Notebook: Coleman wants to prove Wilson wrong

Running back Tevin Coleman had a great first performance Thursday night. Can he keep it up? Also a note on Indiana's defensive effort.

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson told his running backs during camp that he didn't believe there would be a 1,000-yard rusher on the team.

Sophomore Tevin Coleman is determined to prove Wilson wrong.

Coleman, who earned the starting job over veteran Stephen Houston, ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries in Indiana's 73-35 season-opening victor over Indiana State Thursday night.

"I don't know why they didn't call his number more," Wilson joked afterward. "He had 12 yards per carry, so pretty poor play calling."

"He is definitely real hard on the running backs," Coleman said of Wilson. "I'm just trying to work real hard and listen to what he's saying."

If there was any doubt who will be the starting running back going forward, Coleman and Houston both had hands in wiping that doubt away on Thursday night.

While Coleman was busy racking up the yards, Houston was laying a giant egg. The former starter had only nine yards rushing on eight carries, and he finished as Indiana's sixth-leading rusher in the game.

Defense shows improvement

All of the talk surrounding the football team during the offseason centered around an offensive unit some believe could be one of the Big Ten's best. That unit showed why by putting up 73 points in Thursday night's season opener.

But if the Hoosiers are to improve enough this season to make a return trip to a bowl game, it's the defense that will have to help get them there.

While the opponents will continue to get tougher as the season progresses, the Hoosiers took a step in the right direction on Thursday night. They held Indiana State to 306 total yards and forced three turnovers.

The 35 points allowed was also deceiving because the Sycamores scored a defensive touchdown and got another one on special teams.

"They were good until they got worked, Wilson said. "They were three-and-out, and then they really worked them good. It was almost like a scripted drive. ... But until that last-minute blunder late in the first half, it was a really good defensive … it was a great defensive half."

Another reporter began to ask a question, but Wilson interjected. There was something about the word "great" he just didn't like.

"For us," he continued. "It wasn't great, but for us, that's what we need."

Quotable

"You can't mess with one of our guys. It was just a family thing. You don't want to see any of your brothers get hit or cheap shotted a little bit. We wanted to make a statement and score a touchdown. Kofi had a look in his eye. He wanted to go out and score one for Shane." -- Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld on a cheap shot hit to Shane Wynn in the third quarter of Thursday night's win

"We got to a point right after halftime where we had a chance to get back in the game, and I believed we were going to come back and win but we weren't able to keep that going and it continued to get away from us." -- Indiana State coach Mike Sanford


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