Through the first three games of the season, Indiana running back Tevin Coleman is averaging national bests in rushing yards and all-purpose yards per game.
The junior enters this week’s game against Maryland with a national best 189.7 rushing yards per game, along with 221.3 all-purpose yards per contest. With 569 total rushing yards, Coleman is behind only Pittsburgh’s James Conner (699) and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah (625) — both of whom have played one extra game than Coleman.
Coleman is also 389 yards short of reaching last year’s nine-game season total of 958 yards.
Inside the Big Ten, Coleman is the second leading scorer with 12.0 points per game. He led the league in single-game rushing until Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon posted 253 yards — six more than Coleman did in the season opener — in the Badgers’ win over Bowling Green on Saturday.
One of the most encouraging areas of Coleman’s game this year has been his ability to break tackles. Long known for his speed and acceleration, Coleman is now showing an ability to push through initial contact with consistency.
COLUMBIA, Mo. — D’Angelo Roberts likes to tell stories of his friendship with fellow Indiana running back Tevin Coleman, about how the two are not merely friends but brothers.
They’re together on the practice field, in the locker room and on Facetime on Monday nights, when the two trade hundreds of pushups with each other via the video streaming service.
So, when Coleman went down with cramps late in the first quarter of Saturday’s 31-27 win over No. 18 Missouri, Roberts, along with freshman Devine Redding, had his back.
Roberts and Redding split carries in Coleman’s absence, finishing with 114 rushing yards and two touchdowns between them both.
“We practice the same (and) we all have the same practice habits,” said Roberts, the former Bloomington North star. “So when Tevin caught cramps and wasn’t able to come in for a little while, I had to step up and so did Devine.”
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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nick Mangieri wasn’t the first Hoosier to go down with cramps in Saturday’s 31-27 win at Missouri, but he was the last.
With the Tigers driving at midfield in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, Mangieri fell to the turf holding his leg. The game stopped as IU trainers tended to Mangieri, slowing down Missouri’s no-huddle drive.
Fans at Faurot Field began to boo and, after the game, Mizzou receiver Bud Sasser told local reporters that he believed Mangieri was faking his injury after hearing IU coaches telling him to go down.
From the Columbia Daily Tribune:
“I heard them all talking about, ‘Go down. Just lay there,’ ” Sasser said. “I told” him, “ ‘Man, you’re too good for that. You’re too good to be doing that.’ If that’s what your coach wants you to do, then do it. But, hey, kudos to that coach, man. Good job.”
Down on the sideline, Herald-Times photographer Chris Howell said he witnessed Mangieri complaining of cramps while Indiana’s offense was driving for the game-winning score moments earlier.
After the game, IU coach Kevin Wilson said he heard the boos from Missouri fans, but that the stoppage was legitimate.
“Tough day out there, lot of guys going down,” Wilson said. “Those weren’t faking deals. At the end, I know their crowd got antsy and we needed to go fast, but Mangieri was cramping up. Bunch of them were. Tough day. Gotta do a better job with our nutrition.”
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Before they filtered off the field, before they climbed onto a plane and flew home to a better tomorrow, Indiana players met in a cluster near the edge of the field and celebrated the program’s biggest win in recent history with the IU fans who watched them do it.
The 31-27 victory over No. 18 Missouri stands as the hallmark moment of the Kevin Wilson era, a moment that has the potential to define a season should the Hoosiers move forward and build off the momentum they found in Columbia.
It was a coming out party for a defense that looked, for most of the afternoon, like a unit that was sick of derision. It was an Indiana defense that appeared to take last week’s message to heart. There were 11 tackles for loss, marking the first time IU has reached double digit TFLs since picking up 12 at Illinois in 2012. The Hoosiers held Missouri nearly 15 points below its season average, while breaking the Tigers’ streak of 47 consecutive games with a turnover forced.
Now they get to try to back it up next week in the Big Ten opener against Maryland.
“It’s this one, but we’re sitting there waiting for next week to go back to like we were,” Wilson said. “That’s what everyone’s gonna say. That’s the way it is at our place, all the negativity. We talked about we just play hard. You can’t wait for it to happen, you gotta make it happen with aggressiveness and attitude. You don’t wait and look around.”
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