Oct. 28, 2006
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Indiana vs. Michigan State
Head Coach Terry Hoeppner Quotes
"I told the team we need to learn how to handle prosperity better. Championship teams finish people off in the fourth quarter. They don't turn it over three times and give them chances to get back in the game. I also told them get used to it. Get used to handling prosperity because we are going to have a bunch of it down the road.
This was close. This was the one that I've been talking about and knowing we had in us. We are playing like we can play, and doing it for 60 minutes. They were unstoppable the first possession. They went right down the field and scored on us, but we scored first last week and I said, I think we made Ohio State mad. Well, they made us mad today, because after that I really liked the way our defense stepped up and really played hard and played well. They made plays and that was key. The points right before the half were huge. It was a real boost for us and had to be tough for them to handle. There is still room for improvement on our part, but we've got guys really believing in themselves. Trust yourself, trust your teammates, trust your coaches and you can just see it, you can feel it."
On the pressure up front on defense:
"We did that without blitzing as much as the Illinois game. If you can get pressure without having to commit to blitz and play zero coverage, that's good and is a credit to our front four. I thought both sides of our line played well today. It's evident when you can run the ball like we ran it today and protect it pretty well for the most part and get pressure on the quarterback and contain and swarm the run, that's what our defense is supposed to look like."
On the success of redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Lewis and sophomore wide receiver James Hardy:
"We're calling good plays and they are executing them well. The fact that a quarterback spends more time in practice and more game time with a receiver, there becomes a familiarity and an anticipation as to what the guy is going to do, so that's developing for sure."
On the maturity of the young players:
"We're a young team that is getting better and has room for improvement. There is no age limit on being able to play this game, but experience is so important. Those two freshmen on that left side, (offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and Pete Saxon), its fun to watch. Kellen will still improve, he's gotten physically stronger, but his decision making, that gets better with game time. I'm glad he's going to be around for a while."
On the crowd:
"We will continue to build the program. It was our goal - you set goals, and just because you don't reach them doesn't mean you don't keep setting goals and keep trying. The word will spread and this will really mushroom. As important as the Iowa game was in context, you want to play meaningful games in October, and guess what, this was a meaningful game and the Hoosiers won big. The crowd was fantastic and I can't thank them enough. They were a home field advantage today. We may not have reached our attendance goal, but we reached our spirit goal, and to me, that's probably more important because that is contagious. That will spread and grow and be hard for anyone to contain. People are genuinely excited about this football team. The students were great and our band was great. It was a fun day."
Indiana Player Quotes
Senior safety Will Meyers
On the game:
"We are a good defense when everyone does their job and you saw that today. We didn't have many blown coverages, and we fed off the crowd. We saw the offense was moving the ball, so we kind of pounced on them."
Sophomore running back Marcus Thigpen
On the offense:
"We are really starting to get the chemistry together. Our offensive line is protecting, our running game is getting more patient, and our receivers are catching balls. We are coming together as a team and gaining more confidence."
On Kellen Lewis:
"Kellen is just unordinary. He has a lot of composure and confidence. He is making improvements and playing well."
Junior cornerback Tracey Porter
On the defense and the game:
"The play has a lot to do with the senior leadership, Josiah Sears and Will Meyers. We have all really come together and are gelling together as the season goes on."
Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver James Hardy
On his play in both the Iowa and Michigan State games:
"I knew some good things were going to happen and now it's starting to happen. I look at this game as my job, and I'm just doing what I'm supposed to do."
On the Michigan State defense:
"We knew their coverage would be spread out and that I would have opportunities to go one-on-one and that's what I want."
On his relationship with Kellen Lewis:
"We have been working day in and day out, working together and watching film together."
Redshirt Freshman Quarterback Kellen Lewis
On the game and the defense:
"The offense didn't have many breathers because the defense kept going three and out. And that's a good thing because then it's a field position game and it pumps up the offense to know the defense has shut them down. I know that it's also vice versa and that once we start scoring, it really pumps up the defense as well."
On the play of James Hardy:
"We flowed the offense. He has confidence in me and I have confidence in him. We ran different routes to get him isolated and in corners. The height advantage helps and sometimes you just throw the ball up."