Head coach Kevin Wilson discusses Saturday's primetime showdown with Ohio State.
Oct. 9, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head football coach Kevin Wilson met with the assembled media at his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference. Assistant offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and special teams coordinator Mark Hagen also discussed Saturday's primetime showdown with Ohio State.
Below is a partial transcript:
"To wrap the Michigan State game up real quick, Erich Toth coming in for Mitchell Voss did a nice job. His first couple of punts were awesome, and he did have one at the end, particularly strong. He did a great job with the handling of the placements and I think sometimes you take that for granted, so again I was pleased and proud of him. We'll need him to come through, it looks like Voss is going to be out. He'll be out for several weeks, so we'll need Erich to keep coming through, so good for him. Guys that played well on special teams, Erich Toth was our player of the game, coming in like he did. Mark Murphy did a nice job. Matt Dooley, our snapper, is always solid. Nick Stoner and Mitch Ewald on the execution of the surprise. Antonio Marshall had a big hit on a kick cover that was good special teams-wise.
"Defensively, again in the scoring zone, they're 5-for-5, four touchdowns and a field goal. You get one more stop and a field goal and its 27-27. That's a four-point differential. We're yielding too many points, so we've worked a lot in score zone and we've worked a lot in third down. Our third-down defense was better. They were 35 percent and we were 65 on stops. That's pretty good. That's better than it was the previous two weeks when we were 50 percent, so we did make some strides. Adam Replogle was our player of the game. He's playing outstanding for us. He's playing hard and is one of our best players, but also one of our best guys, great student, great off the field and he's what we want a Hoosier to look like and someone to represent our program.
"Offensively, we struggled in the second half, a bunch of three-and-outs, 4-of-15 on third downs, plus we are at the 5-yard line we did not get the TD, with only 45 plays getting positive yards, completed passes, running, we need to get that up. When you play a good defense, it's hard, but we need more positive plays. Effort was good, energy in the first half was awesome, tempo was awesome, zero turnovers was good. We had one loose ball, lucky to get that back. D'Angelo Roberts put the ball on the ground one time. We can't have that, but again we did come out playing a pretty good first half and that's an awfully good defense. Overall, we had a great first half. We just need to back it up with a good second.
"On to Ohio State. They're a good program, as always, good players, well-coached, good challenge. We're off to a good start with two good days, and we'll need a good week to play well and keep moving forward because that's what we're doing."
On the challenges Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller presents:
"If you're really good, one of the things you'll do with a great offense is to keep them off the field. Of course in our style, for us to be good offensively, we have to play a little bit of tempo to get an edge and get an advantage and make a defensive play, so turnovers, third-down conversions, and kicking it well and playing a long field, all of those things help because you don't want to make it easy for a really good offense and a really good player. At the same time, dynamically, it's not like we have the team that's just going to mulch you up, keep you on the sideline and bleed you to death. What they do offensively, everyone's got their version. They're a little more downhill with inside zones and some off-tackle power or one-back counter that gets a little bit more north and south, and they'll do it with Braxton, they'll do it with their big back, Carlos Hyde, and several other backs. One of them from the state of Indiana, Mr. Rod Smith, who's a good player. They come at you pretty good. What I think is overlooked, as good as Braxton is, is that their skill is good, their receivers. Jake Stoneburner is really good. Their running backs, Braxton, but their line is playing good. I was very impressed watching their offensive line against Michigan State, I thought the way they get together, how their combos work together at a pad level, was what you consider good football and Michigan State is very difficult to just go right at. With that being said, they're still learning what they're doing. They're still getting better every week. We've seen them making strides, but Braxton is the guy who makes it go because of his abilities. He's the best runner on the field, and he's also a guy that they can throw the ball. Very seldom do you find guys that can really throw that can run, or guys that really can run that can throw. He's a little bit more of a dynamic runner than a thrower, but he throws the ball well and you have to commit so many guys up there, like when you're playing with Tre Roberson, sometimes you take your eye off your target because you have to commit so many guys to the run. Whether you're shadowing or spying him or just cancelling gaps and putting people on him, and as soon as someone takes their eye off the receiver, here comes the play-action pass and you can really get burned. But Braxton is a great player, plays physical for a quarterback. It's going to be a great challenge. It's tough, and that, no disrespect, is where Tre Roberson gives us a little bit of an edge compared to our other two quarterbacks, one more threat of a little truer run. Now Tre's not the runner that Braxton is, but that is a part of our offense. It just kind of went away since his injury."
On Coach Meyer's use of Braxton Miller:
"They do a great job. I know their offensive coaches and line coach, and I know Coach Meyer in a reasonable way. But they were doing some of that last year. The thing is that Braxton is in year two. And that's no disrespect to their coaches because they're doing a great job and doing some different things and taking advantage of his skill set. But in year two, he was going to be better than last year as a true freshman. He was a very dynamic true freshman, and in my opinion, we haven't seen his best because he's so young, but he will continue to grow. He's a great athlete and a great competitor and they have a great coaching staff, so hopefully we won't see his best on Saturday, but he's a very special player, so what they're doing is great, but it's that kid too. I know of that kid and when you get chances to watch him I think he's probably one of the most dynamic kids. He has an unbelievable work ethic, drive, desire, and that's what you want a great football player to look like, and he's got a great future ahead of him. We're trying to emulate that with some of our guys, of what it takes to be a great player. It's not just the physical skill set. You've watched him set his feet and throw the ball now versus last year and that's coaching, but that's also a kid that's committed to getting better, and he's playing at a good level. He's a great player. "
On Coach Meyer saying you were an innovator and your thoughts on him:
"I think that was nice for him to say that, but it's not about me. It's not about him. We knew each other years ago as assistants and, as a matter of fact, they (Bowling Green) actually came to visit us at Northwestern after our 2001 year. That was the year of the 9/11 tragedy where games got cancelled and then we ended up playing them as a make-up game. We weren't supposed to play them. We played them and they actually beat us on the two-point play that we ran against Northwestern, which was actually the play they ran. They beat us 43-42 in the same end zone, exact same play, I remember vividly. But he's had phenomenal success. We had a chance to play against them at Oklahoma once, and again, it's nice being an innovator, but again, I'm not an innovator as much as we're trying to teach guys to play hard and play physical, and if you watch Coach Meyer and watch them coach, watch them do things, that's what they're doing, and that's kind of what we're trying to do as well. It's nice to have schemes or concepts. We had to attack Michigan State last week differently than most people because of our dynamic and our playmakers to give us a chance. You don't take your cards and fold your hand in college football. You have to play the cards. Coach Walker told me a long time ago that every hand is a winning hand, but you've got to know how to play the cards. Sometimes you're bluffing, sometimes you've got a good hand, but you've got to play your cards. And as a coach, that's our job. It's to manage the cards and know how to push the bets and hold the bets, and when to take and when to fold, how to keep playing as we go, and that's coaching. At the same time, as we coach, its physicality and what I like about Coach Meyer is he's been very innovative in what he does, but there's a brand of football that is all about toughness and attitude and playing good defense and coming at you. Those are things that I believe, as a line coach, and with my background with Coach Walker, which is a background of Coach Mallory, that's still the essence of football. You can window-dress it all you want, shift formation, I-formation, huddle up, no huddle, three-man, four-man, two-deep quarters. It doesn't matter. It's a physical game, playing hard, and that's what I think he's got going on at Ohio State, and that's what we're getting to at our place, is bringing the physicality and toughness. And to me, it's nice to be quote "thinking you're innovative," and his offense is one of the premier, but if you cut all of the window-dressing out, there's fundamentals in basics that win, and that's what they do at Ohio State, and that's what we're trying to do down here."