TERRE HAUTE — With 41- and 46-point losses in consecutive weeks, there hasn’t been much for Indiana State’s football team to get excited about of late.
An exception is in the Sycamores’ backfield.
Junior Buck Logan and freshman LeMonte Booker are doing their best to hold the Sycamores together offensively. Once Shakir Bell exited the Illinois State game Oct. 19 and then the team Oct. 22, Logan and Booker have had ISU’s running duties to themselves.
Despite the fact that ISU has struggled mightily to throw the ball in recent weeks — the Sycamores haven’t compiled more than 82 passing yards in their last three games — Booker and Logan are gaining yards against stacked defenses.
Logan had 76 rushing yards against North Dakota State last weekend. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry against the best defense in FCS. Logan had 38 yards against Illinois State a week earlier before he sustained a back injury that knocked him out of that game prematurely.
“We’re taking advantage of every opportunity we get. We’ve been prepared just in case something happened. We worked hard for it. Now that it’s come, we’re ready,” Logan said. Booker took over for Logan against the Redbirds and rushed for 54 yards on nine carries. Booker rushed for 21 last week, but added a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown.
“I think the coaches are giving us more trust. I feel like it’s about making progress and taking advantage of opportunities,” Booker said.
Logan and Booker arrived at ISU under different circumstances — Logan is a junior college transfer from Sacramento City College and Booker is a true freshman from Orland Park, Ill. — they quickly bonded out of a similar Sycamore experience. Both were behind Bell, George Cheeseborough and Taje High in the preseason depth chart. Injuries to those three backs opened the door for them.