Coach Wilson's Weekly Press Conference - Sept. 27
Sept. 27, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson met with the assembled media at his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference. Below is the transcript:
"Running the ball, as much as anything, we have got to create some speed, some force, just some attitude coming off the ball and the running backs getting behind the pads. Quit being so cute and fancy. And of course we'll get the scout defense this week and we'll talk about those Penn State guys, but we got to get behind the pads and play better run offense and run defense.
"In terms of the score zone, for the year we have seven touchdowns on 13 chances inside the 20, and you want to click at about 70-75-80 percent and we're barely at 50 [percent] as far as scoring touchdowns. We're losing games by three and seven points. You'll continue to be in some close games once you get into Big Ten play and we're not going to win games when we're just moving the ball. You know the stat we always do is yards per touchdown. We were at 404 yards last week, the bulk of it in the fourth quarter, but we had two offensive touchdowns. That means for every 200 yards you get seven points. You'd like to get that number into the 70-80-90 range. We're actually pretty good in the conference in first downs, which means we move the football, but you don't get points for moving the ball, you get points for crossing that line with the G and getting in the end zone. We got to work on that.
"We are plus-2 in turnover ratio, which is nice. We had the ball on the ground several times and we still couldn't get it. It's happened twice. We're trying to teach our guys how to play hard. A guy signals for a fair catch and that doesn't mean the play is over, it just means you can't hit him, but we don't get in that break down position. The ball hits the guy and we're a little late reacting and not getting on the fumble. It happened with Virginia and it happened the other night. We talked about it once and got that corrected, but we are plus-2 in turnover ratio. It's unusual to be plus in your turnover ratio and have three losses. We had an even game and two games we won. Typically we win those games, so we will keep bringing that to the fold because that's going to help us down the stretch. Our fourth quarter finishes are nice, but our lack of play in the first, second and third, both offensively and defensively, is alarming to me. You sit there and look at the conditioning level. "Well why are you playing good at the end of the game?' I know our guys can work hard, I know we're capable, but it's taking us way too long to hit our stride.
"This week we are participating in October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Most of us will be touched by it. That being said, we're not doing it to raise money, but just as we fight our fight through the season, we will show respect for a lot of families and people that are fighting their fights. We got a few things we will do throughout the week and talking about it. You'll see some things we're doing and it will be done in a very respectful and classy way. It affects so many people in our community, around the Big Ten region."
On the play of the offensive line:
"Yesterday we were talking about cancer awareness and people fighting fights. Your football life is terminal. I told them, if you had 8-9-10 weeks left of your football life left how would you like each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday to be? How would you want to walk off that field every day with your attitude, your experience, your joy and the way you play. And we got to work hard. We're not a good enough football team, and no team is, that you can't work hard. We'll look to shake some things up in practice in the way we're doing things to not lose our kids physically, emotionally and mentally. We got to keep building, got to give ourselves a great opportunity to win Saturday; a great opportunity to win each and every Saturday. We need the seniors to have a great experience down the stretch. That being said, on the offensive line, we're playing some young guys and they got to keep battling, playing through it. Some of them lack a little size, girth, and strength. We need to create some velocity and force coming off the ball because we're not. Older guys need to get a loving feeling back into the way they're going about their business, instead of going through the motions because as they go through the motions, the young guy by evaluation is just as good as the old guy. I've got more value playing the young guy and that's not slamming the old guy. The old guy has got to earn his right. Everything we want is still in front of us and we can still accomplish things that haven't been accomplished here in quite a while."
On if losing close games can wear on a team:
"When you get the ball in the score zone, you're moving the ball in the score zone, getting first downs and moving a bunch of yards, but you still have to score. And that's why we don't have goals to have so many yards per game. That's not our goal. We never want to have so many yards passing or so many yards rushing. That's not a goal. We need balance. We need toughness. We don't want turnovers, and you need to score. It's the opposite defensively. You've got stop them from scoring, create the turnovers and not let them in the end zone. That's how we're trying to play. We've got to keep building it.
"Psychologically, do we have issues with it? I don't know. If we did, I don't know why we would keep coming back fighting. I think we're close. I don't think there is doubt. I don't think there is give up. I just think that during the course of the game we are strong enough, mature enough, good enough and tough enough of a team to go at it for 60 minutes. We are doing it in spurts."
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