Insight Bowl

Insight Bowl

2007 Insight Bowl Preview
Jordan Adams

Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)

Conference match-up: Big 10 vs. Big 12
Date: Dec. 31, 2007
Location: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
Spread: Oklahoma State -4

One of more interesting things to watch in each bowl matchup is to see how teams come into their games. Will a team riding high off a strong finish continue its momentum? Can a true underachiever just go through the motions because it feels like this game isn't truly a measuring stick for them? For Indiana, the Hoosiers could be the team to watch this bowl season, carrying the legacy of late coach Terry Hoeppner and his dream that football could be successful at Indiana. Bill Lynch led the Hoosiers to seven victories, the most since 1993 and the program is in its first bowl game in 14 seasons. Oklahoma State, certainly a qualifier for underachiever, ended the year at the .500 mark and has been a team that has been hard to figure out. The Cowboys have averaged 39 points in their six victories, but in six losses they have surrendered 35 points in five of those games.

Indiana can cover if: its spread offense is more effective than Oklahoma State's. Sounds silly, but it might be that simple. This matchup will definitely be up there in one of the highest bowl scoring games of the holiday season, and defensive stops will be at a premium. IU quarterback Kellen Lewis does some of the sane things as OSU's QB, Zac Robinson, but you have to like Lewis' running ability and his speed to open up the field. We know he can put the ball deep down the field to 6'7'' wideout James Hardy (1,075 yards, 16 touchdowns), but if Lewis and Marcus Thigpen (1,100+ rushing yards combined) can cash in the yardage on the ground, this Hoosiers team can will win this one outright. Passing will not be enough here.

Oklahoma State can cover if: its defense can pretend like they want to hold up its end of the bargain for one of the few times this year. As impressive as the Cowboy's offense has looked at points in the season, it doesn't really matter if you score all that much if your defense is giving the points right back. OSU's defensive unit has some playmakers and the speed to be successful, however the consistency isn't there, at least not from what they have shown us all regular season. Pressure on Lewis from the front seven will help the most. Don't allow him time to dissect the defense and make them look silly by checking his reads and then deciding to bust a 20- or 30-yard run whenever he feels like it. Sack him multiple times and make him feel like he needs to react ultra quickly.

General notes: First team to 40 wins. Since 2001, both teams have posted perfect records with that many points on the board. Indiana is 7-0 and Oklahoma State is 23-0, but even 30 points by each and they stand a good chance to capture the bowl victory. Indiana is 22-4 with 30 points or more scored, while the Cowboys are 36-9. And though both could easily find a way to tally 30 points apiece, then it will come down to who turns it up a notch and cranks it into another gear. Since 2001, both are a combined 16-79 when they each score less than 30. Points are a must in this one, so get your popcorn ready.

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Re: Insight Bowl

Fedora's departure won't hurt bowl preparations
December 19, 2007

Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma State's preparations for the Insight Bowl have not significantly been affected by the recent departure of offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, head coach Mike Gundy said Wednesday.

A week earlier, Fedora was named the head coach at Southern Mississippi. But before Fedora left Oklahoma State, he assisted Gundy in developing much of the Cowboys' game plan for the Dec. 31 bowl game against Indiana (7-5).

"Larry and I were off the (recruiting) road for a week, so we were able to get a lot of work done," Gundy said during a news conference.

Gundy said he has assumed the duties of scripting offensive plays for the Cowboys' practice sessions, but that it otherwise would be difficult to notice much change within the program since Fedora left.

"The practice organization was done way before Larry left," Gundy said. "The offensive meetings go the exact same as they have gone. When you've done it as long as we've done it, it just continues. Our practices look the same. They're structured the same."

Oklahoma State (6-6) has averaged 33.4 points and 484.1 yards per game this season using Fedora's single-back, no-huddle offense. Gundy said the Cowboys are familiar enough with the system now that they should have no trouble running the offense in the bowl game.

Still, someone will have to replace Fedora as the primary play-caller. Gundy said it hasn't yet been determined if that responsibility will fall to one person or a committee of coaches. He acknowledged toying with the idea of handling it himself, at least for the bowl game.

Before becoming Oklahoma State's head coach in 2005, Gundy spent the previous four seasons as the Cowboys' offensive coordinator and has said how much he enjoyed the play-calling aspect of that position.

He said staff discussions about play-calling "are going to take place in the next couple of days. ... One luxury we have in our offense is a lot of what we do, we call at the line. We would like to be able to make some of those decisions at the line and do it as a group, but ultimately, somebody will have to come up with an original play call to start the system.

"I'm not trying to tell you we're going to make group play calls. I'm just trying to tell you we're not sure yet exactly how we're going to do it. ... Up until Sunday, nobody has been in the room together. We've all been gone recruiting. We're just now getting in there and trying to kind of figure out what we want to do."

Starting quarterback Zac Robinson said the transition from Fedora to whomever calls the plays in the bowl game should be relatively seamless.

"Coach Gundy is just running through like coach Fedora would," Robinson said. "There have been a few things that we've had to talk about ... but pretty much everything has been the exact same."

For players, "it doesn't matter who is calling the plays or who is doing what," he said. "We're going to go out and play, regardless. We know that the coaches are going to put us in the right position to make plays, so we just have to go our and execute."

What happens to the Cowboys' staff after the bowl game also remains a question. Gundy said he's received hundreds of inquiries about the opening created by Fedora's departure, but that his primary focus in recent days has been on recruiting and now will shift to game-day preparation, which leaves him with little time now to consider potential staff hirings.

"You get a lot of phone messages," Gundy said. "Even though you try to stay focused on game preparation and coaching and all that, you don't have a choice. Everywhere you go, somebody is handing you a phone message, and I don't know how some people get your cell phone numbers. ... It's not like I can just not think about it, but I just haven't gotten to where I can think about it and work on it."

Gundy could do as some coaches, most notably Steve Spurrier at South Carolina, and call his own plays. He could also promote an assistant to offensive coordinator and then hire another coach elsewhere on his staff, perhaps even on the defensive side of the football.

Plus, the possibility remains there could be more than one staff opening. Fedora asked Oklahoma State for permission to speak with three of Gundy's assistants about also making the move to Southern Mississippi. Those three are thought to be receivers coach Gunter Brewer, offensive line coach Joe Wickline and linebackers coach Todd Bradford.

Brewer said earlier this week he plans to remain at Oklahoma State.

"I am very pleased with the guys that we have in that meeting room. ... I have complete confidence in those guys that are in that meeting room," Gundy said. "They all bring something different to the table. That's why we've had success."

Gundy said that after Saturday's practice, Oklahoma State players will be given three days off -- including Christmas Day -- before they are to meet in Arizona on Dec. 26 to resume bowl preparations.

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Re: Insight Bowl

Insight Bowl Preview
By Judd Hall

Insight Bowl

Indiana (7-5 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6 SU, 5-6 ATS)

How they got here:

The Hoosiers are making their first postseason appearance in spite of losing four of their last six games. However, Indiana clinched a bowl spot after taking down the Boilermakers as a one-point home ‘dog, 27-24.

The Cowboys closed out the season on a down note, losing three of their final four contests. Those defeats did come against the top clubs in the Big XII. Oklahoma State lost to the Longhorns, Jayhawks and Sooners by a combined 50 points.

What to expect:

If you like scoring like its going out of style, then you’ve found the right game to watch. Indiana is averaging 31.6 PPG this year, while Oklahoma State is scoring 33.4 PPG in 2007.

Adding more fuel to that fire is both defenses, for lack of a better word, stink. The Hoosiers are giving up 26.8 PPG on defense. The Cowboys are no better, allowing 29.3 PPG against the Big XII this season.

Players to Watch:

Indiana – Quarterback Kellen Lewis and wide receiver James Hardy are one of the most entertaining duos to watch in the nation right now. Expect to see a little “pitch and catch” between these two at Sun Devil Stadium.

Oklahoma State – Quarterback Zac Robinson showed he was the right man to run the OSU offense at the start of the year. He can beat you with his deceptive speed and fiercely accurate arm.

Bowl Records:

The Hoosiers don’t have much of a bowl history to speak of, posting a 3-5 record all-time in the postseason. But what can you say about a team that is making its first bowl game since losing 45-20 to Virginia Tech in the 1993 Independence Bowl.

Oklahoma State snapped a two-game losing streak in the postseason by beating the Crimson Tide 34-31 as a two-point favorite in the Independence Bowl. Overall, the Cowboys are 12-6 in bowl games dating back to their days as Oklahoma A&M.

Bowl History:

Underdogs have cashed tickets recently in this bowl game, going 1-3 SU, but 3-1 ATS in the past four editions. The ‘over’ went 4-0 in that same stretch. The ‘dog has been the right bet in this game, going 10-7 ATS in the games 17-year history.

Inside the Line: Oklahoma State -4, 69

The number on this tilt opened up at five in favor of OSU and actually spiked to six almost immediately at some sportsbooks in Las Vegas. That was just temporary as the money has steadily came in on the Hoosiers, bringing the line down to four. Total wise, the number has moved very little, but you can find it at 68 or lower if you do some searching.

Expert Opinion: Christian Alexander

When breaking down their schedules, it becomes clear that Indiana definitely benefited from a weak conference schedule and weak out-of-conference schedule. The Hoosiers didn't have to play two of the top three teams in the Big Ten, Ohio State and Michigan. Their out-of-conference schedule consisted of one D-1 AA team (Indiana State) and three teams from the MAC. So, while 7-5 is impressive for Indiana, it's clear their record was a little inflated.

Compare that to a 6-6 Oklahoma State team. The Cowboys had to face four of the top five teams in the Big 12 - a conference I have rated as stronger than the Big Ten. Their out-of-conference schedule was highlighted by teams such as Georgia, Troy and FAU.

The point of breaking down the schedules is to illustrate that if Indiana had played Oklahoma State's schedule they probably would have gone 5-7, at best. Likewise, if the Cowboys had played Indiana's schedule they would have probably gone 8-4.

VI Prediction:

Both schools are better known for their basketball programs and this game will certainly have that kind of feeling. A lot of momentum swings will happen in this contest and the scoring will be aplenty. Still, I feel that Indiana is going to come through with just a little bit more offense than the Cowboys in a shoot out.

Final Score: Indiana 42, Oklahoma State 37

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Re: Insight Bowl

Hoosiers make rare bowl appearance, take on Cowboys in Tempe

Tempe, AZ (Sports Network) - The Indiana Hoosiers will make their first postseason appearance in 14 years when they tangle with the Oklahoma State Cowboys on New Year's Eve in the 19th Insight Bowl in Tempe.

Indiana has struggled in postseason matchups, recording a 3-5 ledger all-time. The last postseason game Indiana took part in was the 1993 Independence Bowl where the Hoosiers were dismantled by Virginia Tech, 45-20. This year the Hoosiers began the season with five wins in their first six games. The lone setback was a tough, 27-14 loss to Illinois at home. However, at 5-1 the Hoosiers were one of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten, before the team fell off track. After the fast start, the Hoosiers stumbled, losing three straight games to Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The losing skid did not derail the Hoosiers' postseason hopes, as the team regrouped and won two of its last three contests, defeating Ball State and Purdue.

It was not an easy season for the Cowboys, as the team struggled through some inconsistent play. OSU opened the year with two losses in their first three matchups, falling to Georgia and Troy, both on the road. The Pokes did not let the sluggish start get the better of them, instead the team reeled off four wins in the next five games. However, the Cowboys fell of the horse down the stretch, losing three of their last four matchups, including an embarrassing, 49-17 loss to Oklahoma in the regular-season finale. Despite finishing the season at 6-6, the Pokes were able to secure their second consecutive postseason appearance. In 17 bowl matchups, the Cowboys are 11-6 and that includes a 34-31 win over Alabama in the Independence Bowl last year.

The only meeting between Indiana and Oklahoma State took place back during the 1930 season and that contest finished in a 7-7 tie.

The success of the Hoosiers heavily depends on the play of quarterback Kellen Lewis. Lewis was one of the most dangerous signal callers in the nation and closed out the year as Indiana's leading rusher and passer. On the ground, Lewis rushed for 653 yards and a team-best eight scores. While his ability to run with the ball is impressive, his passing ability is outstanding. Lewis completed just over 60.0 percent of his passes this year and finished with 2,839 yards and 26 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. His go-to receiver was James Hardy, who hauled in 75 passes for 1,075 yards and 16 touchdowns. Ray Fisher also made solid contributions throughout the season and finished with 49 catches for 462 yards and four scores. As a whole, Indiana is averaging 393.3 total ypg, leading to a solid 31.6 ppg.

It was a tale of two halves for the Indiana defense. In the first six games the unit did a terrific job, surrendering just 20.8 ppg, which led to a 5-1 mark. However, in the final six games the team went just 2-4 and mainly because the defense fell a few notches, allowing 32.6 ppg. The team had some trouble against he run and pass, as opponents churned out 155.4 ypg on the ground, while also throwing for another 238.8 ypg through the air. Out of the 38 touchdowns permitted by the Hoosiers, 20 came on the ground. One area the team excelled in was pressuring the quarterback, as the Hoosiers finished with 42 sacks, which ranked the team fourth in the nation. The success for Indiana in this area is largely due to the play of Greg Middleton, who posted 17 TFLs to go along with a nation's best 16 sacks.

The Pokes are an extremely dangerous offensive unit and have the capability of attacking defenses with an array of different weapons. The Cowboys finished seventh in the nation with their ground attack, which is averaging an impressive 245.8 ypg. Leading Oklahoma State all year has been Dantrell Savage, who has rumbled for 1,172 yards and eight scores. Quarterback Zac Robinson has also done a solid job with his legs, posting 777 yards and seven scores. Not to be overlooked is the play of Kendall Hunter, who comes into this game with 662 yards on the season and is averaging a strong 6.7 ypc. Although not as explosive as the ground game, the passing attack for OSU is also effective. Robinson also did a tremendous job with his arm this season, throwing for 2,522 yards and 20 scores against just eight interceptions. However, for Robinson to be at his best on Monday the quarterback will need his main target, Adarius Bowman, healthy and on the field. Bowman is struggling with a knee injury and is currently questionable for the game against Indiana. If on the field, Bowman is a down the field threat. In just 10 contests this season, the wideout grabbed 61 passes for 932 yards and seven scores.

Much like their counterpart, the Pokes had trouble defensively, especially against the pass, as teams posted 292.0 ypg through the air during the regular season. Overall the unit has been abused for 446.7 total ypg, and that has led to a whopping 29.2 ppg. In 12 games, the defense surrendered 45 touchdowns, 20 of which came on the ground, while the other 25 were posted via the pass. The team has also struggled to make big plays throughout the campaign, forcing only 19 turnovers, while collecting a mere 21 sacks. There was not much experience on this side of the football for Oklahoma State, but if there was a leader on the field it was Nathan Peterson, as the senior defensive lineman led the squad with 14 TFLs and six sacks. Cornerback Jacob Lacey also did well this year, grabbing a team-high five interceptions to go along with 62 tackles.

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Re: Insight Bowl

Game Preview for Indiana vs Oklahoma State

GAME NOTES: The Indiana Hoosiers will make their first postseason appearance in 14 years when they tangle with the Oklahoma State Cowboys on New Year's Eve in the 19th Insight Bowl in Tempe. Indiana has struggled in postseason matchups, recording a 3-5 ledger all-time. The last postseason game Indiana took part in was the 1993 Independence Bowl where the Hoosiers were dismantled by Virginia Tech, 45-20. This year the Hoosiers began the season with five wins in their first six games. The lone setback was a tough, 27-14 loss to Illinois at home. However, at 5-1 the Hoosiers were one of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten, before the team fell off track. After the fast start, the Hoosiers stumbled, losing three straight games to Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The losing skid did not derail the Hoosiers' postseason hopes, as the team regrouped and won two of its last three contests, defeating Ball State and Purdue. It was not an easy season for the Cowboys, as the team struggled through some inconsistent play. OSU opened the year with two losses in their first three matchups, falling to Georgia and Troy, both on the road. The Pokes did not let the sluggish start get the better of them, instead the team reeled off four wins in the next five games. However, the Cowboys fell of the horse down the stretch, losing three of their last four matchups, including an embarrassing, 49-17 loss to Oklahoma in the regular-season finale. Despite finishing the season at 6-6, the Pokes were able to secure their second consecutive postseason appearance. In 17 bowl matchups, the Cowboys are 11-6 and that includes a 34-31 win over Alabama in the Independence Bowl last year. The only meeting between Indiana and Oklahoma State took place back during the 1930 season and that contest finished in a 7-7 tie.

The success of the Hoosiers heavily depends on the play of quarterback Kellen Lewis. Lewis was one of the most dangerous signal callers in the nation and closed out the year as Indiana's leading rusher and passer. On the ground, Lewis rushed for 653 yards and a team-best eight scores. While his ability to run with the ball is impressive, his passing ability is outstanding. Lewis completed just over 60.0 percent of his passes this year and finished with 2,839 yards and 26 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions. His go-to receiver was James Hardy, who hauled in 75 passes for 1,075 yards and 16 touchdowns. Ray Fisher also made solid contributions throughout the season and finished with 49 catches for 462 yards and four scores. As a whole, Indiana is averaging 393.3 total ypg, leading to a solid 31.6 ppg.

It was a tale of two halves for the Indiana defense. In the first six games the unit did a terrific job, surrendering just 20.8 ppg, which led to a 5-1 mark. However, in the final six games the team went just 2-4 and mainly because the defense fell a few notches, allowing 32.6 ppg. The team had some trouble against he run and pass, as opponents churned out 155.4 ypg on the ground, while also throwing for another 238.8 ypg through the air. Out of the 38 touchdowns permitted by the Hoosiers, 20 came on the ground. One area the team excelled in was pressuring the quarterback, as the Hoosiers finished with 42 sacks, which ranked the team fourth in the nation. The success for Indiana in this area is largely due to the play of Greg Middleton, who posted 17 TFLs to go along with a nation's best 16 sacks.

The Pokes are an extremely dangerous offensive unit and have the capability of attacking defenses with an array of different weapons. The Cowboys finished seventh in the nation with their ground attack, which is averaging an impressive 245.8 ypg. Leading Oklahoma State all year has been Dantrell Savage, who has rumbled for 1,172 yards and eight scores. Quarterback Zac Robinson has also done a solid job with his legs, posting 777 yards and seven scores. Not to be overlooked is the play of Kendall Hunter, who comes into this game with 662 yards on the season and is averaging a strong 6.7 ypc. Although not as explosive as the ground game, the passing attack for OSU is also effective. Robinson also did a tremendous job with his arm this season, throwing for 2,522 yards and 20 scores against just eight interceptions. However, for Robinson to be at his best on Monday the quarterback will need his main target, Adarius Bowman, healthy and on the field. Bowman is struggling with a knee injury and is currently questionable for the game against Indiana. If on the field, Bowman is a down the field threat. In just 10 contests this season, the wideout grabbed 61 passes for 932 yards and seven scores.

Much like their counterpart, the Pokes had trouble defensively, especially against the pass, as teams posted 292.0 ypg through the air during the regular season. Overall the unit has been abused for 446.7 total ypg, and that has led to a whopping 29.2 ppg. In 12 games, the defense surrendered 45 touchdowns, 20 of which came on the ground, while the other 25 were posted via the pass. The team has also struggled to make big plays throughout the campaign, forcing only 19 turnovers, while collecting a mere 21 sacks. There was not much experience on this side of the football for Oklahoma State, but if there was a leader on the field it was Nathan Peterson, as the senior defensive lineman led the squad with 14 TFLs and six sacks. Cornerback Jacob Lacey also did well this year, grabbing a team-high five interceptions to go along with 62 tackles.

The Pokes need Bowman to be healthy in this matchup to stand a chance. The Hoosiers put pressure on the quarterback and should give Robinson fits all night. If Lewis can play within himself he should have a huge day against a very suspect OSU defense.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 34, Oklahoma State 31

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Re: Insight Bowl

Insight Bowl: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys

- The Indiana Hoosiers will be playing for the memory of coach Terry Hoeppner, who died suddenly on the eve of the season. They face a 6-6 Oklahoma State Cowboys team that endured a tough Big 12 schedule as they head south to Sun Devil Stadium in the Insight Bowl.

The Hoosiers nearly blew a 14 point lead, but hung on to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 27-24 last time out. The Hoosiers won the game as a slight 2-point underdog, while the combined score fell UNDER the posted total of 62.

Kellen Lewis threw for 218 yards and a touchdown, and carried the ball 14 times for two touchdowns.

The Cowboys were defeated 49-17 by Oklahoma last time out as 13-point underdogs. The game's 66 points fell just UNDER the posted total of 67.

Dantrell Savage ran for 112 yards with a touchdown, and carried the ball twice for 15 yards with a TD in the loss.

Team records:
Indiana: 7-5 SU, 7-4 ATS
Oklahoma State: 6-6 SU, 5-6 ATS

Indiana most recently:
When playing in December are 1-0
When playing on grass are 2-8
After outgaining opponent are 4-6
When playing outside the conference are 8-2

Oklahoma State most recently:
When playing in December are 2-2
When playing on grass are 1-9
After being outgained are 7-3
When playing outside the conference are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana's last 5 games
Indiana is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Oklahoma State is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games

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