Lewis back; Hoosiers set for football opener

by:  Rich Miller

If Indiana beats Western Kentucky on Saturday, it would be the fifth straight year the Hoosiers have won the football season opener. That would match the second-longest streak in school history.

The Hoosiers also won five straight season openers from 1992-96. But there's a long way to go to set a new school record. Indiana won 14 straight openers twice, from 1904 to 1917 and 1924 to 1937. Quarterback Kellen Lewis needs one TD pass this season to break Antwaan Randle El's IU career record. Both players have thrown 42 TD passes. Receiver Andrew Means has returned to the Hoosiers after spending the summer in the Cincinnati Reds minor-league system. Means was taken in the 11th round of June's Major League Baseball draft.

14News was in Bloomington for practice this week, where Lewis talked about his return from a suspension handed down by coach Bill Lynch last spring.

"It's a good feeling to get a position back when you competed and worked so hard for it," he said.  "Especially when you are competing with a guy like Ben Chappel who went out there and made plays everyday and ran the offense efficiently."

Lynch is counting on Lewis to provide the same offensive spark he did a year ago, when the Florida native accounted for 37 touchdowns through the air and on the ground as IU's leading rusher.

"Kellen has a lot of experience, he's a proven guy in the field and is certainly a playmaker. It's good to have him back, particularly his experience and athleticism. We are anxious to watch him play."