Notes and quotes from Indiana’s 56-17 loss to No. 8 Michigan State

Tevin Coleman built another big day on the big play.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Coleman recorded his ninth consecutive 100-yard game, finishing with 132 yards on 15 carries. He became the first rusher to eclipse 100 yards against Michigan State this season.

The Indiana junior essentially got there on two runs of 65 and 30 yards against a Spartans defense that entered play yielding only 82.5 rushing yards per game.

“They started loading the box, putting a lot of guys in the box,” Coleman said. “They’re a very good defense and they stopped the run.”

Indiana finished with 213 rushing yards, making the program’s eighth straight game with at least 200 yards on the ground.

— The Hoosiers made some changes to their offensive line on Saturday, moving center Collin Rahrig to left guard and inserting Jake Reed at center. The Hoosiers have rotated a bunch of players into the lineup at left guard, with Rahrig the latest.

IU coach Kevin Wilson also said right tackle Ralston Evans aggravated a knee injury that forced Dimitric Camiel into action at the position.

“I thought Collin Rahrig has been awesome at center,” Wilson said. “Just thought we needed to pick up there. Thought Jake Reed at center, Rahrig at center — might have messed it up there. But Rahrig was playing good at center. Didn’t think our left guard was playing well. Thought Rahrig at left guard and Jake Reed would be a better combination than the guys we have been playing there.”

— Freshman linebacker Tegray Scales intercepted his second career pass and team’s fifth of the season. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook didn’t read coverage well when he zipped a ball directly at Scales over the middle of the field in the second quarter. The Hoosiers turned the pick into points after freshman quarterback Zander Diamont rushed for a nine-yard touchdown on the following series. IU has 21 points off six turnovers this season.

— Shane Wynn registered his second career rushing touchdown, both against Michigan State. Wynn took a reverse 75 yards for a score in the second quarter. Wynn, who added 19 kick return and 14 punt return yards, passed Thomas Lewis (1991-93) to move into sixth all-time on the Indiana career all-purpose yardage list with 4,002.

— Kevin Wilson said he appreciated cornerback Donovan Clark trying to make an aggressive play on Josiah Price’s 67-yard reception in the second quarter.

“You got to. If you miss, you miss. Our deal is we can’t be passive. Again, same as Zander. Zander can be foolish. There’s a smart way of playing football.

“We’ll look at it. Maybe he needs to be in better position. Catch and tackle, catch and tackle. I mean, if we swing and miss, it’s better than not swinging at all.

“As a young player, he’ll learn from that. But he went for it and missed it. To say he’s wrong, we didn’t fault him on that. We’re trying to build some confidence and aggressiveness. I think you start questioning a kid for going after it, you get them playing on their heels. As we are trying to build our defense, some of these young guys in the offense, we’re talking about being aggressive. Michigan State is an aggressive football team. We had to be.

“I thought in the first quarter, quarter and a half, we were playing good, aggressive football. As the offense didn’t execute, the defense got tired, they wore us out in that great second half.

7 comments

  1. If there was a mistake in any of this- unless CKW saw a tactical value to it-, it was in not revealing as soon as it was confirmed, that Chris Covington had suffered the ACL tear which would keep him out of the game. The fact that it was not revealed made it the fodder of rumors and gossip and created an environment that allowed they naysayers/contrarians to emerge and take over the narrative. This is as much a critique (though no more than that) of the pr suits in the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics and of Fred Glass (who has otherwise done a good job) for not reigning them in and, once knowing the circumstances, getting in front of the challenge facing the Hoosiers.

    What is also adding to this atmosphere is that people were allowing the circumstances, the injury to CC andhis own limited experience, to become the property of those whose own biases- whether against CKW or CC- would jump on the opportunity to do what they have been doing for twenty years…dump on IU football.

    The program is in fine shape. We are recruiting at a level never before experienced at IU. The coaching staff seems to have a fine degree of ability to’teach’ technique, motivate, improve and polish their performance; and to develop them to the point that reversals are temporary. Finally, the one issue most often overlooked by these fans is that this is basically (at a 85% level) a freshman/sophomore team barely catching up physically to their B1G opponents.

    There is nothing wrong with the program or its leadership.

  2. What everyone is failing to realize is we just played the best team in the B1G who is in the hunt for the championship playoffs. The is huge for QB1’s development because every opponent afterward will be less daunting. I’m sure we’ll see a more relaxed and comfortable QB going forward.

    The defense on the other hand is another story…ugh.

  3. I didn’t fail to see a twig of QB in clear danger of becoming a permanently broken twig…The teams remaining on the schedule still pose enormous defensive/rush threats with explosive lineman/linebackers that could end this kid’s chance to play at a smaller program someday …..One blindside hit and there’s the potential for a very serious injury….I honestly fear for the young man’s well being.. He’s not ready….He’s not mature emotionally or physically. Covington had jitters, but jitters were to be expected with zero preparation coming off the bench on the road.

    Diamont was simply in clear danger and he knew he was in clear danger. He’s way below the bar of being physically ready….And the staged theatrics of “gunslinger” bravado is putting him in even greater harms way…Wilson needs to seriously model everything going forward to keep this kid from getting snapped in half….I’d hate to see this end up really ugly.

    Some may want to believe Covington’s torn ACl had nothing to do with the necessity to promote the real deal “prototype” Diamont into the starting job….But the reality they don’t face is that Wilson was not going to make that call…He was hoping to not face what he must face now….He is caught short of mature bodies and mature minds at a very dangerous position to play on a football team…He is now backed into a corner to do something he never wanted to be a part  truly endangering a young man not ready. Clarion said it best with his “blind man” comment…….Zander’s parents are “very loving…” We’ve all been there with our kids….Love is blind. But this isn’t boosting up ‘Lil Z’ for making the IU 400 relay swimming team…..This is bad-ass college football with forces equal to an Indy Car driver hitting the outside concrete wall in turn two at 220 mph…. Love shouldn’t be so blind to shut off all senses ….It shouldn’t be so unbalanced in the ‘delusions of parenting grandeur’ to blindly endanger. Hollywood infects and makes one feel bigger than life…..Perspectives can get lost…A coach cannot get lost in the same Hollywood hype…A coach needs to know better and protect when parents get lost in their love.

  4. So the question remains… is Covington out for the season with surgery or out for a few weeks to let the ACL heal on its own… surgery isnt always necessary (webmd).

  5. The QB situation is emblematic of IU football in general but its getting much better. The fact that we could lose our starting QB, lose our backup and still have someone on the roster who could potentially start someday is a testament to how far we have come! Same situation 4 years ago and we would be starting a band member at QB.

    As I and others have said repeatedly, building a football program from scratch is a very difficult and risky task. It is clearly a one step forward two steps back proposition until that ratio reverses and that takes a long time. We are making progress and thought of firing CKW are ill advised. One of the principal reasons the football program is in its condition is coaching staff turnover. Some of this has been unavoidable such as the tragic death of Coach Hep. Bad institutional decisions account for quite a bit. Moreover, we need increased stability in our staff…we can’t be turning over staff year after year. Clearly, staff will come and go but we need to take the appropriate measures to retain competent staff where we have it.

    We’ve made tremendous strides in recruiting, strength and conditioning and skill development. We’ve a long way to go to become competitive in this league. We need to keep supporting this program not demonizing it. This is a long haul and the conclusion is uncertain at best but negativity does not help.

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