1. Force Devin Gardner into trouble: The Michigan quarterback has struggled to achieve consistency in his final year in Ann Arbor. Gardner has been especially turnover prone, throwing 10 interceptions against six touchdowns. The Wolverines have failed to move the ball effectively both through the air and on the ground, while Gardner and backup Shane Morris have combined for one of the least efficient passing attacks in the conference, teaming for a 55 percent completion rate. Michigan’s offensive line has struggled, allowing 48 tackles for a loss and 17 sacks. Indiana hasn’t always been consistent with its ability to bring pressure this year, but it has had its share of encouraging moments. Flustering Gardner not only builds confidence for Indiana’s defense, it keeps IU quarterback Zander Diamont from playing a significant game of catch-up.
2. Allow Zander Diamont to get comfortable: Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said this week that he’s scaling back his playbook for Diamont. The Hoosiers went back to their basic installation plays from the preseason and branched out from there with whatever Diamont felt comfortable running. After a two-week preparation window afforded from the bye, Indiana will have some new wrinkles tailored to Diamont. The Wolverines are likely to key heavily on Tevin Coleman and force Diamont to beat them through the air and, if that’s the case, the smart plan would be to get Diamont settled in with what he knows and does well. Whether that includes some designed roll-outs or some quick and short throws, that appears to be Indiana’s best plan with its passing game. (more…)
MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat with Andy, Mike and Jeremy. Thanks for being here, and Happy Halloween.
How is everyone today? Ready to get started?
JEREMY: Thinking this is a going to be a good night to dress up as an Eskimo, but in the meantime, I’m ready to chat from my igloo.
MIKE: Good morning, everybody, and happy Halloween. Sadly, no trick-or-treating for Andy and I this year. An early-morning wakeup call for Michigan awaits. Fun weekend on tap, nonetheless, with IU football looking for a big win at the Big House and IU basketball hosting its annual Haunted Hall of Hoops at noon Saturday. With that, let’s chat.
ANDY: Snow? Did somebody say snow?
Time to chat. And will do my best to avoid any sort of snow-job in my responses.
QUESTION: 1. I dont like it that no matter who we play Todd Yeagley will say in postgame video on iuhoosiers.com that ‘(Insert Name) is a really good team’ no matter how good the team really is. It’s not that I think he shouldn’t compliment every team in some way but to use the same “Notre Dame is a really good team” in the exact same way he says “Evansville is a really good team” with the exact same quote except with a different team is disengenuous too both opponents who are not on the same level and he does it for every team regardless of who we play or how good they really are. It just makes the quote seem very hollow and not believable when he does it every time
2. In terms of teams play obviously still no complaints. Obviously went to Evansville last night (i-69 cut my drive down from 2 hrs 15 to 1.5 hrs to evansville on all interstate) and have to say they are the worse team ive seen IU play this year but we took care of business as we needed to. How come you didnt go ANdy or Jeremy? I hope to see you guys covering tourney games either at home or regionally.
Iu Soccer Fan, Bloomfield (more…)
1. HOOSIERS HQ
Struggles have left Michigan taking one game at a time, not looking at the big picture with Indiana coming to town, Mike writes.
2. IT’S INDIANA
Michael Plume was found at the end of a noose on scaffolding outside the construction of Memorial Stadium in 1960, but was it murder or suicide, Ken Bikoff of HoosierFlash.com writes.
Tevin Coleman has learned to both take and dish out hits as a running back under the radar, Lindsay Schnell of SI.com writes.
Brady Hoke and Michigan are preparing for Tevin Coleman’s big-play ability, Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com writes.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery found solace from the coaching fraternity amid personal tragedy, including a phone call from Tom Crean, Mike Lopresti of NCAA.com writes.
Michigan hopes to resurrect its moribund offense against Indiana, Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News writes.
With Michigan not at its best, Indiana has a chance to snap a 47-year losing streak in Ann Arbor, Pete DiPrimio of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
For all the ghosts that haunt Memorial Stadium, here’s Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band with “Murder Incorporated.”
The memory is on quick recall for Indiana senior receiver Nick Stoner.
Late in last year’s 63-47 loss at Michigan, before things got away from the Hoosiers, Stoner stepped onto the field for a third down play in the fourth quarter and fixed his eyes on the sky. The evening was turning into the night while a cold rain fell through the beaming lights of Michigan Stadium.
“I looked around like, ‘Wow, this is an awesome experience,’” Stoner said.
You don’t forget trips to Michigan Stadium and, this week especially, the Hoosiers are hoping they can make their latest trip to Ann Arbor one to savor. To earn the program’s first win at Michigan since 1967, Indiana will try to do so with freshman quarterback Zander Diamont.
Even before he was thrust into his starting assignment, Diamont was a member of Indiana’s travel squad over the first half of the season. So IU coach Kevin Wilson isn’t overly worried about the toll that a homecoming crowd could take on Diamont.
Wilson said he believes the team has done enough work on snap counts and with simulated crowd noise to feel confident heading into Saturday afternoon’s 3:30 contest against the Wolverines.
“All you do is you talk about what you can control,” Wilson said. “If you can control your communication, get everybody on the same page, make sure our snap counts (are set) and handle the ball, then it just goes back to keeping your eyes on the field and not getting caught up with what’s going on around it.
“At the same time you can make too much of it. You know, a guy thinks he understands what it’s like to play against a good opponent. Until you get out there (you can’t be) like, ‘Wow, that happened a little faster and I got a little hyped and a little quick,’ like last game. But a lot of guys have been through it. (Diamont will) just have to manage it. We’ll have to put him in good situations the best we can.”
Since losing his top two quarterbacks, Wilson has talked often about the Hoosiers’ need to create their own energy to stay positive.
That’s especially important for this group, Stoner believes.
“We realize that he wasn’t just saying that because that’s what a coach is supposed to say,” Stoner said. “We realize we have to create our own energy because here, at Memorial Stadium, we come out at halftime and almost our whole student section is gone. We actually, legit, have to make our own energy. So I think by actually realizing we have to do that, we’ve grown better and more mature in that.”
My apologies, I’ve forgotten to post the link to the Friday live chat in recent weeks.
If you want to join us on Friday morning at 11, please click here.
Playing in four games is usually the cut-off point for applying for a redshirt year.
But Indiana feels it may have a unique case with Chris Covington.
IU coach Kevin Wilson said on his weekly radio show Wednesday that he will petition the Big Ten to grant Covington, Indiana’s freshman backup quarterback, an extra year of eligibility because he appeared on the field sparingly.
Covington played in five games, taking one snap against Indiana State, running two plays at Bowling Green and leading the final IU drives against both Maryland and North Texas before playing two-plus quarters at Iowa.
“By law he’s played in five, but it’s so little that we’re going to document it and see if we can get his year back,” Wilson said. “The rule says after the fourth game, ‘No.’ But it’s a little bit unusual with the resps, so we’ll see how it goes. That’ll be up to the Big Ten to look into for us.”
Indiana safety Mark Murphy received some good news Thursday morning when the National Football Foundation selected Murphy as a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, awarded to the nation’s best scholar-athlete.
Murphy is among 17 honorees in the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete class, who will travel to New York City to be honored on Dec. 9 during the annual awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. Murphy, who has a 3.85 grade point average in informatics, will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
“I feel honored,” Murphy said this week about being a contender. “It represents IU well and not only what we do on the field here, but academically with the great resources we have.”
Murphy is IU’s fifth National Scholar-Athlete, joining Ben Chappell (2010), Kevin Speer (1980), Charles Thomson (1971) and Harry Gonso (1969).
He is one of 30 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award and was a candidate for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Murphy became the ninth Hoosier all-time to earn Capital One Academic All-America honors last season.
“President (Michael) McRobbie is an informatics guy, so I’m sure he’s digging that,” IU coach Kevin Wilson said this week.
View more in Football
Indiana will hold its annual Haunted Hall of Hoops on Saturday at Assembly Hall.
Doors open at noon so that fans can watch an open practice and scrimmage, with a costume parade to follow on the floor at approximately 1:45 p.m. Players and coaches will also be available for group pictures.
“We always enjoy this event with our fans,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a release. “It’s important to have our team prepare as many times as they can in front of people and there are no better fans to play in front of than the Hoosier Nation.”
View more in Men's Basketball
The field is set for the skill competitions at Hoosier Hysteria.
Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft, Collin Hartman, James Blackmon Jr., Rob Johnson and Max Hoetzel will go head-to-head in Saturday’s 3-point competition at Assembly Hall. They’ll compete against Maura Muensterman, Tyra Buss, Larryn Brooks, Taylor Agler, Karlee McBride and Amanda Cahill from the IU women’s team.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis, Troy Williams and Nate Ritchie will go head-to-head in the dunk contest.
View more in Women's Basketball
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