ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The IU football team has passed for 35 yards in the past two games.
Freshman Zander Diamont is responsible for all of them. Put into a tough situation as the starter because of injuries, it is difficult to be angry with Diamont because fans can’t have high expectations. However, after completing just 5-of-8 passes for 24 yards in the Hoosiers’ 34-10 loss to Michigan on Saturday, Diamont should no longer be the starting quarterback going forward.
IU has fallen to 3-5 and 0-4 in the Big Ten, and the possibility of a bowl game becomes slimmer and slimmer with each passing day.
There has to be a change, something completely different than what we’ve seen the past two weeks. Now to give Kevin Wilson credit, he did run several trick plays and direct snaps to running back. Some of them worked, some did not. But I want more.
Zander Diamont has no business being a starting quarterback in the Big Ten.
IU’s best player and biggest offensive threat is running back Tevin Coleman. IU can’t fully take advantage of Coleman because they have no passing attack. Opposing teams have no reason not to stack the box on every single play and force Diamont to beat them through the air, because he has made it clear he cannot complete passes consistently and certainly can’t when facing a blitz. No matter how good Coleman is, he can’t be the playmaker IU needs him to be when he faces eight guys in the box every play.
Michigan Coach Brady Hoke said his team’s game-plan was to keep Coleman between the tackles and in front of them, something they were able to accomplish.
IU needs to take more chances. They have nothing to lose at this point in the season. If Wilson chooses to keep Diamont at quarterback, then he needs to throw the ball 20 times a game so the team has something else to game-plan for besides running the ball every play with Coleman.
What the team should do, however, is change the offense. Run the wildcat, have more direct snaps, put in someone else at the quarterback position. You can’t convince me that there is nobody else on the roster that can’t throw just as well if not better than Diamont. There has to be someone.
Coleman said he isn’t the best passer and has tried it in practice. Running back Devine Redding was mentioned as a guy who could throw. Give D’Angelo Roberts a chance to throw. Put in freshman quarterback Danny Cameron. The Hoosiers have to do something differently so they can create just enough space that Coleman can do his thing.
This offense has to use trickery and unusual formations. IU cannot and will not win another game this season (even against Purdue) if it cannot make changes on the offensive side of the ball.
It doesn’t make sense to me why the Hoosiers did not attempt a single pass in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. That was an opportunity to give Diamont some in-game reps that he needed.
IU takes on Penn State at home next, and unless something changes, expect yet another loss.
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