Rutgers defensive players offer Big Ten scouting report of Indiana's offense
PISCATAWAY — Entering the season, Indiana featured what many thought would be the Big Ten's most explosive offense, averaging more than 500 yards in 2013.
But versatile quarterback Nate Sudfeld suffered a season-ending shoulder surgery, and now coach Kevin Wilson is on to third-stringer Zander Diamont, a true freshman.
Rutgers' defensive players this week broke down Indiana's top three influential offensive players.
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Diamont: Wilson said earlier in the week that Diamont gets "hyperness" when having to make multiple reads, typical of a young player. He didn't discount cutting the field in half depending on Rutgers' defensive look.
"If we can really stop this run game and force them to pass the ball, that'll be a negative for them," safety Johnathan Aiken said. "For (Diamont) to throw is an advantage for us. We just have to stop the run, and that's what we have to focus on. ... (Coordinator Joe Rossi) put in a coverage this week just to stop the run, and that's what we're going with."
Running back Tevin Coleman: The nation's second-leading rusher takes advantage still sees plenty of defenders at the line of scrimmage despite Wilson's spread offense. He's a bruiser that becomes more effective as the game wears on, defensive tackle Darius Hamilton said.
"When that running back is running the way he normally runs, that kid's (Diamont) got time because the box is stacked," Hamilton said. "One thing I've noticed is (Diamont's) very elusive runner. There were a couple of times in that Penn State game where they did zone read and he was able to make that linebacker miss one-on-one."
Wide receiver Shane Wynn: The 5-foot-7, 167-pounder reminds cornerback Nadir Barnwell of former Scarlet Knight Tim Brown, among others. He says Indiana tends to get Wynn the ball on jet sweeps, deeper routes and open-field cuts.
"He's good. He has good speed," Barnwell said. "They try to put the ball in his hands in open field. We're really going to have to focus on containing the run and containing him."