BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After just one quarter, it was clear that Indiana Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson has more confidence than ever in the Indiana running game. And by halftime, Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld had made so many handoffs it was strange to see him drop back to pass.
Indiana rode Tevin Coleman, who rushed for a career-high 247 yards, and D'Angelo Roberts to an impressive 28-10 home win over Indiana State on Saturday. The IU backfield duo combined for 376 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries.
Whether the Hoosiers were playing it safe because the field was wet after a rain storm delayed the start of the game 50 minutes or Wilson used the season-opener against the Football Championship Subdivision Sycamores to not reveal much of the Indiana playbook to opponents, the offensive game plan might have seemed bland on the surface.
Either way, the Hoosiers are off and running.
After a breakout season a year ago in which he ran for 958 yards and scored 12 touchdowns, Coleman on Saturday asserted himself early. He helped the Hoosiers grab an early hold on the contest by capping off Indiana's first drive of the game with a 13-yard touchdown run.
After an Eric Heidorn field goal pulled the Sycamores within 7-3, Coleman busted loose on Indiana's ensuing drive for a 73-yard scamper. At that point he had already recorded 119 yards on just seven carries.
When Wilson gave Coleman a break, it was Roberts gashing the Sycamores defense. Roberts also surpassed the 100-yard mark, finishing with 129 yards and one touchdown. Even Sudfeld contributed to the Hoosiers rushing attack with 32 yards on 10 carries. As a team, Indiana rushed for 449 yards and got all four of its scores on the ground.
In the end, it was Coleman's performance that outshined any individual effort in the contest. His yardage total was good for the fifth-best rushing performance in school history. He led the nation a year ago in runs of 40 yards or more with eight. And he's off to a good start in 2014.
Indiana State (0-1) was able to keep the game close by taking care of the ball and stopping the Hoosiers twice on fourth down inside the red zone. Sycamores quarterback Mike Perish went 17-for-32 with 140 yards. Running back Buck Logan rushed 10 times for 47 yards and a touchdown.
The Hoosiers will be on the road next week at Bowling Green while Indiana State will host Tennessee Tech.