Indiana Football Practice: Aug. 20, 2013

With just over a week before Indiana opens the season with Indiana State on Aug. 29, Kevin Wilson talked to the media about his quarterback decision, how the defense is coming along and what he wants to see from his team before the season opener.

Tuesday was IU's 22nd practice of preseason camp and Kevin Wilson talked to reporters following practice to provide an update.

The Hoosiers will practice again Wednesday and Thursday before having an off day on Friday. Saturday will begin game week preparations for the season opener Thursday, Aug. 29 against Indiana State.

Not surprisingly, the first question out of the box for Wilson had to do with if he was any closer to naming a starting quarterback.

"We're going to go through work today, tomorrow and Thursday, and it's still kind of right there,'' Wilson said. "They all have different strengths. We're still running the same offense so it will be movement plays, drop back plays, quick passes you name it. We're continuing to try and work on the run game and we just keep rotating them with what we're doing. Statistically, they're all about the same.

"We'll talk about it after Thursday and Friday and move forward to next week.''

But is it important to have one identified heading into Indiana State week?

"Somebody is going to go out there first,'' Wilson said. "Right now they're all doing well. "It's going to be the same offense. I'm not trying to be coy. I'm not trying to surprise anyone. I'm not trying to motivate anybody. They're all just kind of fighting pretty good and it's kind of a close call. They're all solid players, they're all good teammates but they all need to be better, too. We talked about it yesterday and we said let's go through the week and make sure the direction we're headed is where we want to go. They're all getting a lot of work.

"They all have enough talent so it's going to be a positive not a negative.''

Wilson said he hasn't ruled out using more than one quarterback during the season either.

"It could be because they all have different strengths,'' Wilson said. "We're running Cam, we're running Nate more, we're making Tre throw more but naturally Tre can make some more plays with his feet a little bit more smoother. Those other guys are probably a little more on target, better percentage throwers. That's why again, when we look at the total picture and where we are and how we want to do it … Sometimes in practice we're not having a lot of philosophical meetings and state of the unions. We're kind of prepping for the next practice and evaluating what we're doing.

"We're not just sitting down and hashing the quarterback deal out because it's not a negative. So we'll go through Thursday. And there won't be a formal parade announcement deal. So we'll talk about it at the press conference Friday and either announce it then or Saturday or whenever. But it's not trying to jack with Indiana State or anybody else we're just going to do what we do and see if we can do it better.''

Wilson talked about the defensive side of the ball, too and specifically what he has been happy witht there.

"The effort and getting off tackles and blocks appears to be better although we don't do a lot of scrimmaging,'' Wilson said. "We have better depth. The D-line is coming along really nice. Young linebackers are figuring it out. I really like Timmy Bennett, the one corner, really showing up a lot and that being said it's really helping Mullen and Hunter and (inaudible) play better. So we're gaining.

"We've had some days where we go third down and they've won the drill. In the scrimmage the other day we had a first and goal defensive stand, we had several short yardage stands. We had a 16-play drive that ended in a fourth down stop which is good to see so they're competing and gaining. But until you get in a game situation you never know. You have to have some confidence. Do we transfer the practice setting into here when the scoreboard is up? We'll know here in a week.''

Wilson was asked specifically what he would like to see in the handful of practices he has before the season opener with the Sycamores.

"This week is more about game management deals,'' Wilson said. "We need toughness without beating our team up. We need to go hard without getting tired. So it's a little bit of a balance with the toughness, being physical, not beating yourself up and coming in fresh. There's a balance there. It is it too little, it is too much? But after that it's game situations. When it's kick plays, it's trying to get our scout team to play fast enough to get a realistic look because it's game speed of a punt return or a kick return.

"It's learning how to manage clock situations and when to get out of bounds and when not to. When to get down or not. It's some game situations, it's getting some true kicking speed so you can have some legitimate plays in the kick game with coverage and return, and then outside of figuring the quarterback deal out and who the 11 guys that will jog out there on both sides it's some toughness without crossing that line. We just need to keep building that.''

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch


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