BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Blake Powers and Graeme McFarland each
threw one touchdown pass, and Indiana scored off interception and
punt returns to beat Western Michigan 39-20 on Saturday.
It was Indiana's 16th straight win over a Mid-American
Conference school since 1977, and the Hoosiers (1-0) ended a
six-game losing streak that dated to the middle of last season.
Western Michigan (0-1) dropped its third straight in the series
and may have lost even more when sixth-year quarterback Ryan Cubit
left early in the third quarter with what appeared to be an injury
on the hand or wrist of his throwing arm.
Both starting quarterbacks, Indiana's Blake Powers and Cubit,
were hurt during the third quarter and neither team managed more
than 43 yards rushing in the first three quarters. Powers appeared
to have cramps.
The Hoosiers also struggled to sustain drives, had two extra
points blocked and a 12-yard punt.
But the defense, which allowed more than 40 points in its last
five games last year, stifled Western Michigan. The Broncos had
only 39 yards rushing until the final minutes, and Cubit was
16-of-22 for 166 yards with two interceptions and a fumble before
Indiana took a quick 7-0 lead on the game's opening drive when
Powers threw a 10-yard TD pass to Andrew Means. Chris Phillips made
it 14-3 when he picked off Cubit and raced 66 yards for the score.
Seven plays later, Will Meyers' interception set up Josiah
Sears' 2-yard touchdown run to make it 20-3.
Then the Hoosiers reverted trickery. After stopping the Broncos
to open the second half, Lance Bennett fielded a punt and handed
off to Tracy Porter, who ran down the sideline, cut back inside and
bounced off a tackler for an 86-yard TD return to make it 26-6.
The Broncos made it 29-13 on Mark Bonds' 17-yard TD run, and
McFarland sealed the win with a 30-yard TD pass to Marcus Thigpen
to open the fourth quarter.
Powers finished 16-of-28 for 192 yards with one TD and one
interception. James Bailey caught five passes for 51 yards for the