Saturday, August 30, 2008

Football Season Kickoff or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About Suspensions and Fall In Love WIth Kellen Lewis All Over Again

Football season is upon us and even before kickoff the Hoosier squad has seen fit to bring some excitement to their fan base by continuing their version of musical chairs re: suspensions.

First up, Greg Middleton (the Hoosier who just so happened to lead the NATION in sacks last year) has been suspended along with his (non-starting) teammates Troy Wagner, Brandon Mosley and Kyle Kozak.

Now, putting aside the issue of why they were suspended, the three non-starting players aren't that big of a deal. A for Middleton on the other hand, is he truly a stand out player, a key to our defense?

While he led the nation in sacks, he mainly did it by absolutely destroying bad teams' QB's. He started piling up the sacks early in the season against weak opponents, and as the season went on, there were fewer and fewer sacks showing up in the boxscores for him.

So will IU miss him against the opener against Western Kentucky? My expert opinion is yes -- WKU represents just the sort of team Middleton would have success against.

Now we come to our dearly re-instated QB Kellen Lewis.

If you're an avid reader of Defend The Rock you know that we've been Kellen Lewis fans since before there we even such things. Even during Blake Powers' Sports Illustrated featured year we were pushing for Lewis to start (the fact that he was redshirted that year, eh, not so much of an issue for us), with chants at games of "Start the freshmen!"

Hell, we even started the first Kellen Lewis group on Facebook!

So while we accepted his suspension, players should have to follow the rules, be good students, and excellent team players after all, we eagerly awaited his return. We had never been impressed with Ben Chappell, in fact after his single down implosion in Northwestern we pretty much swore an oath against him, so having Kellen back is like a breath of fresh air.

Now, Kellen Lewis is undeniably the face of this team. Gone is his main playmaker James Hardy, as is star defender Tracy Porter. It's up to him, and we firmly believe in his third year, he is once again ready to step up to the plate, accept the challenge, and exceed all expectations.

Let's play some football!

Defend The Rock will be liveblogging the season opener starting at 11am central time. Join us!