Questionable decisions haunt Hoosiers

Kevin Wilson didn't dodge any questions in the postgame press conference Saturday night following Indiana's disappointing 42-39 loss to Minnesota. Read on to hear how the coach explained some of his decisions.

There was plenty of blame to go around Saturday night following Indiana football's latest debacle, a 42-39 loss to Minnesota at Memorial Stadium.

You could blame Nate Sudfeld for the swing pass to Tevin Coleman that was thrown backwards instead of forward resulting in the difficult-to-swallow fumble in the red zone in the closing seconds.

You could blame Tevin Coleman for not playing the play to the whistle and falling on the ball in that situation rather than just assuming it would be a rule an incomplete pass and not a lateral.

You could blame the defensive breakdown on the Minnesota drive before that resulted in a wide open tight end down the middle and a 50-yard touchdown that put the Golden Gophers back on top 42-39 with 3:06 to play.

But the reality is the initial finger pointing has to begin with Kevin Wilson and his staff for a couple of questionable late game decisions.

There's no question that hindsight is 20-20 but here are a couple of obvious questions that Wilson addressed following the difficult loss:

1. When the Hoosiers scored to go up 39-35, why go for a two-point conversion? What does the six-point lead in that situation do for you?

Wilson said he was thinking of it in terms of a six-point lead would give the Hoosiers a cushion if Minnesota was able to get two field goals in the final 5 minutes of the game.

"Our thought was that if we kick it and make it a five point lead, they could kick two field goals and win,'' Wilson said. "If we made the two were up by six, we knew that if they got two field goals we would be tied and if they scored a touchdown we would be tied as well.

"They would still have to kick an extra point to go ahead if they scored and we have blocked several kicks this year. We almost go in the end zone on that two-point conversion with Nate (Sudfeld) scrambling.''

But if the Hoosiers had kicked the extra point and gone up by five then Minnesota would have needed a successful two-point conversion just to go up by three points and make it 43-40.

"Maybe we were a being a little bit over-aggressive in hindsight,'' Wilson said.

2. Explain the thinking on the play call for the swing pass from the Minnesota 9 in a 42-39 game?

First of all it should be noted that in his opening statement to the media Wilson admitted it wasn't a good play call at the end.

"We had a lot of chances but I made a poor call and we did not execute the play at the end,'' Wilson said.

So what was the call?

"It was a swing play so there is always a chance for a lateral,'' Wilson said. "It just didn't get executed right. We didn't get on the ball like we should have either. When it's a close game, those fundamentals like always giving the ball to the referee and never leaving it on the field are so important. Don't just assume anything. Always grab the ball just in case.

"It was poor execution and really not an ideal call at that time in the game, and because of it, we lost the game.''

3. Tre Roberson was never really effective in the first half. He was 8-for-18 for 80 yards and just didn't look himself. He even admitted after the game that he was off in the game. So why did it take so long to insert Sudfeld into the game?

"We talked about it and we almost put Tre (Roberson) back out there again to start the third but we decided to give Nate a shot. We are not trying to play it by half, we just play who's doing a better job. Tre didn't play poorly, he was just a little bit off and the way the running game was going, Nate came in and gave them a boost.''

Once again, there was plenty of blame to around in this one but Wilson clearly had to shoulder the bulk of it.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories