BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana Football held its first weekly press conference of the 2012 season on Tuesday in preparation for the season opener against Indiana State on Saturday, kicking off at 8 p.m. inside Memorial Stadium.
For all the latest news on Indiana Football, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com and follow @IUCoachWilson and @HoosierFootball on Twitter.
A partial transcription of Head Coach Kevin Wilson: On the players adjusting to practices and school starting:
"It's not by design, but that is the uniqueness of this year's school schedule. We got into a one-a-day mode. We're equally allowed 29 practice opportunities. Teams that haven't started school yet, like the quarter schools, actually were in two-a-days through last week. With that being said, you only get 29 practices, so in our world those practices get spread out a little bit more. Last week some guys went two-a-days. That's not an advantage or disadvantage, just 29 practices. Last week with one-a-day practices, the players were able to get a feel for their academic schedule. I think there's a lot of stress on student-athletes, and how you perform, and as the semester starts, you're getting a feel for how long it takes to get to class, to get to a tutor, to transition, to eat, to rest, to have time to get to a rehab treatment, how to get through the day and on the football side, how to have a physical presence and a mental edge of playing well. I appreciate the administration for academically fitting that in. I had nothing to do with it but I think it gives us a chance. We're practicing mornings, it's not a big deal, but we have a 4-hour block of time most days, and we're blocking the front end. Most of our guys are starting class at 12:20 or 1:00 p.m., so we're doing things in the morning. In pre-season, we were practicing like it was in the mornings. Here's your meeting time, here's how long it takes to get the equipment out, tape ankles, just all of those little kinks, so that hopefully you can practice in a good way. So, hopefully it went well. It'll be interesting, three weeks, six weeks, eight weeks down, how the kids feel staying fresh, working well, academically doing well. It'll be interesting. I'm excited about it, I think the coaches like it. Feedback from the kids sounds good. I think we're practicing well, but ultimately you want to make sure you're doing things where at the end you're performing well and winning games."
On beginning year two:
"It's year two. If you look back, you're not going to go anywhere, so we've been looking forward. This is year two, and we've moved forward to year two. If you really keep drawing parallels, analysis and all of that, people talking about teams that did bad and other schools that did bad, look at what happened to year one. Year one is year one. We've tried to learn from it, move forward, and try to do what's best for us. It's no parallels to anyone else and we're just trying to create a culture in our building about how to work and how to win. It's much more positive in practice. Now is that because the guys are maybe a little bit more willing to understand? Maybe. I think those morning practices are pretty good. I think the guys are jumping into practice; they don't have a lot of dead weight going through the day, worried about class. We've done well in school, but we're making some good strides on the football side. And again this is year two for me, for our program, and this is game one."
On the offense so far this week in practice:
"You know you've got to bring it everyday, and we've got a chance to be a very good offense, and our goal and our standard is to play upper-level offense in this league. Today we were just a little bit out-of-sync, so we tried to address it with those guys because as you go through the week, you're building for the game. I'd like to see us be a little crisper, but that's the great thing about Tuesdays. Tuesday practices are always a little junky, we're throwing a lot of stuff at them, working out the kinks, working out their blitzes, working out their looks and building, but we were a little off. So we've talked to Tre, and he's been one guy that I think did realize, `Hey, I've got to play a lot better.' And at the same time though, the quarterback plays better when the surrounding parts are good; get a little running game going, you get some protection going, receivers catch it and space it out, that quarterback's going to look good with everyone playing. Tre has done well, but we've got a lot on him. There's a lot of pressure to be a good quarterback in the Big Ten and we're putting a lot on him, and we'll see if he can handle it."
On why Tre Roberson is the starting quarterback?:
"He consistently made the fewest mistakes. He definitely gives us a little bit of a threat of a quarterback run game, but he's made the fewest mistakes with the ball and got to where he was clicking in the passing game at a reasonably high level. He's also probably, of those guys, a little bit more comfortable, being here longer, he's a little bit more of a natural leader right now. But he consistently, not even close, played at the highest level in practice."
On what to expect from Indiana State:
Well I think they're awfully good. They've played extremely hard. They run the ball well and have a running back. They're going to try and keep it a short game if they can. They do a great job of protecting the quarterback, taking shots, and double moves. They do a good job early on of trying to get you out of the rhythm, trying to establish their run, but they have a lot of balance early in what they do. Defensively they are very, very active. They've got a really good front with a reasonably high-end player defensive end. Player number 92 is awfully good. I think they have two senior linebackers that play with great presence. They've got six preseason all-league players, they've got an excellent punter, (Head Coach) Trent (Miles), who I know reasonably well, I've got a lot of respect for him. He's a no non-sense guy that's going to get a team to play their styles. They're going to try and be a very physical football team. They're going to try and run the ball. They're going to play great defense and they're going to play stubborn defense. They're going to take away that run and try to get you one-dimensional, get you third and long and T-off on your quarterback. They're impressive. We're going to play a lot of teams with probably more talent than Indiana State, but there's a reason why they're talking about being conference champions. There's a reason why they best Western Kentucky, 44-17, last year. There's a reason that you're playing in that league, and you're playing against Northern Iowa and North Dakota State, that won the championship in that league. You're playing Illinois State and some other really good football teams. The quality of that league is very comparable to MAC programs and MAC programs have consistently played well against the Big Ten, and they've beat us recently as well. So I think they're a quality team, I believe they're going to come in and fight to win the football game and we better be ready to answer the bell because this one is not going to be easy. We've been talking about that for several weeks."