Aug. 30, 2011
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson met with the assembled media at his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference. Below is a partial transcript:
"It's game week. We've been practicing hard, had a good camp. I think we are reasonably healthy for the work that we've done. Our guys have good attitudes. It's time to play and see where we are at, start to judge it against others. Our kids have done well and are looking forward to a great opportunity to open the season against Ball State."
On Ball State:
"Number one, the last time they played us they beat us. In 2009, the MAC (Mid-American Conference) won four Big Ten games. I've been a part of MAC teams that have done well. In fact, there's a team (Northwestern) that won a Big Ten Championship that our MAC team (Miami) beat. The Mid-American Conference has Big Ten level players that for whatever reason got a little under-recruited, developed late or maybe the scholarship wasn't there. Most Mid-American players, when I played, played Big Ten. Back when there were 95 and 105 scholarships. The majority of guys that would be playing Mid-American now were Big Ten players in the '70s and '80s. Now with scholarship reductions, that's upgraded to where you see the TCUs and the Boises, those (teams and) conferences playing elite ball. And you see a lot of teams in the MAC that are playing well and having great records and doing awesome.
"Coach (Pete) Lembo's background and his record is 79-36, so he has an unbelievable track record now going into a third school. I know that living in North Carolina, where Elon is located. I've been to that place and know who they compete against. The record down there speaks for itself. Player-wise, you watch them (Ball State) last year and they were very competitive against Purdue. Let it get away from them against Iowa. But a lot of these guys that are seniors played and were recruited for Coach (Brady) Hoke's teams that were winning and winning well. Matter of fact, they beat us in 2008. I would expect them to be very much ready, very much physical, very much excited. Expect them to come in thinking they have a great opportunity to win the ballgame."
On playing the game at Lucas Oil Stadium:
"It's great for our fans. I'd think we'd have lots of fans with all of our alumni base up there, even though it's a Ball State's home game. I would encourage our fans to come out and have some interest in what we are doing. I'd like to have a great turnout there. I do think it's neat for our kids. A lot of Indiana kids growing up in this region. Some of them have played high school games there, I'm sure. A chance to play in that arena is pretty cool. The Big Ten Championship Game is there the next five years, and the Super Bowl is on that field this year. It's an exciting venue, and we're looking forward to it. It's going to be a great deal."
On his coaching staff:
"Every year is unknown, there are a lot of unknowns. Our process is in place. The way we work and the way we prepare; we feel is more difficult than the game. And so the work we put in during offseason conditioning and lifting, the way we practice and our practice tempo, and the way that we condition, the hitting, the situations we put you in, trying to make it when we get to game situations, it's going to make it an easier environment. That being said, when you have a new coaching staff coming in, do the players trust the process? Can they take the things we are emphasizing in the practice situations, can they take the things we are emphasizing in the meeting rooms, and apply that to the game?
"One of our big words is `trust.' What will be interesting early, whether it's the quarterback play or players and coaches; do we trust what we do, trust each other, and cut it loose and play?"