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On This Date in Sports: September 12, 2010: Arian Foster runs over Colts

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Arian Foster of the Houston Texans runs all over the Indianapolis Colts, rushing for 231 yards with three touchdowns. Forster’s efforts enable the Texans to win their season opener 34-24 at Reliant Stadium. It is only the second time that the Texans defeated the Colts, having lost 15 of 16 previous meetings. It would be the start of a breakout season for Arian Foster, who leads the NFL in rushing with 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns. 

 Arian Foster was born on August 24, 1986, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His father, Carl Foster, played football at New Mexico but never made an NFL roster as he was cut by the Denver Broncos during training camp in 1982. Arian Foster moved with his father to San Diego in 2000, as he attended Mission Hills High School. From there, he went on to the University of Tennessee. After struggling in his senior season, Foster went undrafted but signed with the Houston Texans in 2009. 

 Arian Foster did not make the Texans roster out of training in 2009 but signed on to the practice squad. Two months later, he was activated and made his debut on November 17th against the Tennessee Titans. Foster played in six games his rookie season, rushing for 254 yards on 54 carries with three touchdowns. 

 The Colts started the 2010 season under coach Jim Caldwell hoping to get back to the big game after losing to the New Orleans Saints seven months earlier. The Houston Texans meanwhile, were looking to build off a 9-7 season in 2009 with Gary Kubiak as they sought to make their first playoff appearance in their ninth season. 

 The Colts entered the game as a slight favorite, but could not advance the ball on their first possession. The Texans meanwhile got a field goal from Neil Rackers, the first time they touched the ball, as Arian Foster had 11 yards on three carries. The Colts second drive stalled at 50, while Houston again got a field goal from Rackers to take a 6-0 lead. The Texans bend don’t break defense continued to keep the Colts off the scoreboard, as they chose to punt from the Houston 38 rather than attempt a long field goal. 

Late in the first quarter, Arian Foster began to make some noise with 13 yards on three carries. This helped set up Matt Schaub, who had three straight passes over 20 yards, connecting with Kevin Walter for 22 yards for a touchdown, to extend their lead to 13-0 early in the second quarter. After another empty drive by Indianapolis, Arian Foster had a pair of runs totaling 17 yards. The game suddenly changed on the next play as Matt Schaub was picked off by Melvin Bullitt. The Colts took full advantage, connecting with Reggie Wayne on a 14-yard touchdown pass. After the Texans went three and out, the Colts drove down the field and cut the Texans lead to 13-10 with a chip shot by Adam Vinatieri.

The Texans received the second half and fed a steady diet of Arian Foster, to stretch the lead to 20-10 as Foster scored from the one after accounting for 48 yards on a 66-yard drive. The Colts also had a long drive in the third quarter, but again failed to score. With the fourth quarter approaching, Arian Foster continued to compile the yardage with another 17 yards. The Texans drive stalled in the fourth quarter, leading the Colts a shot to get back in the game. Indianapolis looked to be close to getting in the end zone when Bernard Pollard stripped Austin Collie. 

Starting on their own nine-yard-line, the Texans got a big 42-yard run by Arian Foster to swing the field in their favor. Foster added an 11-yard run and had a 25-yard touchdown run to give the Texans a 27-10 lead. The Colts answered with a touchdown, but Houston recovered the on-side-kick and used Arian Foster to chew up the field and chew up the clock as he went over 100 yards, scoring his third touchdown from the eight with just under two minutes left. The Colts made a big play as Peyton Manning connected with Collie on a 73-yard touchdown pass, but after the Colts failed to record the on-side-kick, the Texans just needed to get into victory formation for a satisfying 34-24 win.

Arian Foster would take the momentum of his 231-yard performance in Week 1 to win the first of two career rushing titles. The play of Foster did not help Houston, as they posted a record of 6-10, while the Colts shook off the opening week loss to finish 10-6 and win the AFC South.