Heroic Hoosiers Stave off Western Michigan, Win 23-19

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 01:  Quarterback Ben Chappell #4 of the Indiana Hooisers celebrates on the field during the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Memorial Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

On a bright sunny day at Memorial Stadium in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana, the Hoosiers beat the Western Michigan Broncos 23-19.

Hoosier's senior running back Demetrius McCray ran for a career high 134 yards, including a 59-yard sprint on the way to the endzone.

The game was open in the first half, with Indiana dominating on both sides of the ball, pressuring WMU quarterback Tim Hiller to making poor throws, while severely limiting the run, and moving the chains on offense and scoring 17 points.

But like in many games the in last few seasons, the Hoosiers let the opponents creep their way back into the game.

Entering the fourth quarter, the score was 20-14. The Broncos took the ball from their own 34-yard line to the Indiana 17-yard line, on a series of passes and runs, which eventually resulted in a 35-yard field goal. This made the score 20-17.

After Indiana kicked a field goal of their own, to put the score at 23-17, they recovered a poor snap on a punt attempt, and started a drive at the opponents 14 yard line, with 9:35 to go. 

However, Indiana were not able to move the chains on the first three plays, the attempted to take a field goal, to make the score 26-17. However the 21 yard kick was blocked on the way up, and went into the end zone for a touchback. 

After this, WMU took over on their 20, and thanks to three major penalties, they moved quickly to the Indiana 34-yard line. From there, Tim Hiller completed a couple of passes, and with a facemask penalty, were able to get to the Indiana 5-yard line. 

Western Michigan had all the momentum, and it looked as though the IU defense was tired and not going to be able to stop them from scoring a touchdown.

But on a run to the right by sophomore back Aaron Winchester, senior defensive end Greg Middleton forced the ball loose, and it was picked up by 5th year senior linebacker Justin Carrington, who promptly sent the Hoosier fans into mayhem. 

After another penalty, for too many men on the field, the Hoosiers were not able to get a first down, and set up to punt the ball away, and hope their defense could make a play. 

But a great call came from the Hoosier sideline, and instead of punt the ball, sophomore punter Chris Hagerup back stepped into the end zone, and waited until the Bronco's players got to him before backing out of the end zone all together, giving them a safety, but also taking crucial time off the clock. 

With only seconds to go, Western Michigan, with the ball after the safety punt, tried a hook and ladder play similar to the famous Cal-Stanford game, with many laterals, although eventually Jerimy Finch intercepted one of the laterals, and went out of bounds, ending the game, and giving IU a 23-19 win. 

The win gives IU a 2-0 record on the season, and WMU a record of 0-2. 

Next week Indiana travels to Akron to face the Zips, in their first road game of the season, while Western Michigan returns home for their first home game of the season, vs Miami (OH).