Filling Tevin Coleman's shoes is no easy task, but running back Jordan Howard is off to a solid start.
If Howard wasn't running over would-be tacklers, he was carrying Southern Illinois defenders on his back as he fought for extra yardage. The Hoosiers had 246 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in Saturday's win.
"I felt like it was real important [to have a big first game] because they brought me here for a reason," Howard said. "I wanted to play them back. I'm what they expected."
Howard may not be able to replace Coleman's production by himself this season, but Indiana's new two-headed threat of Howard and sophomore Devine Redding could prove to be an even more dominant attack. Redding rushed for 57 yards and two scores on 16 carries in the win over Southern Illinois.
"I think we'll be very dangerous," Howard said. "We've been pushing each other since I've been here. Spring training, summer workouts, fall camp ... we've just been working well together. We have great chemistry. I feel like I have power and he has quickness, but at the same time, he also has power."
There's significantly less pressure on the running game this year with the return of star quarterback Nate Sudfeld, but it's important that the Hoosiers can keep the defense honest. The Hoosiers are now in the unique position to rely on either part of their offense in a given game, a luxury they were not afforded a season ago.
"It helps a lot," Redding said of Sudfeld. "It gets them going back and allows us to hit it up in the holes."
Watch video of Howard's postgame interview with reporters in the embedded video player below.