SETTING THE SCENE
• With the BTN Tailgate on campus, Indiana (2-0, 1-0 B1G) will host Western Kentucky (2-0) in a non-conference tilt on Saturday, Sept. 17. Kickoff is set for Noon inside Memorial Stadium (55,656; Field Turf) on the Big Ten Network.
• Head coach Tom Allen is 13-1 all-time against non-conference opponents during the regular season, including a 33-31 win over Western Kentucky last season on the road. Allen is 7-1 all-time in home non-conference contests.
• In the history of Indiana football, the program has hosted three straight games to start a season just 11 times. The 2022 season marks the 12th occurrence and this edition will look to post a 3-0 record for the third time (2015 and 1917).
NEWS & NOTES
• Five team captains were announced by head coach Tom Allen prior to the season opener with four first-time captains in tight end AJ Barner, safety Devon Matthews, cornerback Tiawan Mullen and quarterback Jack Tuttle. Linebacker Cam Jones was selected team captain for the third time in his career, which joins just two other names in program history.
• Allen is on pace to join a select group of coaches in Indiana history, as he is on pace to reach the 30-win mark at the school.
• Indiana has started a season 2-0 for the fourth time under Allen (2018-20, 2022) and the sixth time since 2015.
• IU opened a season with a Big Ten foe for the fourth time in Allen’s six campaigns and third straight season. Allen is 2-2 in those contests with wins over Illinois (2022) and Penn State (2020). He has also faced No. 2 Ohio State (2017) and No. 17 Iowa (2021).
• Running back Shaun Shivers scored a rushing touchdown in his second straight game versus Idaho, while backfield mate Josh Henderson rushed for his first career touchdown against the Vandals.
• Against Illinois, wide receiver Cam Camper and quarterback Connor Bazelak each etched their names into the record books, as Camper had the most productive debut in IU history and Bazelak accomplished something not done since Antwaan Randle El.
• Camper and D.J. Matthews Jr. (109 yards) each racked up 100-plus yards receiving against Illinois to become the first Indiana duo to reach the century mark in the same game since 2018.
• Don Fischer, the Voice of the Hoosiers, will begin his 50th season on the call in 2022 and will be honored by the National
Football Foundation and the IU Hall of Fame in 2022, while color analyst and IU alum, Rhett Lewis begins his first season on the broadcast crew.
WESTERN KENTUKCY NOTES:
THE FIFTH TIME IS A CHARM? Western Kentucky and Indiana have met a total of four times on the gridiron with the Hoosiers claiming victory in all four meetings. The Hilltoppers came close to knocking off Indiana a season ago on their home field, but could not come away with the victory late as the Hoosiers held on to win, 33-31, in the late September meeting.
RECORD-SETTING CROWD When the Hilltoppers and Hoosiers did battle in 2021, WKU set a new school record for attendance with 25,171 fans packed into Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium on The Hill. This year’s game will likely produce an even bigger crowd as Indiana’s Memorial Stadium has a seating capacity that holds 52,626 fans.
SWITCHING SIDELINES WKU running back Davion Ervin-Poindexter will be wearing a different shade of red for this year’s meeting between WKU and Indiana after suiting up for the Hoosiers a season ago. Ervin-Poindexter played for Indiana from 2019-2021, seeing action for the Hoosiers during his final two seasons on the team. The Merrillville, Ind. native played in the game against the Hilltoppers a season ago, but did not record any statistics. So far this year, Ervin-Poindexter has carried the ball 24 times for 90 yards and a touchdown. His best output was in WKU’s last game at Hawaii in which he tallied 42 yards and a score with a long run of 13 yards.
SEEKING A BIG TEN BREAKTHROUGH Despite seeing success against various Power Five opponents, WKU has not defeated a team from the Big Ten since joining the ranks of the FBS in 2007. The Tops will be looking for their first Big Ten victory Saturday in Bloomington. In addition to the four meetings with Indiana, WKU has faced off against Illinois twice (2014, 2017), Wisconsin once (2018) and Michigan State a season ago since transitioning to college football’s highest level. The Tops’ final contest against a member of the Big Ten Conference as an FCS program came in 2001 when they made the trip to Wisconsin and fell to the Badgers by a score of 24-6.
HOMECOMING FOR TWO In addition to running back Davion Ervin-Poindexter, WKU linebacker Nathan Griffin is the other Hilltopper originally from the state of Indiana. Griffin is from St. Leon where he was a four-year starter at East Central HS. He led his team to a 43-9 record during that time, and racked up 182 total tackles (113 solo, 69 assisted) throughout his career while adding eight sacks, seven interceptions, three pass deflections and three fumble recoveries.