Players to Watch: Rutgers

Here are two players, one on offense and one defense, to keep an eye on today when Indiana plays at Rutgers.

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 Rutgers game.

OFFENSE

ZANDER DIAMONT

The time has come for the true freshman quarterback from Venice, Calif. to look like a Big Ten college quarterback. It may have been asking too much for Diamont to excel when he was thrown to the wolves on Oct. 18 in a nationally-televised home game against Michigan State. It was tough for him going to the Big House in the second game, too. Last week, if he could have played at a little higher level the Hoosiers could have beaten Penn State. And now comes Rutgers. Diamont has now had three games in a total of four weeks and has been practicing for a month to be ready to play Big Ten football.

Diamont’s passing yardage total for three games is what Nate Sudfeld would do in a quarter. Diamont has thrown for 103 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He is averaging 34.3 yards passing per game. He has completed 46 percent of his passes and his long passing play is 24 yards. He has done some good things on the ground. He has 95 yards rushing on 31 carries and has scored a touchdown. But IU needs him to throw the ball effectively against Rutgers. He looked a little more comfortable last week against Penn State but for IU to have a shot at beating the Scarlet Knights, Diamont has to take a major step forward.

DEFENSE

Mark Murphy

Murphy is wrapping up his career and if the Penn State game is any indication he wants to finish strong.

Murphy had a pick-six for 47 yards and IU’s only touchdown last week in a 13-7 loss to Penn State. He is sixth on IU’s team in tackles despite missing one game this season. He has two and a half tackles for loss and two interceptions. But Murphy is one of the leaders on this defensive team and IU will need his leadership Saturday against Rutgers.

The Hoosiers need a performance on defense like it got last week against Penn State in order to have a reasonable chance against the Scarlet Knights.

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