Players to Watch: Michigan State

All eyes will be on No. 12 and No. 6 for the Hoosiers on Saturday to see how they can lead the IU offense against the No. 8 ranked Michigan State Spartans. Here's a little bit more on what Zander Diamont and Tevin Coleman need to do Saturday afternoon.

With every game Indiana plays this season, we’ll take a look at a few players that we think could be key contributors in the upcoming game. Here are the key players for the Michigan State game.


All eyes will be on Indiana’s No. 12 on Saturday when Zander Diamont, a true freshman who has yet to play a down this season, is expected to lead the Hoosier offense on the field against Michigan State. The last time Diamont played quarterback in a real game he was in high school last season at Venice (Calif.) High School. Just how he will react to playing Big Ten college football remains to be seen.

The key for Diamont will be trying not to do too much. The IU coaching staff will have a major task on its hands trying to find a way for the true freshman to be successful early. It worked fine for Chris Covington last week against Iowa as the first play he came in he handed the ball to Tevin Coleman and the junior running back raced 45 yards for a touchdown. But Diamont is going to have to be on target early and connect on some safe throws.

What will be the biggest challenge for Diamont to overcome will simply be the speed of the game and the fact that he has had to get up to speed very quickly for his college debut on Saturday.


Coleman has shouldered a great deal of the Indiana offense this season but that was with a quarterback in the backfield that was a consistent threat to put up big production in the passing game. The exception was the final two and a half quarters last week against Iowa when Coleman still managed to put up big offensive numbers but for the most part he was the only one contributing.

Saturday will be a big challenge as Michigan State is likely going into this one thinking if it can contain Coleman it should be able to win easily.

Coleman’s career high for carries in a game was 24 earlier this season against Bowling Green. This could be a game where Coleman gets the ball 30 times or more. He has had eight games in a row dating back to the end of last season where he has gained at least 100 yards. But Michigan State limited him to 79 yards on 15 carries last year and the bulk of that total came on a 64-yard TD scamper. This Spartan defense isn’t as heralded as that one but Coleman will still have a big task at hand on Saturday.

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