Hoosiers have Damarlo Belcher's back

You had to feel sick for Damarlo Belcher on Saturday afternoon.

The Indiana junior receiver is having an outstanding season, leading the Big Ten with 65 receptions and tying for 10th nationally in receptions per game (7.2). He also ranks second in the conference in both receiving yards (706) and receiving yards per game (78.4).

Belcher has four touchdown catches this season. But he should have five.

Indiana was poised to record the biggest win in recent team history Saturday against No. 13 Iowa. The Hoosiers trailed 18-13 with less than a minute to play when quarterback Ben Chappell lofted the ball to Belcher on fourth-and-10 from the Hawkeyes' 18-yard line.

Belcher leaped for the ball in the end zone and appeared to make the catch ...

"I jumped up when he caught it," fellow Hoosiers receiver Duwyce Wilson told The (Bloomington) Herald-Times. "Then, as I was coming down and he was coming down, he dropped it."

A catch Belcher makes 98 times out of 100 turned into a drop Indiana fans won't soon forget. It resulted in yet another close Big Ten loss for a Hoosiers team that has endured too many of them the last two seasons. Indiana now must win two of its last three games to become bowl eligible.

The good news is how the Hoosiers and Belcher are handling the situation.

Belcher is "doing fine," Hoosiers coach Bill Lynch said Tuesday, and the team has rallied around him.

When team captains Tyler Replogle and Chappell convened the team's leadership council for its regular Monday meeting, they conducted their weekly vote for two game captains to serve in this week's contest at No. 7 Wisconsin.

"They unanimously voted Damarlo a game captain," Lynch said. "They're telling him they've got his back. And that's what makes a football team."

That's great to see from the Hoosiers.