Hoosiers ready to get back to work with Diamont

The first- and second-team repetitions went to Nate Sudfeld and Chris Covington two weeks ago, not Zander Diamont.

Last week, Diamont received only a couple days’ worth of reps with the first team heading into Saturday’s game against No. 8 Michigan State.

The workload will change over the next two weeks.

As Indiana opens the bye week, Diamont is set to receive the bulk of the work before the Hoosiers’ next game at Michigan on Nov. 2. After Diamont completed only 5-of-15 passes for 11 yards in a 56-17 loss to the Spartans, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is hoping to build rapport and establish timing between his former third-string quarterback and a growing group of receivers.

“We weren’t able to have a full week with him prior to (last week) when he was third behind Nate and Chris,” Wilson said. “You just kinda work your first two quarterbacks. If you give reps to the three, you’re not giving enough work to the No. 2, or getting enough work for the No. 1.”

Diamont was thrown into a tough spot against the Spartans, and it showed. He may have had an encouraging week of practice, as those inside the program said, but Diamont misfired plenty of passes that could have turned into substantial gains for Indiana — underthrowing and overthrowing receivers along the sidelines and over the middle of the field. That said, he didn’t receive a ton of help from his offensive line, which struggled to contain a loaded Michigan State pass rush.

The true freshman from Los Angeles needs to work on his timing. Wilson said he was too quick while attempting five- and three-step drops on Saturday, which kept both Diamont and his receivers out of sync.

Now, Diamont gets two weeks to prepare as the starter and embrace all the responsibilities that come with that role.

“I think what he needs to understand is that playing the game as a young player is about preparing and working hard,” Wilson said. “He’s been thrown into the fire, and in some deep water. He’ll get another good chance with the open date. It’s a great week for him and us, and we have to make a lot of strides with him and all of our guys.”

Wilson said after Saturday’s game that he wouldn’t characterize the current situation as an open competition between Diamont and backup Nate Boudreau.

Right now, the Hoosiers are trying to make the most out of an unfortunate situation with a young quarterback who needs the kind of additional work the bye week brings.

“They’re both threes and fours for reasons,” Wilson said Saturday. “We got to keep bringing them along. At the same time they’re different. Zander, again, had a great week of practice (last week). You’ve got to learn. You can say you got it, but you fought against one of the best teams in the country. That was your first start, first game. Hey, here comes a really good team at you. He jumped into some deep water. At the same time, we’ll see how quick he can grow from that.”

4 comments

  1. You have to give Wilson some credit. Diamont did arrive at a tough moment and he was thrown into the deep end without a life jacket.

    But Wilson’s statements are calm, rational and thoughtful and supportive of a true freshman quarterback. That has to help the kid with his confidence.

    Not sure what better job you could do in terms of dealing with a tough situation. Kudos to Coach Wilson.

    I hope it pays dividends. It would be fun to see the kid recover and do something good.

  2. “He’s been thrown into the fire, and in some deep water.” Gotta love coach-speak. That said, I think we’ll see a different Zander in Ann Arbor – seems like a kid that isn’t afraid of the bright lights.

  3. kurk81, You know I posted after the MSU game it was easy to see why Covington was playing ahead of ZD but what I did not post was Zander showed no fear and did show 170 lb.. of personal confidence. He I am now sure knows his youthful physical limits and will adjust to a more positive performance. Or as you stated “we’ll see a different Zander in Ann Arbor. Are you aware Meatchicken only has 5-6 offensive plays this season longer than 30 yards? That says our D has an opportunity to play eveup.

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