Unfortunately for Coleman and Indiana, it was a fumble on the Bowling Green 12-yard line with 9:04 remaining that overshadowed what was an otherwise stellar performance.
“I was trying to get the extra yards, and they stood me up and one guy just stripped the ball,” said Coleman. “I was trying to run hard, and things just didn’t go my way…He came from behind, and there were three guys holding me up. He just stripped it. I was trying to fight for more yards.”
After a start that included just nine yards on nine attempts, Coleman broke free and ran for 190 yards and three touchdowns on the day, a career-high amount of scores.
Coleman faced a loaded box in the first half and was stymied on attempts, but it was only a matter of time before the experienced offensive line and Coleman were able to break free. Eventually the persistence paid off for the Indiana offense and he ran for 150 yards in the second half.
“They had everybody inside, so we sucked them in and bounced it out,” he said of his sixth career 100-yard game.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound junior back ripped off touchdown runs of 28, 46 and 31 yards in a 10 minute, 18 second span from 8:11 remaining in the third until 12:52 in the game.
“Yeah, I was just in my zone,” said Coleman of his second touchdown run in which he juked two defenders and sprinted down the near sideline. “I just wanted to score and put my team on the map.”
With 437 yards and five touchdowns through two games, Coleman stands to put himself high up on the Indiana records boards, and today was his 12th consecutive game with a touchdown, tying him with Anthony Thompson for most consecutive games with a TD in Indiana history.
Coleman’s fumble came at an especially inopportune time, killing momentum that Indiana had built up in what was an epic back and forth contest. Leading 35-32 and driving, the ball popped free and was recovered by Bowling Green safety Ryland Ward. The fumble ended a 55-yard drive that could’ve put Indiana up by 10 and just 3:40 later, the Falcons reached the end zone to retake the lead.
Coleman had a spectacular day and showed talent that will be seen on NFL Sundays in the future. However, fighting for extra yards in the red zone ended up costing the Hoosiers dearly. While it was not the primary reason for IU’s defeat, it sure didn’t help.