Zander Diamont

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Indiana QB Ziander Diamont retiring from football after bowl game


Indiana junior quarterback Ziander Diamont will play his final football game in Indiana’s bowl game, whichever one that may end up being. Diamont says he is taking precautions already to protect his long-term health and says he will need his brain in the future, a sentiment that seems to becoming more and more prevalent as awareness and education about brain injuries and football continue to evolve.

“That’s just not my style and if I’m going to go out, I’m going to go out my way,” Diamont said after Indiana’s victory over Purdue. “I think that for my safety and my future – I’m not going to the NFL – I need my brain. So that was the decision.”

Diamont’s size and dual-threat style has left him prone to rough hits as he runs the ball often with a 174-lb body. According to The Indy Star, Diamont confessed to suffering “a lot” of concussions during his time in Bloomington and in high school. Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson conceded those hits may have taken a toll on him over time, which is one of the concerns when it comes to football players and CTE.

Unless Diamont changes his mind, this means Indiana will have one extra spot on the depth chart at quarterback to fill than initially expected for head coach Kevin Wilson. Diamont is expected to graduate in the summer and took part in the senior day activities on Saturday.

Ezekiel Elliott pushes No. 1 Ohio State to avoid Hoosier upset


With his offense once again struggling, Urban Meyer finally made the call for No. 1 Ohio State (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) to ride running back Ezekiel Elliott to victory. Elliott had two touchdown runs in the third quarter totaling 120 yards in the third quarter to help give Ohio State a much-needed spark. Both scores gave Ohio State a lead but a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Cardale Jones to Michael Thomas proved to be the difference in the game as the Buckeyes avoided a Big Ten upset to Indiana (4-1, 0-1 Big Ten) in Bloomington. the win was sealed when Indiana’s last pass of the game fell incomplete as the clock expired.

Elliott ended the day with 274 rushing yards, and 195 of those came on his three touchdown runs in the game. His 75-yard scamper down the field, after Indiana had jumped offside, gave Ohio State a 34-20 lead, but he was forced to keep pushing because Indiana quarterback Zander Diamont answered with a 79-yard touchdown run. Diamont had entered the game in relief of an injured Nate Sudfeld. Indiana running back Jordan Howard was also forced to leave the game due to injury, but the Hoosiers kept the pressure on.

The play fo Jones at quarterback has been under some tight scrutiny lately, and that will continue in this game. The box score does not reveal some of the issues Ohio State may have with Jones. Jones ended the game with 17-of-26 for 245 yards and a touchdown and an interception. There were times when Jones was throwing behind or above his receiver, and his receivers at times did pull in some high passes. He also held on to the football too long at times, but there is no real apparent rush to make a switch to J.T. Barrett. Ohio State remians undefeated

Ohio State has not had the most impressive 5-0 starts you will see, but the Buckeyes have made plays when they have needed to make them. how much does that count? We will get a better idea tomorrow when the new polls come out. Ohio State has remained a pretty solid No. 1 in the eyes of the voters for both the AP and coaches polls. Next up for Ohio State will be a home game against Maryland. The Terrapins will travel to Columbus with a 2-3 record after being defeated at home by a rising Michigan program. Ohio State’s schedule still appears favorable to be undefeated by the time they host Michigan State in November.

Indiana will travel to Penn State next week. If tIndiana plays the way it did in the first half, the Hoosiers could pick up the road win in State College for the first time in program history. If the Hoosiers are banged up though, then next week’s game at Penn State could be quite ugly.

Kevin Wilson will reportedly return as Indiana’s coach in 2015


It’s been a bad day for Big Ten coaches at the top of the standings, and a pretty good one for the guys at the bottom. Nebraska has canned Bo Pelini after a 9-3 season, but Illinois announced that Tim Beckman will return for a fourth season after going 6-6 in 2014.

And now Kevin Wilson will reportedly return for a fifth season as Indiana’s coach in 2015 after a 4-8 mark this fall.

And now that I’ve drawn a comparison between Indiana and Nebraska, allow me to say that comparing Indiana and Nebraska is asinine.

The programs are on completely different footing historically, and there was an extenuating circumstance that caused the Hoosiers to lose seven straight Big Ten games before a  23-16 win over Purdue in Saturday’s finale.

Indiana was on track to be a six- or seven-win team through the first part of the season (just ask Missouri!), but the injury of quarterback Nate Sudfeld scuttled all that. Sudfeld completed 101-of-167 passes for 1,151 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions before going down in the Iowa game on Oct. 11. He was replaced by Zander Diamont, who completed 64-of-132 passes for 515 yards with one lone touchdown (plus two on the ground) against four interceptions. The Hooisers’ passing efficiency dropped nearly 50 points with the change, and their chances of mounting a successful season went with it.

Indiana managed to put up a fight against Ohio State and the like thanks to the 2,036 rushing yards of Tevin Coleman, and the basis of a successful 2015 ride on his legs. But Coleman is a junior, which means he is eligible to enter the NFL Draft. Mark him down as Wilson’s most important recruit in the 2015 class.

Wilson is 14-34 in his four seasons in Bloomington, and 6-26 in Big Ten play.

Indiana’s Kevin Wilson gets boss’ vote of confidence


Whether it’s the “dreaded vote of confidence” remains to be seen.

With a 3-2 record to start the season, there was talk that Kevin Wilson had finally started turning around the Indiana football program.  With a five-game losing streak entering Week 13 — four of them by 16 or more points — the pitchforks are being gathered up and the torches lit in and around Bloomington.

Don’t look for Wilson’s boss to be in that mob, though.  At least not yet.

“To me, the answer is a resounding yes, notwithstanding the lack of wins this year,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said when asked by the Indianapolis Star‘s David Woods if the football program is head in the right direction.

“I just think it takes a little while. That’s why I gave Kevin a seven-year contract.”

Contractually, it’d cost Glass’ athletic department $1.5 million to rid themselves of Wilson at season’s end, which is far from a prohibitive amount.  On at least two occasions during his Star interview, however, Glass noted something that, at least in his mind, mitigates this season’s 3-7 record.

“I get that we’d like to win more games,” Glass said. “But I also think you just can’t overstate the impact of Nate going down. …

“Given the challenges inherent here, Kevin is going the right way. It’s just a shame Nate went down.”

The AD is referring to Nate Sudfeld, the starting quarterback who went down with a season-ending shoulder injury in the Oct. 11 loss to Iowa. That loss was followed by four more, with IU set to take a five-game losing streak on its road trip to No. 6 Ohio State.

When Sudfeld finished a game he started this season, the Hoosiers were 3-2 and appeared headed for its first bowl appearance since 2007 and just its second since 1993. Instead, with true freshman Zander Diamont mostly under center, Wilson’s seen his record tumble to 5-25 in Big Ten play in four seasons in Bloomington; Bill Lynch, the man Wilson replaced, was 6-26 in Big Ten play before he and the university “parted ways.”

“I think contracts need to mean something again at Indiana University,” Glass said in October of 2009. “He’s in the second year of a four-year contract … I hope that and really think that coach Lynch will be very successful.”

Exactly one year and one month later, Lynch was “replaced” as the Hoosiers’ head coach, with one year remaining on his contract.

Wilson is currently in the fourth year of his seven-year deal. Despite Glass’ public plaudits, it remains to be seen whether Wilson will see a fifth year.

Who’s your quarterback, Hoosiers? Covington out


Any time a team is facing Michigan State it is best to be as close to 100 percent clear on the injury front as possible. That will not be the case for Indiana this weekend when the defending Big Ten champions arrive in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers will be without freshman Chris Covington, although the reason for why is unclear.

As originally reported by The Indy Star on Wednesday afternoon, Covington’s mother said her son will not play this weekend. Indiana is already without Nate Sudfeld, who was lost for the remainder of the 2014 season just the other day. Sudfeld will be out with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Without their top two quarterbacks, Indiana is forced to proceed forward with No. 3 on the depth chart, freshman Zander Diamont. Indiana would have preferred to redshirt Diamont this season, but duty calls.

Getting to make your first career start has to be an exciting time, but Michigan State is not exactly the kind of team that is likely to give Diamont a warm welcome to the Big Ten playing field.