Postgame Quotes - Northwestern at Indiana

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    Oct. 29, 2011

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    Coach Kevin Wilson
    Postgame Quotes vs. Northwestern

    Opening statement:
    "We didn't play very good defense, getting off blocks. Earlier in the week we talked about playing good run defense with those guys coming in with their option because if they could run the ball it would be pretty tough. They did a great job blocking us and they were very physical and ran it well, made it hard. I thought their passing game would be tough and we couldn't let them run.

    "Offensively we did okay, but anytime we had a penalty or a negative we kind of stopped ourselves and got behind with a couple of drives where we just couldn't keep pace. I thought Northwestern physically outplayed us especially with their offense. In a very respectful way, Pat (Fitzgerald) at the end could have punched one more in if he wanted. I thought it was pretty respectful getting those first downs and working it at the end. I appreciated him taking care of us a little bit."

    On the defense:
    "We'll keep battling and playing through it. I don't have excuses, but we're playing some young guys. They were going to line up basically in two main formations and they actually put a third one out there. It was nothing unusual. Again, when you're a young guy and you don't have the confidence and you don't hear, I get that to some degree, but that's an excuse. To me, it's your job to know your job and to know your assignment, to get the call, to be on top of it, and be demonstrative if you're not.

    "There might be some matchups, but at the same time, you've got to challenge guys. We could play soft and vanilla, bend but not break. I think sometimes we actually play it a little too base and a little too standup where they get targets on us. I would like to see us be a lot more multiple than we are because I think with our skill set, if we kind of line up and people get a beat on us, it's a little easier to pick apart, but with young guys, the more you do the more mistakes you have. It's a little bit of a balance, where I think Coach Ekeler and Coach Mallory kind of stuck where sometimes I think you like to get to some things, but can you? We've had some injury issues where you kind of rotate some guys through so even though it's game eight, nine or 10 for some guys, for Murphy it's game two, three at safety because he played four or five games at backer. There's still a little bit of a rub with that. Those guys are very clean on offense and they do a good job. Good credit to their o-line and run game because I thought we had to stop that and we didn't come close to that."

    On the success of the running game:
    "He (Stephen Houston) was good. He ran through some trash. He got more than what was blocked. I think in some ways we blocked a little bit better, too, and not that he was playing on his own out there, but he definitely took some one and two yard plays and got six, seven, eight, nine or 10 a few times. Again, the more he's played the better he's got. Here's a guy that shows up for us and again, we don't know anything about him until mid-June, get him in here the first of July and now he's played and you see the more he keeps playing, so I appreciate that, and that's three or four weeks in a row he keeps building. I think it's the first time in eight or nine years where we've had 300 yards rushing in a game and we're not trying to do that, but both he and Tre (Roberson) were over 100. That was nice. We'll see some different animals as we move forward in the next few weeks defensively with the type of defense and other teams' ability to play great run defense. Tre, being a young guy, I don't know if we want him to be a true drop back throw it 60 times a game with him getting all the work. We need the run game. It was nice to D'Angelo (Roberts) come in and have a little spark and make a few plays. He's been on the shelf for a few weeks so it's nice to see him get back out and get going."

    Defensive Back Greg Heban

    On the freshmen starting to learn the process:
    "They are still learning. Everyone's still learning. You can't be perfect. You're going to learn every week. As freshmen, they are getting experience, they're gaining experience and I trust them out there just as much as I trust anyone else."

    On communication in the secondary:
    "That was a coverage bust on our part. Me and the linebacker were playing one call and they nickel and safety were playing two different calls and that's just where it comes down to communication. We've got to have all four or five of us on the same page and if you have one mistake like that you're going to give up that first down."

    On how the miscommunication happens:
    "No, we really don't have many breakdowns in coverage. If it happens, it kind of happens and you give up the first down. That's why you've got to limit that and have good communication."

    Running Back Stephen Houston

    On his rushing performance today:
    "I want to give credit to my offensive line. They did a tremendous job. This was their best week of practice by far. Then I want to give thanks to my coaches for instilling in me the trust the plays that are called and trust my ability. It's not good to lose, but we are building forward for our next game so we are just going to come out on Monday and prepare for Ohio State."

    On putting up 38 points:
    "Of course it's frustrating but right now the game is over so you can't dwell on it too long. After we said our prayer we moved on to Ohio State."

    On what the coaching staff is telling the team:
    "I think we've jelled together coming from each week to week. I think we're doing things better as a whole both offensively and defensively. But once again it starts with Coach Wilson and then comes down on us and executing it and doing it to the best of our ability."

    On the challenges of seeing improvement through the losses:
    "Yes and no. But you've got to come with that mindset everyday than wake up to get it done. That's what our coach tells us. Win today, win everyday whether it's at practice or in the classroom. I don't know how everybody else's mindset is but as far as me, my mindset is to come out with a positive attitude everyday and just do the best."

    On the dual threat of Tre Roberson and himself causing defenses problems:
    "A lot, because they have to account for both of us. But they also have to account for our team, D'Angelo and our wide receivers. But Tre is a good addition. He can run, he can pass, so they have to account for him and it takes the pressure off us back and our receivers."

    On what allowed him to break off long runs:
    "Just keeping my feet moving and my offensive line continuing to get a great push. That was the basic thing and then trusting the play-calling and listening to my coach every time I came off the sideline. From what he has seen from the sideline then talking with what I saw and then adjusting with the plays."

    Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald

    On breaking five game losing streak:
    "I don't think we focus on the negative. I think, more importantly, we focus more on how close we've been and the things that we need to do and that winners need to do to win. Outside of the punt return we put on the ground, not to turn the ball over, the offense did flawlessly there today. We had our hand on a ball there we could have had another interception. So, we continue to win the turnover ratio, we can't give up those kind of yards rushing. We're going to see a dynamic runner next week so we've got a lot of work to do if we're going to give ourselves a chance to compete. But, I think the team's excited. I think they understand that everything's in our control, but there's still a huge mountain to climb. We just need to take it one step at a time."

    On running backs:
    "I thought it was huge. Mick [McCall], Adam [Cushing], Matt [McPherson] and I'm really happy for Dennis Springer. Really, really happy for him and Bobby [Heffner]. I'm really happy for [Springer] to put together a plan like they did. I thought we had a great plan and the credit goes to the young men. They went out there and executed it and I thought they played pretty well."

    On offense:
    "I'd like to reserve a little bit without watching the tape. I thought from a plan stand point we had a pretty good match. We thought schematically we could take advantage of some things if we executed. We needed to protect because we knew there was going to be pressure at certain times and again, I thought Mick [McCall] and the offensive staff came up with a good plan and the guys went out and executed it."

    On defense:
    "There were times when we did it right and the ball went for one or two yards and then when we don't - when the one guy breaks down - we've got two guys in the same gap and things of that nature. Tre [Roberson] is going to be a great player. He's dynamic and I've got a ton of respect for Kevin Wilson and his staff. Wilson and I have worked with each other and he's one of the best offensive minds in the country. He's one of the best. He's been that way for over a decade. To see that happen to us is disappointing from a yards standpoint, but we've got to find a way to win. So, we found a way to win that's all that matters."




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