Houston, Coleman come up big

Stephen Houston finally had a breakout game with 155 yards rushing, just three shy of his career best. He also had runs of 60 and 50 yards in Indiana's 42-10 win over Bowling Green.

Stephen Houston looked poised and confident in his photo on the cover of Indiana's Game Day football program for Saturday's third non-conference match up against Bowling Green.

It was a contrast to the way he had played in the first two games.

Against Indiana State and Navy, Houston had combined for 39 yards on 15 carries. It was quite a difference from a player who gained 749 yards on the ground last season and 802 yards the season before.

Saturday against Bowling Green, however, Houston looked like the IU player of old. He ran for 155 yards on 13 carries in Indiana's 42-10 victory over the Falcons at Memorial Stadium.

And he was up to some of his old tricks, too. One thing Houston has long been known for is his ability to break long runs. His long run in the first two games had been 9 yards. Saturday, he had runs of 60, 50 and 15 among his 13 carries. He also had one pass reception for 31 yards.

Houston smiled at game's end when asked about the his ability to break some big runs.

"It felt great to go out there and just break the seam for once,'' Houston said. "I ain't broke the seam for a long time. I got a little winded but I'll get better there.''

Houston missed his career rushing high by three yards. Still, it was his sixth career 100-yard rushing game and first for the season.

It wasn't just Houston. Tevin Coleman ran for 129 yards on 19 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. Overall, the Hoosiers ran for 266 yards on 48 carries, an average of 5.5 per carry.

"It felt really good to do that but now we just have to build on that,'' Houston said. "This game is won and we're just going to put it behind us and focus on Missouri.''

One of the surprising things about Saturday's convincing Indiana victory was IU's ability to run all over the Falcons. Bowling Green (2-1) is known for having a stingy defense. Indiana put up more than 600 yards against the Falcons in the win.

Houston said IU noticed some things on film it thought it could exploit.

"We saw that they over pursue a lot but at the same time we had to be fundamentally sound and that's what we were,'' Houston said. "I just have a big shout out to the coaches for trusting in the running game and the O-line and the receivers blocking. Without them me and Tevin, we wouldn't have gotten anything.''

The key for Indiana in the running game Saturday was to get to the outside. Once the Hoosiers hit the perimeter they were able to gain big chunks of yardage.

"Watching them on film we knew that there was going to be some things open on the outside,'' Coleman said. "We called a lot of outside zone plays.''

Coming into the game, Coleman had been IU's primary running option this season with 203 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. He has talked a lot in the early going about what a great relationship he has with Houston.

Late Saturday, he said he was happy for his friend and his performance against the Falcons.

"I was happy for Steve because he's my backup and I was happy for him to do good,'' Coleman said. "He's a competitor and he's good.''

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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