BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana's Marcus Thigpen scored touchdowns on his first two carries, produced five plays longer than 20 yards in the first half and led the Hoosiers to a 45-3 rout of Murray State on Saturday night.
Thigpen took the cue perfectly from quarterback Kellen Lewis, who rushed for 185 yards a week earlier. This time Thigpen, a fifth-year senior, ran seven times for 100 yards including scoring runs of 67 and 31 yards in the first quarter.
It was enough to give Indiana its fifth straight 2-0 start, a school record, and a fourth straight home victory -- its longest winning streak at Memorial Stadium since six straight victories during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
Murray State (1-1), a Championship Subdivision school that hasn't had a winning record since 2004, simply couldn't corral the Hoosiers and never seriously challenged after Thigpen's second TD run.
Thigpen made it look easy.
The first time he touched the ball on offense, Thigpen hit a big hole in the middle and sprinted 67 yards untouched to make it 7-0. The next time Indiana gave it to Thigpen, he went left, waited patiently for his blockers and sprinted 31 yards down the sideline to make it 14-3.
That was all the Hoosiers needed.
Indiana led 24-3 at the half and rushed for three more TDs in the second half for a total of six -- its most in one game since Oct. 6, 2001 against Wisconsin.
Murray State was led by quarterback Nico Yantko, who was 16-of-24 for 95 yards and one interception. He was sacked three times before leaving late in the third quarter.
The Racers ran 27 times for just 28 yards.
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Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty has put up big numbers for the Hilltoppers, but he still faces doubters about his NFL readiness.
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The Tar Heels still have a lot of ground to cover in the rankings, but the committee has shown an affinity for conference champions in the past.
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