Toward the beginning of the fourth quarter, Indiana football graduate student running back Stephen Carr was sitting on the bench. He’d already done his job.
Behind him in the stands stood a kid wearing a crimson shirt with Carr’s number, 5. The boy, urged on by a man wearing an Indiana cap, approached the running back to speak with him and left with some Indiana gear courtesy of Carr.
The interaction brought a smile to Carr’s face. During a press conference after the game, Carr said he’d been in the boy’s shoes himself when he was younger.
“I’d seen he had the five jersey on, but I love the kids.” Carr said. “He didn’t even have to have the five jersey on for me to give him that.”
Carr would remain on the bench for the rest of that quarter, which ultimately ended in a 56-14 victory for Indiana against the University of Idaho.
On his first carry of the game, Carr’s rush went for no gain. Carr burst through the line on the next play, gaining 17 yards and the first down. The Hoosiers called on Carr 12 times in the first quarter alone, one of which being a fourth-down conversion.
Penix handed the ball off on the Vandals’ 18 yard line. Carr shot out of the backfield, over the first down line and directly into Idaho sophomore nickel back Sean McCormick before five Vandals brought him down.
Carr finished off Indiana’s first drive, taking the ball right up the middle of the Hoosiers’ offensive line for the team’s first touchdown of the season.
“It got me in a good rhythm, I think it got the offensive line in a good rhythm,” Carr said.
By the end of the first half, Carr had 16 carries for a total of 80 yards. He surpassed his total against rushing yardage Iowa last Saturday, 57 yards, during his 14th attempt with a 26-yard pickup.
It took Carr a single attempt, another 26-yard gain in the second half, to eclipse 100 rushing yards. It was Indiana’s first individual 100-yard performance seen since last season against Maryland.
Carr’s last carry came toward the end of the third quarter, when Indiana had a 28-point lead. Afterward, Carr returned to the sideline to watch running backs below him on the depth chart find 55 more rushing yards and a touchdown.
“We all love each other, we want to see everybody eat no matter who’s in the game,” Carr said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m in the game, it doesn’t matter if [Ervin-Poindexter], Chris [Childers], we just want to see everybody eat.”
Carr said there was a big difference between last Saturday at Iowa and tonight, attributing it to increased emphasis on detail during practices this past week.
“We all tuned in and had great attention to detail,” Carr said.