Hoosiers, Diamont look to finish strong

Published 12:44 am Thursday, November 20, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana is hoping Zander Diamont can build on his performance against Rutgers when the Hoosiers visit No. 7 Ohio State on Saturday.

The true freshman had his best game of the season in last weekend’s 45-23 loss to the Scarlet Knights. He was 15 for 31 for 179 yards in his fourth start, with his first career touchdown pass and an interception.

Drops in key situations prevented Diamont from having an even bigger game. The Hoosiers were 1 for 15 on third-down conversions.

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“Without those drops I think he had a phenomenal day,” offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said Monday. “He played well enough for us to win that game. He’s practiced his butt off. He’s studied a ton of film. He’s doing all the right things.”

Indiana (3-6, 0-6 Big Ten) has lost five in a row heading into the matchup with the Buckeyes (9-1, 6-0, No. 8 CFP), who are trying to grab a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Hoosiers have two games left in their seventh consecutive losing season. The program hasn’t reached a bowl game since 2007, but coach Kevin Wilson said the team is focused on a strong finish for its seniors.

“If you look at what we’ve done the last couple weeks, I don’t think there is a lot of give up in them,” Wilson said. “We’re not going to hang our heads as coaches, and I don’t think those kids are.”

Indiana finishes with a home game against rival Purdue on Nov. 29.

The Hoosiers had several encouraging offensive performances against Rutgers. Tevin Coleman rushed for a career-high 307 yards, and senior wide receiver Shane Wynn had 11 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Wilson has been most impressed with Wynn’s leadership off the field.

“I had a player just off to the side today tell me they really thought he was doing as good a job as he’d ever seen anyone just in the locker room with the guys,” Wilson said. “You know you go through a quarterback change, you don’t get the ball as much; I thought at Michigan he was the best guy on the sideline. So, I have a lot of respect for him and the seniors.”