Head coach Kevin Wilson met with the media Tuesday afternoon.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson met with the assembled media at his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference. Offensive coordinator Seth Littrell and co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler also discussed Saturday's showdown against Massachusetts.
Below is a partial Coach Wilson transcript:
On what he took away from the UMass-UConn game:
"Defensively, (Connecticut) just played very well. Flew to the ball with a good attack. They did a really good job on third down. Didn't let the running game get going, got them going one dimensional, got them third and long, just kind of rattled them. At the same time, UMass played pretty solid defensively. They only gave up two touchdowns. There were two other touchdowns that came when the defense wasn't on the field. They held them to some field goals and held them to some field goals after two long punt returns. I thought their defense played well, but their offense struggled. UConn just played salty, played hard, played really well. I'm impressed. I don't know what that means for our guys, but we've got a lot of work to do."
On how the offensive line played against Indiana State:
"A little bit of trying to find the right combinations. There are also two young guys playing side-by-side, where you've got Bernard Taylor right there beside Jason Spriggs with communication. You've got Will Matte and Peyton Eckert stuck between Dan Feeney, so instead of just putting two young guys out there on an island, just to try and clean it up. We're either man or sliding protection. You either got your guy building a wall, so it's just as flipped, you're pulling right or pulling left on power. It's not as hard to interchange that position if a kid can think schematically big picture, so Dan handled it pretty well. I thought he had a solid game for a first start."
On Shane Wynn's play and his effect on the offense this year:
"I think he's going to have a big year for us. I think he should have a fair amount of touches and I think there were some opportunities the other day, where we, in progressions, maybe should have got to him because I think he matched up on safeties and man-to-man coverage, as one of the bigger mismatches. If you ever catch him on a linebacker, then he's going to struggle sometimes blocking, so there's two different thoughts with a slight player. You get a smaller guy, and he's going to struggle physically in some of the matchups, but then he's going to be so much quicker that there are some advantages. He does though, for a little guy, play with a little substance. He had a nice crack on one of their big guys and he's not afraid, he does play fast. He's been one, if not the best practice player from the offensive side all camp. It's nice that he can make some big plays, but I really think he'll have a consistently really good year. I think he can, I think we need him to."
On how the offense held up, especially in the second half:
"Well, physically. I think as far as holding up conditioning-wise, really well. I think we're a well-conditioned team. We've worked really hard, credit to Coach (Mark) Hill, credit to his staff, but also credit to the kids. We had 110 kids here all summer, we had every kid here, it's voluntary, but what I've gathered, I think they were there every day, every kid. They were holding each other accountable and that's voluntary work. We try to put some leadership on a bunch of guys and I think they kind of really held their guys to come, so their conditioning is pretty good. Now sometimes you get a little frantic, you go the wrong way once in a while, you get a little glitch or you flinch in your stance, it's just settling down. In basketball, and you're listening to Coach Wooden, he says to play quick but don't be in a hurry. Play fast but don't rush. There's some times when you have to learn, where as quick as you're going, learn how to stay in control. "
On the positives that come from having a young offensive line and running backs:
"It's going okay. Coach (Deland) McCullough kind of manages them. We don't think - okay, one guy is in, don't do these plays or feature these plays. If it's pass protection, they've got to pick it up. If it's a route they've got to run it. If we go two tailbacks, there are certain jobs, but if it's a normal one-back or an I-formation set, if we're running power or counter or a belly play or stretch play, they all run it, so we don't really change the play call. I did think that we were a little conservative, trying to protect the young linemen with the combination of guys and if you look at it on tape, there are three freshmen and six sophomores. We're young, and as you're calling plays, my original boss would say just stop thinking about who's playing and just call the play or you're going to talk yourself out of every call. In the second half, I don't want to say we got conservative, but we had a chance to be a little more aggressive in our thought process. I think we ran into some loaded boxes and we kept telling the quarterbacks that it was a little bit our fault and at the same time, I think we were trying to not stress out some young players. That might be one of the reasons why it was a little close, one of the reasons why we didn't complete some drives. As a coach you gain confidence as you play, you gain confidence in what your players can do and I think Coach (Seth) Littrell, Coach (Kevin) Johns and Coach (Greg) Frey will be a little more assertive as these guys keep playing together, and you truly see what they can and can't do. I think the young line held up reasonably well."
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