Players to Watch: Missouri

Here is a look at two players from the Indiana side that could make a big impact in Saturday's game against Missouri.

With every game Indiana plays this season, we’ll take a look at a few players that we think could be key contributors in the upcoming game. Here are the key players for the Missouri game.

OFFENSE

Tevin Coleman

Coleman is on a roll with three games in a row, over the past two seasons, of 190 yards rushing or more. He ended last season with 215 yards rushing against Illinois, opened this year with 247 against Indiana State and rushed for 190 last week at Bowling Green.

That’s 652 yards in three games. In other words, a nifty average of 217 yards per game. That total is an IU school record for most yards gain in three consecutive games.

He also has gained 100 yards or more in four consecutive games, which is tied for the longest streak in the nation. In addition, he scored a touchdown in 11 games in a row, which leads the nation.

But Saturday comes a big test in Missouri. Last week against Bowling Green, Coleman managed just nine yards on his first nine carries before breaking loose, mostly in the second half. The Missouri defense will not be easy for Coleman to run on. Expect the Tigers to be keying on Coleman and taking that facet away from IU’s game plan.

A year ago, Coleman rushed for 54 yards on 15 carries against Missouri.

No one is expecting Coleman to break loose for 190 yards plus against a top 20 ranked team, but for Indiana to be successful he will need to make some plays. Those could come in the form of screen passes out of the backfield or a short slants. Whatever the case, it’s important that Coleman gets involved early and often for the Hoosiers against the Tigers.

DEFENSE

Bobby Richardson

In the season opener against Indiana State, Richardson had three sacks. Many believed that could have been his coming out party.

Unfortunately, he followed that up with an effort where he managed just a total of two tackles against Bowling Green.

Still, if IU is going to be successful against Missouri, the defensive front, led by Richardson, will need to put some pressure on Tigers quarterback Maty Mauk.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that Missouri has a very talented offensive line.

It won’t be easy but Indiana needs to get pressure from somewhere and Richardson would be a good start.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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