No Indiana football players were recognized in the Big Ten weekly awards, announced by the league on Monday.
Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah earned Offensive Player of the Week honors after rushing for 232 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries against Florida Atlantic. Rutgers safety Johnathan Aiken earned defensive honors after making seven tackles, forcing a big fourth-quarter fumble and breaking up a pass in the final minutes to seal the Scarlet Knights’ win over Washington State.
IU running back Tevin Coleman certainly stood a chance of taking home offensive honors after rushing for a career-best 247 yards and two touchdowns, but it was not to be. Defensive end Bobby Richardson leads the nation with three sacks and was a candidate for the defensive award.
Penn State’s Sam Ficken earned special teams honors, while Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton split freshman honors.
Each Sunday this season, we’ll look at where Indiana and its players stand on some of the various statistical leaderboards.
After Saturday’s rushing romp, you probably imagined Tevin Coleman would be one of the most productive backs in the country. That’s indeed the case. Funny what 247 yards will do for a man.
Through Saturday’s games Coleman is ranked No. 2 in the nation, behind only Marlon Mack of South Florida. Mack ran for 275 yards and four touchdowns against Western Carolina.
“Next week he might have 80 yards and play a better game because all of a sudden the box is loaded,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said of Coleman. “The ball gets in the perimeter and gets down the field, so those numbers get skewed around. So, he’s a legitimate player. He’s one of the better players in the league, but he can’t do anything without those guys around him. End of the game I saw some of the receivers really battling and blocking their tail off for him. The line was pretty solid.”
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That darn double bye.
IU coach Kevin Wilson has said in the past that he’s not necessarily a big fan of the early bye week. He, like most coaches, would rather see the open date fall somewhere in the middle of the schedule, when teams can regroup and heal for the second half of the season. But with the season once again starting in late August, Indiana is among the many teams facing a double bye situation this year. The Hoosiers’ next open date is in late October.
That means Saturday’s 28-10 win over Indiana State served as an extension of the preseason, of sorts. It’s not necessarily ideal to get ready for the first game week and then table your routine so quickly out of the gates. For the Hoosiers, it allows for a period of review and adjustment ahead of a six-game run that begins with Bowling Green and takes them through the non-conference and early Big Ten portions of the schedule ahead of the second, October bye.
“Our deal was trying to take this game as a learning opportunity and not be in a preseason mindset, but have the mindset that we’re ready for a really good six‑game stretch and to play the best we can and see how far we can come through preseason, through this game, through the open date,” Wilson said. “It’s what’s going to be the meat of the schedule. Some great teams are playing the whole schedule, but to have the toughness, and the health, and the maturity and now we play a game obviously a lot of things we want to polish, eliminate, grow. Lot of things we need to gain on. So I don’t dislike it, but if it was the only one, I would hate it. So I don’t dislike it.”
Indiana wastes some opportunities to comfortably put this one away, but survives for the first win and shutout of the season. IU finishes with 17-10 edge in shots and 6-4 advantage in corner kicks to earn share of the IU Classic title with Notre Dame. HOOSIERS 1, EAGLES 0
16:00: A couple of great scoring opportunities in the opening two minutes of the half for Indiana, courtesy of freshman midfielder Jack Griffith, but Marquette keeper Charlie Lyon was up to the task, parrying aside the shots for corner kicks, which were largely have been ineffective. Marquette meanwhile has been surging forward with greater intensity, including a great chance midway through the half when a backpost opportunity was hit high by the Eagles. HOOSIERS 1, EAGLES 0
After scoring the goal, Indiana nearly had a short-lived lead as Nortey had a chance go awry on a giveaway, then got loose behind the defense and was taken down in the box. The referee gave no penalty kick, much to IU’s good fortune it appeared. With that behind them, the Hoosiers reapplied some offensive pressure, including a blast by Richard Ballard that slipped just wide right. Indiana played five subs in the opening half, and that didn’t include Kerel Bradford, who will likely see the pitch in the second half. HOOSIERS 1, EAGLES 0
13:40: A good sample of this IU team’s youth movement as freshman Grant Lillard overcame a bad touch at midfield to reclaim possession, made a long run into the attacking third, then laid the ball off to sophomore Tanner Thompson, who took a lefty rip from outside the 18. The goalkeeper could only touch the shot wide, where freshman Michael Riedford was onrushing for the tap-in and his first career goal. HOOSIERS 1, EAGLES 0
17:33: It’s been a much sharper, more aggressive Indiana team so far this afternoon, dominating the possession against Marquette. IU defense has limited the touches of Eagles standout C. Nortey, but the offense hasn’t been able to find the right combination in the final third to this point. Tanner Thompson had a couple of cracks at it off a free kick and rebound, while Femi Hollinger-Janzen shook himself free for a shot in the box that went right at the keeper. Officially, IU up 5-4 in shots, 3-1 in corner kicks. HOOSIERS 0, EAGLES 0
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The folks over at the IU sports information department do a terrific job of compiling notes in the wake of a game. It is often a thankless job, but one that certainly does not go unappreciated with this bespectacled local newspaper fella.
Here, after Indiana’s 28-10 win over Indiana State, is a look at some the statistical notables from IU’s season opener.
This one’s cheating a little bit, but I’ll look the other way. Saturday marked the third time in Indiana history that the Hoosiers posted back-to-back 400-yard rushing efforts, counting the 401 total yards recorded in the Bucket Game last November. IU’s 455 rushing yards are a Memorial Stadium record. It’s also the second time under Kevin Wilson that Indiana has rushed for 400 total yards.
If we’re also counting last year’s Bucket Game, it’s the second straight contest that IU has had two 100-yard runners after Stephen Houston (120) and D’Angelo Roberts (113) went off against the Boilers.
Saturday was the eighth time that Wilson’s team has finished with over 550 yards. The Hoosiers had 566 in the opener.
Indiana State’s 170 total yards were the fewest allowed by an IU defense since holding Murray State to only 149 yards in 2008. ISU’s 30 rushing yards were an IU opponent low dating back to the 22 yards racked up by Western Michigan in 2009.
Tevin Coleman’s 247 yards were both a career and Memorial Stadium best. He has had five career 100-yard games and is the eighth IU player to have multiple 200-yard games in his career. He’s the first Hoosier since Levron Williams to do so. Dating back to last season, Coleman now has 10 consecutive games with at least one touchdown. Coleman trails only Anthony Thompson’s school mark of 12.
Bobby Richardson’s three sacks are tied for fifth most in a single game in IU history. He now has 8.5 in his career.
So, I want to point out a few things for any of you who are freaking out about beating Indiana State by only 18 points.
No, Indiana State is not very good football team. Yes, the final margin could have been much wider. But check out this comparison from last year’s blowout and this year’s, well, win that looked pretty vanilla. It’s pretty telling.
The number on the left shows the figure from 2013, the right is 2014.
FIRST DOWNS: 29 in 2013, 29 in 2014
RUSHING YARDS: 313 | 455
PASSING YARDS: 319 | 111
TOTAL OFFENSE: 632 | 566
PASSING: 17-30-2 | 11-18-1
Here’s Indiana State, for comparison:
FIRST DOWNS: 15 | 10
RUSHING YARDS: 131 | 30
PASSING YARDS: 175 | 140
TOTAL OFFENSE: 306 | 170
PASSING: 12-32-1 | 17-33-0
Basically, IU had its way with the Sycamores.
It was fairly obvious how Indiana treated this game and Kevin Wilson basically acknowledged in his postgame comments that, with all due respect to the Sycamores, this was a game meant to be an extension of IU’s preseason. There’s a bye week on deck. Let’s call this what it was — a glorified scrimmage.
IU was able to get its running game established and its backs feeling good. Nate Sudfeld was more or less treated as a manager. He wasn’t asked to do a lot. Yes, he missed Nick Stoner on a bad pass in the end zone, and there were times when he could have looked better, sure. But the guy didn’t even attempt a pass until the final couple minutes of the first quarter. Think we’ll see that again?
For all intents and purposes, Indiana’s season doesn’t start until Sept. 13 at Bowling Green. This was merely a good day to see everyone on the field moving at game speed. The Hoosiers are so clearly on a different level than Indiana State.
To think anything else is probably not wise for anyone’s longterm health. So, if you’re worried about the final score in this one, don’t be. Cool off. Calm down. It’s still August.
In case you missed it in the middle of the football game today, Indiana University announced that Hoosier Hysteria for the men’s and women’s basketball teams will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Assembly Hall. There is no IU football game that weekend. Further details will be released at a later date.