Quotes From Cam Cameron Weekly Press Conference
Bloomington, Ind. -- Cam Cameron will address the media each Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to discuss the previous week's game and the upcoming games for the Hoosiers.
"After looking at the tape, as I mentioned earlier in the Big Ten teleconference, we really did some good things. It came down to third downs in my mind on both sides of the ball. Then a couple miscues in the kicking game, which we've seen and all know is an issue and we need to get corrected. Especially, going into this week where Wisconsin is a typical solid Wisconsin football team with an impact guy here or there. Obviously, Wendell Bryant, an All-American candidate. I know we're looking forward to playing on the road in the Big Ten, which is always difficult. It is a lot of fun too because you get to play in front of a big crowd and great atmosphere. Our focus this week will be number 1) continually improve in the kicking game; 2) trying to keep trimming down those mistakes and eliminate them. We can be a good football team if we can eliminate mistakes. That is the critical thing for us because we play so many good teams. Every team we play is going to be a solid football team. I think we've played three solid football teams so far. We haven't played a bad football team yet and I don't know if there are any down the road. So, we've got to believe in what we are doing, keep holding each other accountable, eliminate mistakes, and give ourselves a chance to win. When we go into the fourth quarter with a chance to win, we have got to find a way to win a football game."
Last time you were at Wisconsin they scored a bunch of points early on. What was your recollection of that game?
"Well, it is pretty vivid from the standpoint that they went down and scored. I remember it was windy that day. They almost kick the ball out of the stadium. We get the ball on the 20 (yard line) and we go three-and-out. Then they went and scored again. We were down 14 to 0. We run three plays and we go three-and-out again. We punt into the wind and we're down 21 to 0 and we've run six plays."
How much did you talk to your team about last year's game?
"Not a lot. Again, yesterday was our day off. Sunday was our day to focus on making corrections. Today we will visit with our team starting at 2:15 p.m."
With Wisconsin's nine-man front, do you think about using a one-back or no back? Or do you stick with what you've been doing?
"Well, there are a lot of ways to run the option. And sometimes it is with one-back. I thought last year we had a solid game plan and were able to make some plays. Most of the time when you have success defending the option, you are over committed one way or the other. You have to have things to compensate for that, and we were able to do that last year. You may get Wisconsin once, maybe twice on something. You very seldom get Wisconsin three times. I think their players are very well coached. They have really smart football players. We will have to do some things like other teams, keep them off balance."
How do you stop 0-3 from snowballing?
"One, you continually believe in what you are doing in your approach. Two, you recruit and are always looking for guys who are a little bigger and who are a little faster. Finally, you make sure you have character in your program. Character can withstand adversity. That is what we expect our guys to do. You guys have been around our team enough to know they aren't the type of kids to cave in to adversity."
After getting off to a hard start, there has been speculation about your job security. Do you worry personally about things snowballing?
"If you start getting into that type of mindset you give yourself, at least in my mind, you give yourself no chance. If I could predict the future, I'd probably be in another business. We have eight games to play. For any of us to sit here and try and predict one way or another...I know the one way for it to start snowballing, if that is the way you want to word it in a negative way, is to start thinking that way. I've just never had any success thinking of things negatively. I am a realist though. When things are not going your way, you evaluate why. We need to get our punting game solved. We need to find out ways to get people stopped on third down. We need to eliminate mistakes on offense. Just keep a consistent level of approach and try to keep getting better. You've got to win one before you can win two."
Sometimes coaches will break the season down incrementally. Do you break it down that way with a new three games before the bye week?
"Absolutely. I think without question. You start with non-conference and then conference. Then when you have a bye, you focus on the games prior to the bye week. We know the Purdue game becomes its own game. And now we are fortunate to play two rivalry games back-to-back. The last one may be in a blizzard for all I know. Just go into our locker room and look at the quote above the wall. That says it all and you'll understand why we keep our heads up and why we keep battling."
Are we allowed in the locker room?
"I'll tell you what. We will make an exception today. Everybody will walk through it and see that sign above and you'll wonder why we find a way to keep this in perspective."
Can you tweak the defensive structure to make it a little more aggressive?
"You have to. You have to tweak it to be where in situations call for you to be more aggressive. And then in third-and-17 you don't need to be aggressive. Make them throw the ball underneath and aggressively tackle them and knock the ball out. There is a time to be aggressive and then there is a time to be patient. That is the magic...the players, James (Bell) and myself continually working to put our guys in the best position we can."
Talk about the kicking game? Is it a situation where it would be nice to get them a 25-yarder now?
"Well, he (Bryan Robertson) was confident he could make it. And then if you would have seen practice last week, where he made about ten in a row and his longest was a 59-yarder, they were all dead center. I don't think anyone on our team would have hesitated to kick him in that situation."
Is the kicking game something you can ride through? Or is this anything else you can do?
"Good question. That is the crystal ball deal again. There is plenty we can do. When you have young kickers that are talented there is more you can do. You don't just say 'well, this is going to be a bad situation. We'll get it corrected in the spring.' You go out and continue to get better each week. Adam (Braucher) continues to kickoff the way that he has kicked off. We'll let Bryan (Robertson) do a majority of the extra points and field goals. There will be some opportunities this week as a punter. Braucher will kickoff and Robertson will do field goals. The punter? We'll know Saturday who will do the punting."
Might (J.R.) Drummond get into the punting mix?
"Yes. It will be Robertson, Drummond or (Ryan) Hamre...one of the three. It is going to be the guy who practices the best this week."
Have you ruled Antwaan (Randle El) out?
"No. That is always a possibility."
This past week, the Ohio State defensive line said Indiana was the toughest offensive line that they have faced. Did the offensive line, on film, play the best that they have all year?
"Yes. Again, look at who they (Ohio State) have played. It is still early in the year and they will face some good offensive lines. Our line should continue to get better."
You averaged 30 points per game last year and 18 points per game this year. Do you sense that this is a veteran offense that is waiting to explode?
"Well, we scored a lot of points with our wide receivers this year. Versis Gadis made a lot of big plays. So did Jerry Dorsey. And we did it early in the year, which helped keep our running game alive late in the year. I think people were afraid we were going to throw the ball over their head. As our receivers get better I think we'll score more points."
What are the special challenges a team has to go through to win a game on the road?
"In this league, crowd noise would be the number one factor. You need to get some momentum early, you need to make some plays early, you need to score early in my mind. Get some things going early to try and get the crowd out of the game as much as possible. And you have to keep your poise. That's a thing I don't think we did well on the road at the game in Raleigh. We did some good things and we lost our poise when we were going in to score. We got backed up and had a couple penalties coming out. Obviously, we'll talk about that a lot this week...just going in and playing with great confidence. Understand the situation we're going to be in and keep our poise."
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