Kevin Wilson Press Conference Part 1

Here is Part 1 of the Kevin Wilson Press Conference where he looked back at the win over Missouri and ahead to Saturday's Big Ten opener at home with Maryland. This file is so large that we separate it into two parts. Part 2 will follow shortly.

Every week at AllHoosiers.com we provide the Kevin Wilson weekly Indiana football press conference transcript. Because it is so large we put it up in two segments. The second will be out momentarily.

COACH WILSON: "Okay. So recap the game. Going through our thoughts after last week's game against Missouri, a solid win for sure. Really good prep, I thought our team during the week as we went through our stuff and the energy and effort in what we did throughout the week, and not just the guys you saw playing Saturday, but our off the field guys, the scout team guys, all those guys were really, really impressive.

"Our game-day effort was something to be proud of as coaches I'm impressed with their prep. Our kids didn't panic when they got into a good team on the road, loud, lot of still young guys playing, but we've got a lot of vets, so we kind of stayed the course there. Made a bunch of mistakes, that is for sure, but we kept playing hard, which is all we talked about wanting to do. It was good to see. Said in preseason we wanted consistency and competitiveness, and that's what we expect to see this week. So we need the same kind of -- we were talking about that in our preparation, it's just not what you see Saturday when you guys get us out there this weekend with a 1:30 kick, which is what we went through yesterday in our cleaning up our meetings and that as we're going into today and back into our normal Monday routine into Tuesday and whatnot. Looking for that a little bit more on a weekly, daily routine.

"I thought we were good in all three phases, which we needed to be against that team. Needed to be on the road, we'll need as we get into conference play and our opponents coming down the stretch because they're all going to be tough and competitive games. In the kicking game, our players of the game were Toth and Oakes, a variation of Hall & Oates back in the day. But Toth and Oakes, I don't think they'll be a music group. Both those guys kicked it very, very well.

"Del Grosso would still be in the mix, but he's got a little bit of a lingering groin thing he's been battling, minor thing. And just didn't seem to have as much pop. When Griff came in and kicked the kickoffs very well, actually moved to him. We haven't made, what I'd say, any rash decisions other than we expect guys to play when they're called upon. And Griff answered the deal at kicker, and we'll have to see what happens this week as we prepare and chart. We think they're all good, and we'll see how it goes going forward as far as he continues to manage the opportunity is there for him to do so. We'll see if he keeps it.

"We'll have a huge challenge this week for Maryland. They've got great athletes. They've impacted every game, and the kicking game. So it will be a huge game in conference to win a game like we did last week and have success, and have a chance this week. We'll need to play well in the kick game. So it's nice to have the kickers and also our coverage guys and return guys weren't bad.

"We need a little more in the return game. We're not getting a lot right now in our punt return and kick return. We need to be better there. Defensively, we have some tackles for loss, have some sacks, created a turnover, too many missed tackles. We had some take-back opportunities and had a ball out in the fourth quarter. Tony Phillips causes a fumble, we don't get it. Had the ball out early, caused an incomplete pass, had the potential for more negative plays, we just didn't wrap up and tackle well. We had even more, but we had an impressive effort. We talked about, spot the ball, get the call and line up and play hard. No matter where they put the ball down and do it again. We gave up a couple big plays in the first half. Not as many in the second half, but no matter what happens, let's just move on to the next play and get it going. It's nice to see those guys, for the most part, do that in a decent way.

"Players of the game were Mark Murphy, T.J. Simmons, and Tegray Scales. We recognized three guys. Tegray was co-freshman Big Ten player of the week on the defensive side. All very, very good performances. Scouts of the week given a great look. Zander Diamont that travels as a back-up quarterback. Played a little bit at quarterback for us last week helping get the look they needed. And Tyler Lukens, an older, walk-offensive linemen, did a great job, and really helped the defense. They had an awesome week.

"Offensively, had zero turnovers, that was a huge deal, and a team effort. Because you've got some protection issues that create turnovers or the ability to just maintain some blocks where a guy doesn't get a great strip out or club of the ball. So zero turnovers against a team that I think had a very, very strong streak. One of the longest active streaks in the country, probably one of the longest in the history of the game. Had 240 running, 250 passing, we're not trying to be equal, but it was nice to see we were decent on both run and pass. It was a solid day, kept playing hard. Players of the game, three guys recognized for us: D'Angelo Roberts, Tevin Coleman and Ralston Evans who played very, very well. Our scouts from last week Nile Sykes did a great job for us emulating their rush. A guy that's getting close and might be getting worked into playing. And Kyle Kennedy, who kind of plays scouts, and gets a little extra zone.

"One of the bigger plays in the game is a third down, and we hold them to a field goal there, we're going cover zero. Some pressure that makes the quarterback throw it about a count early, and we get off the field and hold them to a field goal. So great job for an older guy that's doing well there in Kyle Kennedy.

"Injury update. Came out of the game pretty good. We did have two injuries. Kenny Mullen got a knee injury, probably going to require surgery it looks like. Marcus Oliver, same deal, playing a non-contact deal. Both of those appear to be surgical. I think they're -- I didn't get detailed medical, I think they're both ACLs. They'll be season-ending, it looks like. Those are early enough too that they could be potential red-shirts, if you need them because I think before the fourth game you can get your year back. So even though they played, it's not going to be a "wasted year". So they're fortunate. They're two of our better backups and special team guys. Marcus has been playing a lot. Both the young guys we've got in the secondary, young guys at linebacker, I think we've got the team that can overcome that and handle it.

"As a matter of fact, defensively, every player that went on the trip played except one. So we played a bunch of guys. We needed it. We'll need that going forward. We've got a lot of young guys, so unfortunate for Kenny and Marcus. Two great kids and great players, but we need to move on. We'll need those guys to be great leaders for us and keep bringing some energy because they're veterans. But we'll need some young guys to keep stepping up. I don't think we're different from any other team this time of year. They're getting nicked up, and unfortunately we got that. Good to be back home this week. Three weeks in a row we've been gone with the open date and two road games. It's the Big Ten opener, so excited about that. We'll need another and our best week of preparation. We'll need a great deal of energy from everyone, and I'm talking about our student body and our fan base. We need a lot of energy this week to build this week. See if we can have an exciting atmosphere on game day. Lot of vibe around town. Lot of guys not jumping on the bandwagon, but just giving the team the positive energy it needs to keep building. Maryland is coming in at 3-1. They've played a very strong schedule. They've played two road games they won. The one loss to West Virginia, 40-37 at home. West Virginia was up 28-3 in the second quarter. It shows the team that Coach Edsall has for those guys to come back and have a chance to win.

"Coach Edsall does an awesome job and has a bunch of veteran coaches that we respect. Led by the quarterback, C.J. Brown. Dynamic player, six-year player. Think he took over when Boomer graduated, and I played in '84. He's been there a long time. He's their leading rusher and makes a lot of plays throwing the football. He makes them to some very, very dynamic receivers. As good as there is collectively on any college team. Very impressive receivers, very impressive offense. They'll stress you out and score a bunch of points.

"Defensively, very athletic, multiple, very aggressive. Last week a pick six. They've created ten turnovers. We've had seasons I don't think we've created ten. They've got ten in four games. They battled for four quarters. It's evident in how they played those games. They won a game, and they had seven turnovers. They had eight for the year, and I think they had six in one game and yet they won. So it shows their team has a lot of resolve, a lot of fight. They played really strong in the scoring zone. I think 40% of the time you score a touchdown on them, they might give up yards, but they don't give up points. Kicking game, like I said is very impactive in what they do.

"Before we open it up, this week we're having our free youth clinic prior to the game. It's going to be on our practice Fields right here behind the stadium. It's free to everyone that has a ticket or they can buy one, go online at IUHoosiers.com. You can get youth tickets for $10. Our players that are red-shirting, not dressing will be working with USA Football. Remember USA Football is headquartered right up the street in Indianapolis. It's right in our backyard. Scott Hallenbeck and his guys do a great job teaching heads up football. They're instrumental now working with a lot of high schools and a ton of little league teams, certification of coaches, teaching proper fundamentals.

"Their group will run the clinic and our players that are not dressing will be out there coaching that clinic. That starts at 1:30. Registration clinic is at 12:00, and the kids will get to run on the field before the team gets to take the field. It's a heck of an atmosphere. We had a great turnout last year. Almost 300 kids, and kids out of Indy, lot of Monroe County guys, and we'll have the same deal this year.

"Last, this week is the Coaches Versus Curing Cancer game. Everyone around the country for the most part, most teams unless you're open, and I think the Open teams kind of recognize it next week. But to create some energy, some knowledge, some research for the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy which is one of the leading issues with children and the issues it causes for families. We've got today right here on south side (No microphone). This is Jordan. This is Laura and they have a daughter here, and we're recognizing this big guy here, a 5-year-old out of South Side. All right. It's something our coaches have done for years. It's a big weekend. You see the guys wearing the patch. But it's not just a patch, it's representing the families and a lot of families get affected by a lot of things and it's a family fight. So we want to create some energy and awareness about that. There have been a lot of strides made in helping that disease, and we're happy to have those guys here today."

(A win is a win, a loss is a loss and move on. But what does it mean for the program and the section of the program and just for the fans?)

COACH WILSON: "It's good for all of that, but really good for the players that have been working. They're the guys that have been doing a lot of things right for a long time. It's very, very difficult to maintain doing that if you don't see results. So for those kids to finally just like we've been saying, we talk about kind of busting through and keep playing. We could have played as hard as we could and made a poor play call or not gotten a good break or had the ball bounce on the short side. But to see those guys battle, compete, wasn't surprised, but it was really great to see on game day with that. I'm sure it will be good for our fans and everyone else. But most importantly, these kids have made a phenomenal amount of commitment, and I was just very, very happy for the seniors and for those guys to get a little positive. But my deal is it's short-term, and it's the process of that week. You've done a lot of things right for a long time, but it's easy to drop your guard, drop your hands and come out ready to play the next game. That's human nature. That being said, we'll see if we have the guts and the discipline to just prepare and give ourselves a chance to go play hard again. That's all we talked about last week was just playing hard. The team we play, I think that's their mindset. They talk about playing the next play and keep playing. So I expect a strong challenge. I'm just wanting our kids to kind of keep the focus on how you prepare, and let's keep putting together good weeks and see how many we can stack up."

(The kids can see what their really capable of?)

COACH WILSON: "I think a lot. Again, until you -- again, that's some of the last fine lines that you have to walk over and over. It's no different. Teams that play really good, players that play really good, great players that are really just really good all the time. They keep doing it over and over. They stay hungry, they stay humble, they stay grounded and keep preparing, and that is what the strong players do in any sport. It's what you do in your field, and if you're good at it, you keep repeating it. It's not that you're doing anything unusual, you just keep doing good things over and over and backing it up. That's our challenge for these guys. Go back now to what we do, how we do it, and make sure you're resting right, eating right, practicing right, studying right. If you like that feeling, remember, all the things that it took to get it. There has been a lot of work to get them to this point, but now you've got to do it on a weekly basis to go out there and perform. You've worked hard. You've recruited better. You've developed. You've got things in place that helps. That's a part of it. But now that you're here, you have to do the things to give yourself a chance to perform well, and that's what we're talking to our team about. We had to let go of the Bowling Green game. We already talked about it we got to let go of Missouri, and now it's on to Maryland. We have to move on. We have a lot of things to learn on, a lot of things to build on, and now we have to move full tilt to the play at Maryland at 1:30 Saturday."

(Coming into the end of the game, score is tied, and Missouri's driving. I think it was the second down you call timeout. Coach brought the defense over and talked to them a little bit. Was that to say, hey just because they're in the red zone, they don't have to score. Hold them and we're going to go win? What did you tell them in that time lapse?)

COACH WILSON: "I didn't feel like it wasn't like here we go again, because this team hasn't been here. You know, this team is we, us was the year before and the year before and the year before, but we was this team. So I wanted this team to right now we talk about playing hard. We're just going to play hard right now. All you've got right now. That's all we talked about. We're going to go four quarters and we trained, and we're strong enough and mature enough that there is some gas in your tank, and let's don't save it. Let's push it. Looked at some guys on the sideline and said let's get behind these guys a little bit and get going. Let's get some energy here. I kind of felt like we were halfway reeling and we needed to slow down. We didn't make any phenomenal call or something different. Just everybody slow down, take a deep breath, get your eyes back on the target and go play. That's it."

(On IU's running game)

COACH WILSON: "Um, I mean, it's tough to run. It's an attitude to run. It's more of a mindset, and it's taken us some time to get that mindset where we're mature enough across the board. It's tough to do it week after week. That box is going to get loaded and you better be able to throw it up there too. I had a couple this year where it should have been pitched out and we didn't pitch it. With the quarterback, hey, man, if they're giving you one-on-one opportunities, we have some guys outside. It's a team effort. It's a team effort to run the ball. The pass helps the run, the run helps the pass, and it all goes together. The offensive line is a group that's getting better and playing hard, and they get all the credit when you run the ball. But they actually get a lot of credit when you pass because that was a tremendous pass rush we played the other day. There are some things we had to do to protect the quarterback that the line does. That running game was pretty good the other day because of some tight end blocking and perimeter blocking. More importantly, the three guys that came in played with attitude and they took care of the football. Tevin's a special player. D'Angelo's a veteran, and you didn't see Myles much, but he's not far behind what you saw from Devine, so it's kind of a committee deal. As much as we play, as fast as we play you think about guys understanding roles and we addressed that. That's why our defense played a lot better because nobody worried about playing. They all kind of played and went out and played hard. I think our running backs think they're going to play. Our receivers think they're going to play. So quit worrying about it, just go get ready and play hard. I think D'Angelo and Devine's play, as Tevin was kind of out there getting IV'd up there in the second quarter was a huge part of keeping the team in rhythm to go four quarters. It was huge."

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