Howard continues rushing success against FIU #iufb

Florida International is a familiar foe for Jordan Howard.

The Indiana running back faced the Panthers during each of the previous two seasons while playing at UAB, and given the chance to match up with FIU for a third time in his career, Howard saw more of the same success against the Conference USA program.

Howard challenged the FIU run defense, finishing with 159 yards on 27 carries and posting the 13th 100-yard rushing performance of his career. In three games against the Panthers, Howard has 420 total yards on 68 carries — an average of 6.1 yards per touch.

“I knew what they were coming with,” Howard said. “I played against them twice before, so I knew what to expect.”

Perhaps Howard anticipated an FIU front seven that others didn’t. The Panthers arrived in Bloomington with a rush defense considered among the best in its conference. In last week’s season-opening upset win over Central Florida, they held the Knights to only 46 yards on 30 carries.

Saturday, however, saw Indiana pile up 205 yards on the ground, marking the second time in as many games this season that IU has surpassed the 200-yard mark. Howard has rushed for at least 100 yards in six consecutive games, dating to his final season at UAB in 2014. Devine Redding also helped himself to 53 yards on 16 carries.

The Hoosiers have now had a 100-yard rusher in 14 of their last 15 games.

“We thought they were a very impressive defense and they showed it the first game,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said. “But I think because of some of the passing stuff, I don’t know if they were as aggressive with their safeties and backers as we anticipated, so they played the pass a little in some of those runs. We did talk to the line that no matter how many they put up, (the running backs’ two-yard runs) better be four, five better be seven, and that’s one of Jordan’s strength as a bigger guy falling forward and getting a few more yards.”

10 comments

  1. A problem I see is Redding is just another Howard without as much talent. I would like to see Brookins, or one of the other RBs, as the change up back since he has break away speed. I also think our receivers are better suited to play-action passes since they don’t have the experience to find the openings when passing the ball play after play.

  2. Though the defense gave up a few big plays including penalties, they also made a couple game changers plus a few other nice plays. Chalk this win up to defense with the offense hanging in there. I think IU will have a winning record this year.

  3. I think Redding did just fine. Howard should start and get the vast majority of the snaps but Redding is quick, fast, and can give defenses problems catching him. The kid is OK.

  4. I see comments to keep Howard in the game but he rushed 27 times! If he starts carrying 40 or more times in these early games he will have nothing left by November when hopefully we are fighting for wins and a bowl game. Redding did just fine as a back-up. We all would like to see Howard in every series but that is not smart.

  5. I would like to see them get Redding into more open space. Maybe a swing pass to get him out on the edges to use his speed and quickness. I think if he could get out in the open he could be a really dangerous back for most teams to handle.

  6. Redding to me is a RB much like Howard but without the experience. Both have good speed [Howard actually has the fastest time in the 40 on the team]. Based on the Spring game I was hoping to see Brookins in the game at times as he is a scat back with the ability to make players miss him when trying to make a tackle.

    IU is loaded with young talent at RB and will be adding the RB who, as a junior, beat out the MSU senior recruit from that same school. Coach Wilson and his staff have developed one of the leading offenses in the B1G. We are now getting much better defensive recruits to go along with the offenses we have had. It will be another year before we see the defense that they are capable of having as we watch them grow up this year. The defense hasn’t looked good so far but that was due to the suspensions in the first game and not knowing what SIU would do with the transfers they brought in. This past game was better especially when you see that FIU gained 72 yards the last drive with the IU up by two scores. THat means effectively IU held them to 330 yards.

  7. #7 That is like saying when IU is playing in a game that IU has already lost by 2 or 3 tds and they have a 75 yard drive to end the game in a score; usually most fans want to count those yards and that score to create the perception that IU played the opponent closer than they really did. If you are not going to count effectively opponents insignicant yards or scores, then make sure you do not count IU insignicant yardage or scores when game is already decided.

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