinois.

“(We’re) a whole lot better than a week ago,” Lynch said.

You never know which IU team will show up. Will it be the team that struggled to beat Eastern Kentucky and got blasted by Virginia? Or will it be the team that dominated Akron and fought Michigan to the final minutes?

Saturday, the Hoosiers played like the latter.

Ben Chappell didn’t want to call the game a must-win.

But, the IU quarterback admitted, “It was pretty close.”

Chappell set career-highs in passing yards (333) and passing touchdowns (three) and was named the Big Ten co-Offensive player of the week. Tandon Doss had a career-high 130 receiving yards. Former North Side standout Damarlo Belcher matched a career-high with six catches, including a 29-yard touchdown.

“We had a couple of weeks where we didn’t play to our ability. We are back to being the football team we thought we were when we came home from Michigan,” Lynch said. “Just because we have a little juice going again. I think that’s a little confidence and a little enthusiasm back and to see those kids in the locker room singing the fight song, we got that back. That goes a long way, but it’s a new challenge next week (at Northwestern).”