BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Known for its up-tempo passing attack, Indiana used its rushing game to get a win in its season opener.
The Hoosiers dominated the line of scrimmage against Indiana State, controlling the game on both sides of the ball by being the stronger, more physical team. Increased physicality at the line of scrimmage led to vast improvement in two key areas for the Hoosiers: defense and running production out of the backfield.
Indiana rushed for 455 yards in the 28-10 victory over the Sycamores on Aug. 30. It was the best total for the school at Memorial Stadium.
Tevin Coleman accounted for 247 of those yards in the best performance of his career. Defensively, the Hoosiers had their most impressive outing since 2008, allowing just 170 yards of total offense for Indiana State.
''We're not as strong as we need to be, but we're so much more physically stronger,'' coach Kevin Wilson said. ''That's why we had the rush numbers we needed and the rush defense we needed.''
It has taken Wilson four years to get his team to a level of acceptable strength and physicality, and the Hoosiers will look to build on their nice opener against Bowling Green (1-1) on Saturday.
The Falcons bring a different level of competition.
''They have a lot of guys back. They're very good up front,'' Wilson said.
Bowling Green ranked in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed last season at 321 per game, and won the Mid-American conference championship. Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns thinks the Falcons will focus on stopping the Hoosiers' rushing attack.
''We're expecting a lot of heat, and we're expecting a loaded line of scrimmage,'' Johns said. ''They're going to do everything they can to stop the run."
Johns thinks Indiana is in a strong position to adjust to Bowling Green's defensive scheme.
''We feel like if they're going to take away A, then let's go to B, and I think we all know what B is,'' Johns said.
The dominance on the ground against Indiana State followed by a bye week has provided time for junior quarterback Nate Sudfeld to adjust to a new receiving core.
Against Bowling Green, the Hoosiers will need a more balanced attack and more production from Sudfeld, who has struggled on the road in the past.
''This kid is three years into it, and you'd like to think that when he goes on the road and steps into a different stadium he won't get shook up just by not being in his own house,'' Johns said. ''I think that he is ready for that.''
Indiana beat Bowling Green 42-10 last season, but the Hoosiers yielded 409 yards of offense to the Falcons. Saturday's game is just the second matchup between the schools.