Jordan Howard

Upset alert: Late TD gives No. 9 Iowa halftime lead on Indiana

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Still without a loss, No. 9 Iowa is walking a thin line in Bloomington, Indiana this afternoon in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes lead the Hoosiers, 21-17, at halftime after C.J. Beathard ran seven yards and leaped over defenders across the goal line for a go-ahead score just before halftime. He may have hurt his right leg on the play, as he got up with a noticeable limp.

Jordan Howard has reached the end zone twice on the ground for the Hoosiers, each coming from outside the red zone. Howard’s first touchdown run came from 37 yards out midway through the second quarter, and the second came from 29 yards out to give Indiana its first lead of the game. Iowa had been up 14-3. Considering how well Iowa tends to defend the run, Howard’s performance is not to be taken for granted.

Iowa running back Akrum Wadley has played a role as well, running for 97 yards and a touchdown. LeShun Daniels has also scored a rushing touchdown for Iowa. Running appears to be the formula for both teams today, as neither quarterback has a touchdown pass.

Ezekiel Elliott pushes No. 1 Ohio State to avoid Hoosier upset

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With his offense once again struggling, Urban Meyer finally made the call for No. 1 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) to ride running back Ezekiel Elliott to victory. Elliott had two touchdown runs in the third quarter totaling 120 yards in the third quarter to help give Ohio State a much-needed spark. Both scores gave Ohio State a lead but a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Cardale Jones to Michael Thomas proved to be the difference in the game as the Buckeyes avoided a Big Ten upset to Indiana (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) in Bloomington. the win was sealed when Indiana’s last pass of the game fell incomplete as the clock expired.

Elliott ended the day with 274 rushing yards, and 195 of those came on his three touchdown runs in the game. His 75-yard scamper down the field, after Indiana had jumped offside, gave Ohio State a 34-20 lead, but he was forced to keep pushing because Indiana quarterback Zander Diamont answered with a 79-yard touchdown run. Diamont had entered the game in relief of an injured Nate Sudfeld. Indiana running back Jordan Howard was also forced to leave the game due to injury, but the Hoosiers kept the pressure on.

The play fo Jones at quarterback has been under some tight scrutiny lately, and that will continue in this game. The box score does not reveal some of the issues Ohio State may have with Jones. Jones ended the game with 17-of-26 for 245 yards and a touchdown and an interception. There were times when Jones was throwing behind or above his receiver, and his receivers at times did pull in some high passes. He also held on to the football too long at times, but there is no real apparent rush to make a switch to J.T. Barrett. Ohio State remians undefeated

Ohio State has not had the most impressive 5-0 starts you will see, but the Buckeyes have made plays when they have needed to make them. how much does that count? We will get a better idea tomorrow when the new polls come out. Ohio State has remained a pretty solid No. 1 in the eyes of the voters for both the AP and coaches polls. Next up for Ohio State will be a home game against Maryland. The Terrapins will travel to Columbus with a 2-3 record after being defeated at home by a rising Michigan program. Ohio State’s schedule still appears favorable to be undefeated by the time they host Michigan State in November.

Indiana will travel to Penn State next week. If tIndiana plays the way it did in the first half, the Hoosiers could pick up the road win in State College for the first time in program history. If the Hoosiers are banged up though, then next week’s game at Penn State could be quite ugly.

Indiana putting No. 1 Ohio State on high upset alert

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No. 1 Ohio State is on the ropes in its Big Ten opener in Bloomington. The underdog Indiana Hoosiers have taken it to Ohio State from the start and own a 10-6 lead at the half.

Indiana even gave Ohio State a chance to seize the momentum in the game, and the Buckeyes failed to do it. Up 10-3, Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson opted for a fake punt run despite snapping the football from Indiana’s own 16-yard line. The run was stopped short of the first-down marker and Ohio State took over inside the red zone. Fortunately for Wilson, the Hoosiers defense stood tall and held Ohio State to just a field goal.

Indiana running back Jordan Howard, among the nation’s leading rushers, was taken out of the game in the first half, although he returned with a noticeable hobble. Howard’s ankle was apparently rolled over on, forcing him to leave the field and receive medical attention in the locker room before he made his way back to the field.

Ohio State’s Cardale Jones has completed eight of nine pass attempts for 138 yards but he has held on to the football too often at times. With Ohio State’s offense in need of another halftime spark, could we see some J.T. Barrett in the second half?

Facing Fournette this week, college football fans already praying for Eastern Michigan

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After playing run-heavy Army yesterday, Eastern Michigan has now allowed a nation-worst 1,493 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns through just four games. Brace yourselves Eastern Michigan, because this week that swiss cheese run defense heads to Baton Rouge to take on the Heisman Trophy front-runner, Leonard Fournette of LSU.

Fournette has the nation’s top rushing average with 210.33 yards per game in three games. That is about 42 yards more per game than Indiana’s Jordan Howard, who is second in the nation in rushing average. Four weeks into the season there are four running backs with at least 600 rushing yards; Howard of Indiana (675 yards) , Tyler Ervin of San Jose State (641 yards), Fournette (631 yards) and C.J. Prosise of Notre Dame (600). Howard, Ervin and Prosise have accumulated 600 rushing yards in four games, while Fournette has done so in just three. Fournette became the first player in LSU history to rush for 200 yards in back-to-back games this weekend. With Eastern Michigan on deck he has as an excellent chance to become the first back-to-back-to-back 200-yard rusher in school history.

On paper, Fournette against Eastern Michigan’s run defense is about as big of a mismatch as you may see. This is a great spot to pad the stats a bit for Fournette if LSU head coach Les Miles chooses to do so. Do not be surprised if Fournette’s rushing total against the Eagles is lower than expected though. With the calendar flipping from September to October this week, LSU finds itself in the thick of the playoff race and looks to be a strong contender in the SEC. Having Fournette healthy for conference play will be vital for LSU’s chances later on, and LSU should be able to put aside Eastern Michigan without him. It would not be a shock to see Fournette get an early rest in this one, so he may have to pile up the rushing yards in the first half while he can. There should be no reason for Fournette to be playing in the fourth quarter, or most of the third quarter.

College football fans are already sending their best wishes to the Eastern Michigan Eagles this week.

UAB transfer Jordan Howard might miss rest of Indiana’s spring

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Transferring in from UAB this past January, Jordan Howard is being viewed as the heir apparent to All-American Tevin Coleman in Indiana’s backfield.  While that’s still the case, the running back will have an injury hiccup he’ll be forced to overcome first.

While there’s nothing yet official from IU, Brian Bennett of ESPN.com tweeted earlier Tuesday that Howard has been sidelined with an elbow injury.  Just how serious the injury is — it’s believed to be a hyperextension — and whether it will have any impact on the back’s availability for the start of the 2015 season is unknown.

What is known is that Howard will very likely miss the remainder of the Hoosiers’ spring, which is roughly at the halfway point of the 15 sessions.

With Coleman and his 2,036 yards gone early to the NFL, and with D’Angelo Roberts (493) using up his eligibility, the Hoosiers have just 118 returning yards, all of those of which belong to Devine Redding.  That’s why Howard — and his experience — is a very important addition for a football program to become a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten squad.

This past season, and prior to UAB killing its football program, Howard was second in Conference USA and 14th nationally with a school-record 1,587 yards.  His 13 rushing touchdowns were also a school record.  As a true freshman in 2013, he was second on the team in rushing with 881 yards.

Because of the situation that led to Howard’s transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2015.  He’ll be a third-year junior this year, and have two years of eligibility remaining in addition to having a redshirt at his disposal.