Hoosiers preparing for trip to Michigan Stadium

The memory is on quick recall for Indiana senior receiver Nick Stoner.

Late in last year’s 63-47 loss at Michigan, before things got away from the Hoosiers, Stoner stepped onto the field for a third down play in the fourth quarter and fixed his eyes on the sky. The evening was turning into the night while a cold rain fell through the beaming lights of Michigan Stadium.

“I looked around like, ‘Wow, this is an awesome experience,'” Stoner said.

You don’t forget trips to Michigan Stadium and, this week especially, the Hoosiers are hoping they can make their latest trip to Ann Arbor one to savor. To earn the program’s first win at Michigan since 1967, Indiana will try to do so with freshman quarterback Zander Diamont.

Even before he was thrust into his starting assignment, Diamont was a member of Indiana’s travel squad over the first half of the season. So IU coach Kevin Wilson isn’t overly worried about the toll that a homecoming crowd could take on Diamont.

Wilson said he believes the team has done enough work on snap counts and with simulated crowd noise to feel confident heading into Saturday afternoon’s 3:30 contest against the Wolverines.

“All you do is you talk about what you can control,” Wilson said. “If you can control your communication, get everybody on the same page, make sure our snap counts (are set) and handle the ball, then it just goes back to keeping your eyes on the field and not getting caught up with what’s going on around it.

“At the same time you can make too much of it. You know, a guy thinks he understands what it’s like to play against a good opponent. Until you get out there (you can’t be) like, ‘Wow, that happened a little faster and I got a little hyped and a little quick,’ like last game. But a lot of guys have been through it. (Diamont will) just have to manage it. We’ll have to put him in good situations the best we can.”

Since losing his top two quarterbacks, Wilson has talked often about the Hoosiers’ need to create their own energy to stay positive.

That’s especially important for this group, Stoner believes.

“We realize that he wasn’t just saying that because that’s what a coach is supposed to say,” Stoner said. “We realize we have to create our own energy because here, at Memorial Stadium, we come out at halftime and almost our whole student section is gone. We actually, legit, have to make our own energy. So I think by actually realizing we have to do that, we’ve grown better and more mature in that.”