Junior running back Tevin Coleman wasn’t shy about expressing his disappointment after not reaching 1,000 rushing yards last season.
A high ankle sprain caused him to miss the final three games in 2013. He fell just 42 yards short of 1,000.
In 2014, he responded with one of the greatest single-season performances in IU history.
Not only did he shatter his previous goal of 1,000 yards — he did it twice.
Coleman finished the season with 2,036 yards, becoming the 18th player in FBS history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark, all while retaining the Old Oaken Bucket in a win against Purdue on Saturday.
“I wasn’t even worried about the 2,000. I was worried about the win,” Coleman said. “That’s all I wanted, and that’s all I wanted for my seniors, and that’s all we did.”
Coleman’s rushing yards and 7.5 yards per carry average are both the best in program history. He finished fourth in all-purpose yards (2,177) and rushing touchdowns (15).
Coleman passed the 2,000-yard mark on an 8-yard rush with 10:13 left in IU’s 23-16 win Saturday. When he did so, he didn’t celebrate. He lined back up and added runs of three, five and four yards on an IU drive that ended with a field goal.
That’s just the way he plays, IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. He routinely lines up and grinds away chunks of yards until he breaks for a long gain.
Wilson said he hated it when Coleman fell short of his 1,000-yard goal last season because he thought he was on pace to get nearly 1,400.
IU offensive coordinator Kevin Johns credited Coleman’s motivation to come back as strong as he did to how frustratingly close he came to his goal last season.
“You step back on the field in preseason practice, and he was just playing at a different speed than guys we had seen and really, quite honestly, anyone else we had on our team,” Johns said.
There was a moment in the first quarter where Coleman was injured and needed to be attended to by athletic trainers on the field for an apparent leg injury. He walked off the field of his own power with a limp, at the time still well short of 2,000 yards.
But after getting his ankle retaped, he returned on the next drive. On his first touch, he rolled off a 20-yard gain, and he was on his way to 130 yards on 29 carries.
After the team celebrated the win and the season was officially over, senior receiver Isaiah ‘Zeke’ Roundtree tweeted his final thoughts on Coleman’s historic season.
“After the endorphins settle and smoke clears, we’ll realize that Tevin had over 2,000 yards this season,” Roundtree tweeted. “What kinda freak is he?”