Here's Kevin Wilson's opening statement from his weekly press conference held Monday afternoon, Sept. 9, 2013, in the Henke Hall of Champions in the north end zone of Memorial Stadium. Indiana will play Bowling Green in week 3 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"Again, going back, wrapping up from last week, didn't come out and start clean, not ready to play. I thought our practices as far as our work and effort have been pretty good, but at the end of the week just thought we got a little relaxed, I don't know if it was coaches or players, if we were on edge. It was evident the way we started.
" Again, I think our kids battled all the way, we had great energy from the crowd. The fourth quarter was very strong I think from the energy of our fans. You don't get a lot of chances like we said last week in that game. We really had eight offensive possessions. We took a knee with seven seconds left in the first half, so you had eight opportunities, and when you play that style because the clock is moving with all the running they do, if you don't get the stops, you don't get the ball back, or if offensively you have an error and you don't get your first downs down the field, you sit out a while. Mistakes are magnified.
" Starting offensively, we start with a three and out and we go for it on 4th and short, don't execute a play properly. Then the next six times we have 10 plus play drives, five touchdowns and a pick on the 10 yard line. After that you're pretty clean.
"Because of that, too, you don't get quick strikes the way they bend but not break, everything is in front, so they make you snap it again, make you snap it again, make you snap it again. And if you don't execute cleanly, you don't score those points. Again, there was a lot of positives, jexcept for those first two drives, getting in a rhythm, getting started.
" Defensively, we can critique all that we want to, but again, they make what is a 1st and goal on the one goal line stand, forcing them to kick a field goal. If they don't make that play, we don't have a chance at the end if they don't make those plays. We had a 3rd and 7 call where we get a PI, pass interference, competitive play. We don't get the call. That happens.
" After that, they have an intentional grounding at 2nd and 20, and we let them off the hook. That drive you had two chances there to, quote, get one stopped, and what ends up being a one possession game, and that's the style of that game.
" They converted twice on 3rd and 8 in the fourth quarter when it's a one possession game. Give those guys credit, they made the plays, we were close but weren't able to make the play.
" Overall, I think we've got to continue offensively, got to get better across the board. Run game wasn't very good at all. Our defense needs to answer and show that we're going to be a good defense. I think we're a lot better than the performance statistically, and we'll see what we're about as players and coaches as we move forward defensively, but we've got to better in all phases.
" Players of the game this past game: Timmy Bennett has played well going from safety to corner. Defensively played very, very well again. Ted Bolser, playing well, not just catching a couple passes and touchdowns but blocking better, being a better leader. We need him to continue to step up, both those guys. Mitch Ewald, special teams, he's been outstanding. He did have one kickoff the first game he hooked out of bounds, but the other day he had four touchbacks, so there's four deep kicks and two onsides that he kicked very, very well. We were close on both and couldn't make the play. Mitch also set a school record for PATs in a career and hopefully he'll continue to grow that as we go through the season.
" Scout players of the week: Once again, Billy Ivan, junior doing a great job for us, fourth year guy. Antony avis did a nice job on offense. Tyler Burgett, Nate Hoff, a couple young guys doing well for us there.
" Now passing that one back, going on, flushing that one out, going to Bowling Green. Bowling Green is a quality team. They're coming in 2 0. They're an 8-win bowl team from a year ago. They've got 19 starters back, and that doesn't count their kicker and punter, so 21 of their 24 are back off a quality team.
" They've started very, very well, good win against Tulsa. Tulsa came off that win and last week won against Colorado State 30 27. They beat Kent last week, Kent State, in the championship game of the MAC last year, won 11 games. They've played two quality opponents, two teams that are very dynamic on offense. They came out playing great defense like they always do. Their offense is clicking very, very well, so you've got two quality wins, which I think you would expect.
" Defensively, very, very sound defense in their structure, where their eyes go, their alignment, really good defense. They back it up with their film and they back it up with numbers.
" Last year they were top 10 in most defensive stats. Right now they lead the MAC in total defense, and to me that's reasonably impressive because they've played two upper level offenses and are backing up with really good defense.
" Offensively, they look much more balanced this year. They went through a quarterback change, got Matt Johnson, they had a senior coming back, but a sophomore has picked it up for them really, really well. He's going for 260. He threw for 357 last game against Kent. Runs the ball okay if he needs to and is really throwing it well. Complementing that with their running back, Travis Greene averaging over 100. They're averaging 220 running, 260 passing. They lead the MAC in total offense.
" Good kicking game. Coach Clawson has been there, has been the head coach several places and doing a great job as he always has.
" To me it's a great opportunity because I know those guys are going to be good. I know they're going to come in ready to play, and for us we've got to show what we're about and we need to bounce back and get back to, again, playing better defense.
" Got to take the turnovers out on offense. We've had two passing turnovers that have led to potentially 14 points. We had a pick six in the first game, we had a pick in the last game that took points off the board. I'm expecting us to bounce back. We need a great week of prep, and also as we move forward we need to keep this thing moving in a positive way.
" We had a great crowd last week. We need to have a bunch of people here this week. We need some energy. The energy in the fourth quarter in our building last week was as good since I've been here. So much appreciation. I think our kids battled well. It's disappointing not to win, but you're going to see another great team as far as coming into a great opportunity, another quality opponent and a chance for us to get win No. 2.
" Three games of five in a row, it's a noon kick, it's on ESPNU. We'll have a bunch of recruits here, all the sports will, so we need a great week of prep, we need our fans to stay strong and stay with us and keep this thing moving.
There will be a second file with the second half of Wilson's weekly press conference from Monday, Sept. 9,2013.
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