Indiana co-defensive coordinator William Inge answered some questions about the IU defense following practice on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Here's what he had to say:
(Can you just talk about what went wrong defensively against Navy?)
"You know, I wouldn't necessarily say what went wrong, it was really that we didn't do our job when it came time to making our plays,'' Inge said. "It took us a little bit to settle in and see the speed of the game because it was totally brand new for about seven or eight guys who were on the field. And we didn't do our job when it came to adjusting. They made a couple of plays and we didn't make the plays when we needed to. And the thing that was so unique was that we were still in the game at the end. We still had a chance. That's where we are coaching from. When you have the opportunity to make your plays, you've got to answer the call. That's what we are coaching for and coaching to. Those very instances right there.''
(Looking at Bowling Green. What do they do well, what do they do better than they have done in the past?)
"You can tell just from an offensive standpoint, you can tell there's some offensive cohesion,'' Inge said. "Not just only within the offensive staff because I don't think they've had any turnover in their program but you can tell that they understand what they're running and you can see that they're evolving into being more of a consistent offense but also being able to show you different elements but still running portions of the same plays. It looks different but it's the same play. So from a look, you may think it's a totally different play but they're executing some of the same core fundamentals.''
(What extra dimension has quarterback Matt Johnson brought to them?)
"Probably just his decision making and leadership,'' Inge said. "They probably know that a lot more with us only having seen two games but the one thing that is obvious is that he has been very productive. And he's taking care of the football which is want you want from the manager of your offense.''
(How do you disrupt their ball control offense with Johnson running the show?)
"It's one of those things where you have to do your job,'' Inge said. "You have to make sure as a football team that you can make your play when you have the opportunity. What usually gets people and gets teams behind the eight ball is when you have an opportunity to make a play and instead of it being a 2 yard gain, it's a 4 yard gain. Or instead of it being a play at the line of scrimmage, it's a 3 yard gain. You add those up over the course of time and it is third down and short instead of third down and long. Or it's a first down instead of a third or a fourth down. So we have to do our job when we have an opportunity to make that play.''
(When you have such a young defense is there a teaching element in bringing a sense of urgency for the guys to get to the ball quicker, or fly around a little bit more?)
"Yes, and we have to show them what that is,'' Inge said. "Sometimes they may not know that they're not doing it. So as coaches that's our responsibility to show them, to explain to them, teach them what urgency is. What the responsibility is and how you have to come back. You could see that they were chomping at the bit to want to get back to practice (after the Navy game). And they couldn't wait to practice Sunday night. They could not wait to get onto to the field to kind of get that ill taste out of their mouth.''
(Can you talk about the play of true freshman linebacker T.J. Simmons)
"His leadership is really good,'' Inge said. "Him making plays is really good. Personally, as his position coach, I'd just like to see a little bit more consistency at the point of attack. Sometimes he has an opportunity to make a play at the line of scrimmage and I just think he could make it for a loss. I think he can make plays at the line of scrimmage. I think you all saw the fourth down play (against Navy). He had him for a 2 yard gain and the guy wheeled him a little bit and got the first down. I want him to make that play. When you're at the point of attack on block you've got to make the play as a linebacker.''
(How well do you feel Simmons is working with David Cooper and Flo Hardin?)
"Really good,'' Inge said. "And that's the thing that we require in our room. They all are working very, very good together when it comes to communication, understanding and preparation. ‘'
(At the same time, how has David Cooper handled the move to outside after playing middle most of his career?)
"He really hasn't skipped a beat,'' Inge said. "He has really enjoyed it because I think the thing Dave wants as a team player he wants to see us play well and play better. There was no push back or not questioning whatsoever from his standpoint.''
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