Coleman looking forward to building on Game 1

With 57 yards this week against Navy, Tevin Coleman can eclipse his rushing total from all of last season. But after gaining 169 last week, the sophomore said that is now his expectation of how he should perform every game.

It didn't take long for Indiana coach Kevin Wilson's postgame remarks regarding Tevin Coleman's carries Thursday night to get back to IU's sophomore tailback.

Scanning the statistics sheet while at the press conference late Thursday night following Indiana's 73-35 victory over Indiana State, Wilson said that he probably should have gotten Coleman a few more carries. As it was, the sophomore ran for 169 yards on 14 carries in the IU victory.

"I don't know why they didn't call his name more, he averaged 12 yards a carry,'' Wilson said at the time. "Sounds like pretty poor play calling. But he's a good player. Now we just need to bring those other guys along, too.''

Coleman smiled when someone asked him Monday if he agreed with his coach's postgame assessment.

"Yeah I caught that and, I mean, he probably should have (given me the ball more) but he's the call maker so I don't have any control over that,'' Coleman said. "I definitely expect a lot more carries this week. I think this is a defense that we can run a lot of things on.''

Last year when the teams faced off in late October, Stephen Houston was IU's primary back and gained 82 yards on 21 carries. Coleman had 29 yards on seven carries in that game. This year, based on one game any way, the roles may be reversed. Coleman may be IU's feature back.

For one game any way, Coleman finds himself near the top of the national rankings in terms of individual yards. Only Miami's Duke Johnson (186) and Rutgers' Paul James (182) gained more yards last week than Coleman. The next best among Big Ten running backs was Ohio State's Jordan Hall with 159.

Coleman said he was proud of his effort in the opener against Indiana State. He said it was a night and day feeling compared to how he was an a freshman tailback a year ago. Last year he gained 225 yards for the season on 51 carries. He needs 57 yards Saturday against Navy to surpass last year's season total.

"Last year it was hard to learn the plays and I really wasn't comfortable,'' Coleman said. "I was confused on some of the plays and I was scared I was going to mess them up. Now that I know them, it's just faster and I know what I'm doing.''

One thing the coaches have talked about is how one of the measuring sticks for Indiana will be if a running back can eclipse the 1,000-yard mark. It hasn't happened in a while at Indiana. The last 1,000 yard performance was turned by Levron Williams in 2001. It has only happened 14 times in IU history.

To get there in a 12-game season, a running back needs to average 84 yards per game. Coleman said he has set his sights on the lofty goal.

I think about that a lot,'' Coleman said. "I think about it every day, every time I'm in the backfield. I'll just continue to work hard and continue to push myself to get that.''

Picking up 169 yards in the opener certainly hasn't hurt Coleman's confidence either. Now he expects that kind of performance.

"I feel real confident I can do that every game and I will do that every game,'' he said matter-of-factly.

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