Head coach Kevin Wilson discusses Saturday's Homecoming game against Michigan State.
Oct. 2, 2012
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 Doug Mallory also discussed Saturday's Homecoming game against Michigan State.
Below is a partial transcript:
"To hit Northwestern real quick, players of the game, guys that did pretty well, had some good performances, although we did sputter on both sides of the ball, offensively several guys were good, but our players of the game went to Stephen Houston and Kofi Hughes. A couple other guys played well, but those two guys were very consistent. Defensively, Adam Replogle had 10 tackles, even though defensively we struggled, he fought inside getting double-teamed. His efforts were awesome. As a senior he keeps bringing a high level of play, which is good for our young guys to see. Special teams, we had much better play across the board. We are working and gaining there. We got a long way to go. Of course, Tevin Coleman had the long kick return, which we recognized. We thought the effort of Ted Bolser, particularly on our punt team as we were getting after a pretty good punt returner last week, and recognized Ted's performance. Tevin Coleman and Ted Bolser. The guys you don't see, our scout players of the week, Billy Ivan and Damon Graham, a young walk-on out of Arsenal Tech, a late add, a fast kid who we are excited about. Billy Ivan, one of our back up linemen, were our scout players on offense. Defensively, Jake Zupancic, who always does well. Special teams and behind the scenes for us, Shawn Heffern out of Carmel, a redshirt freshman is doing great. Those guys we recognize for our team, for their individual play."
On the team's defensive performance:
"We struggled defensively, tackling and getting off blocks. They (Northwestern) worked us well and did some things, but we have got to get off blocks. Up front, our ability to continue to make adjustments, whether it be coaching-wise, kids taking that onto the field, and we've got a few new wrinkles and setting things right and getting secondary support and some things need to be cleaned up as we move forward. I think a couple weeks ago, quarterback pressure, harassing the quarterback, has kind of not been there and with that I think sometimes we're still struggling, which is what I call base alignment communication. Our guys call the defense, they come out in a different set, you've got to adjust, it has got to be communicated, especially on the road. We had way too many issues there. Started pretty good, but the last two weeks third down and scoring zone defense hasn't been good. We're getting them on third down where we have a chance to get off the field. If they do get into the score zone, let's hold them to some field goals. If you do that, you've got a chance, even as poorly as we're playing, to even make that game a little more difficult down the stretch."
On the team's offense performance:
"Offensively, some things we're working on, we talked about getting inside the 5-yard line twice with no touchdowns. We received two turnovers, got no points for that, which is disappointing. If you don't produce points, it's a momentum play. I think one time we had a turnover and went to a TV timeout. We wanted to keep playing, we had momentum, of course, that's just the flow of the game. Disappointed to be close two times and to get zero points. I think it's the first time all year we've been down in there and not gotten anything. I think even settling for a field goal when you get to the five is actually a loss, so we've got to get touchdowns. That was disappointing, not taking advantage of the turnovers, one in the fourth quarter, got it down to a one-possession game, and we go three-and-out. That was disappointing. Third-down conversions haven't been what they need to be, in particular in the first quarter. I think we're looking at the first drive, third-and-3, then we throw an interception, then a third-and-2, then a third-and-5, then a third-and-3. You've got manageable situations. You're going to play a great defense this week that does a great job on third-down defense. When you get into third downs you've got to be more efficient and that was disappointing. I think offensively, even though we are making some plays, our lack of physical presence is not there. Special teams was better, we talked about that."
On playing with consistency:
"The one thing we are talking with our team about, and if you kind of look at us across four games you'll see flashes in all areas of some decent things, but you don't see it consistently. You might get good play out of an individual, you might get a good play out a certain part of the ball, good play at certain times of the game, we aren't getting it for 60 minutes. Our comment to our guys, we're getting a little bit of that in practice. I think our practices are good. You know I've talked about some guys not being personal, but when you say what's happening with so-and-so and I'd say, well he's maybe not practicing as nice as we need him to. I think that's maybe just a little bit of where we are with being a little young and with the leadership of our players, what's our standard of practice, what's our standard as we prepare Tuesday and Wednesday. We're getting better every day, but we need to take that, even, to another notch, so we can be a little bit more efficient when we get out on the field. That's a little bit on those guys. I thought special teams did improve, but we've got a long way to go. I think the special teams play with the kick return and a couple of the turnovers, we need to make points out of it. We did get hot in the third quarter, so as poorly as our game was, we were in a one-possession game on the road, a team I rated last week in the Top 25, they're there now, solid program. Even though we are immature and not where we need to be, I do think there are some things we are trying to build on."
On Michigan State:
"As we go to Michigan State, a quality program, Coach Dantonio's track record at Cincinnati and what he's done in East Lansing speaks for itself. Good players, well coached, good staff. They've got a high standard of what they are shooting for. I know they're coming in 3-2, but they've got a standard to win that division and with Ohio State being a loss on the other side of the bracket, they'll come in guns a blazing and keeping their program on track. They play tremendous defense, talented at every position, very aggressive in what they do. One of the best defenses, not only in the Big Ten, but in college ball. It's a credit to their coaches, Coach Dantonio and his pedigree and what he's about. Offensively, they're physical and they like to pound it with the big back. Have got to get their pass game going. I know they're working hard on that and the way they run it, it will get going. It will get more complete as they mature there. They've got a quality line. And Coach Dantonio's background, they are always great on special teams. They'll work you on fakes. They have a great return game. So again, a quality program, great players, good challenge, got them at home for Homecoming. We are looking forward to a good week moving forward."