BLOOMINGTON – Ben Chappell had all day as he dropped back for a pass play in Indianas opening drive Saturday against Akron.
The Hoosiers quarterback looked to his right and then scanned to his left, where he spotted tight end Ted Bolser running in the back of the end zone. Chappell lofted a pass to the freshman, who caught it for a 10-yard touchdown.
It has been a common sight in the Hoosiers first three games.
The main focus for IU tight ends in recent years has been on blocking. This year, Bolser and fellow tight end Max Dedmond have become threats for the 3-0 Hoosiers passing attack. Bolser had two touchdowns against the Zips, and Dedmond added another. It was the first time in the programs history that tight ends accounted for three touchdown receptions in one game.
I think its something thats been building as weve gone through camp really, IU coach Bill Lynch said. We always knew Max could be a good receiver, but Teddy gives us something a little bit different because he can go down the field.
On a lot of those throws, weve got four guys heading down the field or sometimes five. Im on the sideline and I dont know where (Chappell) is going to throw it. He finds the open guy. The tight end isnt necessarily his first option, but he sure finds them.
Bolser has four touchdowns on the year. That matches the schools single-season touchdown figure by a tight end set by Bob Stephenson in 1979.
Its something special, Bolser said. Tying it is only one thing, but beating it is another.
The success could continue Saturday against No. 19 Michigan. The Wolverines (4-0) rank last in the Big Ten in pass defense, allowing 264.8 yards per game.
Bolser is tied for third on the team with nine catches. He has 128 receiving yards. Dedmond said what makes the 6-foot-6, 252-pound Bolser so effective is his speed.
He has wide receiver speed, and he can block like a tight end, he said. If you see him on the practice field, the speed he has is ridiculous.
Dedmond had his first two receptions of the year against the Zips, including a 2-yard touchdown.
Last year, he finished with 18 catches for 141 yards.
Its pretty exciting, the 6-foot-5, 257-pound junior said. When we first came in, the tight end, it was existent, but not as much as wed like it to be.
Thats what we wanted to accomplish more as a group. We wanted to step up and be big play makers. Whether it was making a big block on the outside or catching a ball over the middle or in the corner. As a group, we wanted to be complete football players, blocking and catching. As a group, weve come a long way and have done a great job so far.
Notes: Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said quarterback Denard Robinson should be fine for Saturdays game. Robinson suffered a knee injury Saturday against Bowling Green. Lynch updated linebacker Tyler Replogles status, saying I dont see that being an issue. Replogle missed the Akron game as he recovered from a concussion.