WHAT LOOKED GOOD:Tevin Coleman just keeps on doing things he shouldn’t be able to do. Saturday he went up against a Iowa defense that was allowing 92.3 yards per game and had only surrendered two rushing touchdowns all season. All Coleman did was run for 219 yards on 15 carries and score three touchdowns. He had TD runs of 83, 69 and 45 yards. His extended his Indiana record by scoring a touchdown in his 15th game in a row. That is also the longest streak in the nation. He also recorded his eighth consecutive 100-yard rushing game, including all six games from this season. In running for 219 on Saturday, Coleman becomes the first IU back since Levron Williams in 2001 to go over 1,000 yards for a season. He also reached 1,000 yards faster than any other player in IU history. Anthony Thompson’s six-game total in 1988 was 964 yards which was IU’s previous high for six games. The 83-yard TD run was the longest rush of his career and his third 70-yard plus run. His 69-yard TD run was his sixth TD run of more than 60 yards in his career. He has nine career touchdowns of more than 45 yards. He now has 16 career runs of 40 yards or more.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Indiana simply gave up way too many big plays in this one early and got into a deep hole. The Hoosiers gave up a pick six when Desmond King returned the ball 35 yards for a touchdown. The defense then allowed a 72 yard pass down the middle of the field for a score and a 60 yard run for a touchdown. IU had some big plays of their own but also had some plays that didn’t go its way that could have been big. The Hoosiers recovered an early onsides kick but were penalized for being off sides on the play. There was Shane Wynn’s drop in the end zone which we’ll talk about in a moment and there was a big opportunity to stop Iowa on the final play of the first half but the Hawkeyes scored on a 1 yard TD run on fourth and goal. The point is that IU needs to minimize the amount of big plays that opponents are getting. This has been a broken record battle cry for several years when it comes to IU’s defense.
MOMENTUM CHANGER:Initially, it was the pick by Desmond King off of an errant throw by Nate Sudfeld that resulted in a 35 yard interception return for a touchdown and a 14-0 Iowa lead with 3:37 to play in the first quarter. But the biggest momentum changer came after Indiana had closed the Iowa lead to 28-14 early in the second quarter and successfully converted an onside kick. IU got the ball at its own 46 and quickly got it to the Iowa 45 on an 11 yard pass to Coleman. At that point Sudfeld threw a perfect 45 yard bomb to Wynn who had the ball in his hands in the end zone and simply dropped it. That could have made it 28-21 and then, after the defense held Iowa on the next drive, Coleman had his 45 yard run that could have tied it. It was a huge momentum swing though, clearly the biggest in this game.
INJURY CONCERN WITH SUDFELD:The injury that Indiana fans least wanted to see occurred in just under 13 minutes to play in the first half when IU quarterback Nate Sudfeld was sacked by Drew Ott and Carl Davis. Sudfeld was driven hard into the ground and landed on his left shoulder. He came off the field with his shoulder hanging and was immediately taken to the locker room. Kevin Wilson said after the game that Sudfeld had a separated non-throwing shoulder and would be evaluated against tomorrow. He said X-rays were negative in terms of anything being broken. But he also added, however, that he couldn’t predict how long Sudfeld would be out. He said it could be anywhere from 1-6 weeks. That’s an injury that Hoosiers fans will no doubt be keeping a careful eye on.
SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:Indiana ran for more than 300 yards, gaining 316 yards on 39 attempts. The bulk of that was the 219 yards gained by Coleman … Bobby Richardson posted his fourth sack of the year. He now has 9.5 for his career. … Mark Murphy had nine tackles to lead IU on defense and Nick Mangieri had a career-high eight. … Erich Toth punted the ball nine times in the game for IU with a 44.8 yard average. He had a long punt of 64 yards and knocked three inside the 20. … Shane Wynn scored on a two-point conversion run on a reverse on IU’s last touchdown.
BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:It would have to be the offensive line that opened up holes for Coleman and company allowing them to rush for 316 yards on 39 carries. Along with the 219 by Coleman, D’Angelo Roberts had 49 yards and Chris Covington had 41.
UP NEXT: Indiana returns home to play Michigan State in Homecoming next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch