Already down one quarterback and its leading passer, Indiana couldn't afford to lose another to injury.
Yet that's exactly what happened in the third quarter last Saturday against Penn State when sophomore quarterback Zander Diamont hit the Beaver Stadium turf hard as he was sacked, hurting his shoulder in the process. He left the game and did not return.
In stepped Danny Cameron, who calmly completed 2-of-4 passes for 17 yards on his first offensive series replacing Diamont. Cameron finished 6-for-16 with 65 yards and an interception, but may be in line for a higher volume of pass attempts Saturday against Rutgers if Diamont and Nate Sudfeld can't play.
"Just the way he's born and the way he's made, not just that he's a coach's kid, he's reasonably calm," Indiana head coach Wilson said of Cameron. "Just his personality. He's not over hyped up. He has been around the game."
Cameron is the son of former Indiana head coach Cam Cameron, who now serves as LSU's offensive coordinator. The redshirt freshman sat out all last season, spending his time on the scout team, so Saturday's game was the first game action he had seen in his Hoosier career.
However, whether the 6-foot-1, 208-pound native of Baton Rouge, La. gets more playing time and actually plays Saturday remains to be seen. According to Wilson, Diamont's shoulder injury might limit him for the next week or two. Wilson also said Sudfeld did more in practice Sunday night than any day the of practice leading up to the Penn State game.
"(Sudfeld) did a few things last week. He was at practice, he didn't take any live throws until Friday," Wilson said. "He did half the work on Friday, he and Zander, to see if he'd be ready to go. Danny had all the work last week. That's why we though he came in and did pretty well."
Cameron appeared to be more settled in the pocket last Saturday than Diamont, a style which more closely resembles that of Sudfeld's.
"Probably more similarities than differences," said IU offensive coordinator Kevin Johns, when asked how Cameron's game compares to Sudfeld's. "Probably less of a runner than Diamont would be, but can manage the game, can throw it. He's a very smart football player, his dad's obviously been a very successful football coach."
Cameron wasn't available to the media Monday, but his teammate, redshirt junior wide receiver Ricky Jones, was. Jones, who has played in all six games so far this season, has now worked with those three quarterbacks both in practice and in games.
Jones said the team just needs to get back on track and have players step up and make plays.
"We had this situation last season, so the thing is to just keep confidence, keep playing with confidence, regardless of the quarterback," Jones said. "They all are good. Danny stepped up after Zander went down and threw some great balls. It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, we've just got to play with confidence and make plays."
No matter who is under center Saturday for Indiana's homecoming game, the Hoosiers will be confident that quarterback fits with the offense.
"We feel we're armed to handle whatever comes up," Johns said. "If's Diamont that's quarterback, if it's Sudfeld, if it's Danny Cameron, we feel like our offense is multiple enough that we can adjust and put guys in the right places. That's part of the job, that's part of the business. Injuries happen, and we have to prepare and be ready for it."