(How much did Tommy Mister's injury open the door for Devine?)
COACH WILSON: "The day Tommy got hurt it was like we need to see both of those guys because I think Tommy showed a little bit more flash, but Devine showed more consistency for a young guy. It was a little tougher for a young guy. So it was probably even, and maybe Devine had a slight lead, but Tommy's got his injury right now. They were both neck and neck."
(Maryland's a conference game, but does it to a certain extent feel like a non-conference game because you don't have any familiarity with them? You have more familiarity with Bowling Green and Missouri than you'll have with Maryland?
COACH WILSON: "Yeah, to me, I could be wrong but I don't believe anyone has won our division that starts 0-1 since they've done our division. So we talked about getting off to a good start, and we talked totally about it being a conference game and the importance of that. Again, they're very, very talented. I didn't watch the Missouri game from last year until last Sunday. We didn't do an enormous study. We put more time, I think, on ourselves and our player development and what we need to do to get better more than worrying about what other people do. So to me, this is no different than any week. You go back and review some things, but it's like coaches always do all these studies all the time and it was justifying so you had to be in the office that long. You really just watch yourself and your cut ups. Like, man, we're not good at double teams, and our perimeter blocking is great. We're not good in movement pass team. We've got to work on our boot leg passing or sprints. So to me, you always study yourself. You know, Sunday is a new chapter, and all the energy starts on Sunday. So we came in yesterday. We showed our guys. We showed a lot more Maryland than we did Missouri. Here are some things that we liked that were very impressive. Here are some things that got to get fixed. Now let's go into Maryland and start moving this week."(I don't know if concern is the right word that Maryland's special teams ability to return kickoffs and punt returns. How crucial will that be for you to retain that?
COACH WILSON: "We had the same issue the last couple weeks. Bowling Green's guy had that block the punt week one, had the return and almost had the second return in week two. The wind was so bad the kicking wasn't an issue that day and you couldn't get one into coverage last week. They had a good return last week. We missed the tackle and one got out on us. But you're going to be in conference. If you do your end, I would expect most games to be very competitive, and that means you're down to a play can get you. So whether I'm supposed to go cross face to a kick cover and cancel lane or don't, reach on the back side of a punt protection or don't. You'll be in games where critical plays can get you short. One critical play can get you on the short end of the stick, and that's going to be a lot of games. That is the nature of college football. That's why the difference between 4 and 8, 8 and 4 is not a lot, not a lot. It's a few plays and a few players."
(In games decided by 4 points or less, you were 1-7 in your career here prior to Saturday’s game. How important was it to finally get over the top in one of those games?)
COACH WILSON: "Good for the guys.I don't think we've choked games away or lost games or just gave up and quit or whatever. Our deal is you've got to make a play. You always see like at the end, but there are plays throughout the game that is the one play that makes it a ten-point game instead of a three. So now you're two scores up instead of three point game. We talked about it. You've got to make plays to win games. The way you make plays is you're playing hard every play. Keep playing hard and chipping at it, sooner or later that ball's going to come out you're going to have an explosive play or lack thereof. So our deal is if you keep playing hard the odds of those plays happening increase. The whole focus last week was just on, and it needs to be, but it's easier said than done, but you need to get their attention, their bodies and their practice habits in a way that when they're falling back to something, they're fall back on good habits and playing hard. And that being said, we were very fortunate to play like that on Saturday."
(Coach, sometime during the fourth quarter you had a heated discussion with Nate Sudfeld. I think it was the result of a sack or something. What was the nature of that conversation?)
COACH WILSON: "That's called family love. That's how we love our brothers. We need to call that play, get the ball out of our hand and keep attacking. That's all that was. Short and sweet. We're coming at these guys. Let's go, man. Call the play, get them set, spot the ball, lineup and play, and let's go get it. That's all it was. Let's don't start waiting around and seeing what they were doing. We were waiting. Not that we want to be a hyper-tempo team, but if we had slowed down, those guys could really tee off on us and we didn't want that. We wanted to be teeing off on them. It was swing and misses, but we were going to swing. We were not going to sit there and hope the fourth pitch was a ball. We were going to take a cut at it if it's close. I pointed out we're not looking and waiting for something to happen. We're attacking. Let's get back into attack mode. That was some good old family love to a great player who played very, very well. That's a stressful situation. On the road, that crowd. They've got some guys coming at you. It was a really good job by the O-line. That kid handling some really -- that was good to see. Very good to see for a quarterback that cant win on the road. You guys wrote that, right? You guys wrote that.He doesn't win on the road.We lose on the road. We got nothing. We did it. We've got to do it again at home. What's up?"
(On building on success after Saturday)
COACH WILSON: "I don't know. All success is one week. So if that's your definition of success, so be it. We talked before the game that we want to do everything we could to put ourselves in position to play hard and give ourselves a chance. As soon as it's over, if you like that, you've got to do it again. It's not going to be easy. If you're a senior, it's the end of your career, like some of you guys. If you've made enough money to retire on, did you get jacked up because your investments didn't go well and you're going to blame somebody, you're going to work hard and make more money at the end. So how much do you want it at the end? You have a few more weeks to play this game, and the season has weeks yet to come. I don't think we work all that time not to play well. We don't work all that time to rest on our laurels. We haven't accomplished anything. We had one good week. We talk about a season. It's a football season, not a football week. We break it up into weeks, buts it's the football season. It's a long season, and it's your ability to do it again. So it's not -- yeah, I wasn't overly excited about it. Wasn't overly surprised. I'm kind of back in the groove. This is Monday. This is what we do. It's Tuesday. Here's what we do. Let's put it together. If anything, you'd like to think we put it together better. Because if that's the best we can play, we're not very good. We're not very good coaches or players if that's the best we've got. We've got a lot left in front of us, and it better be getting better."
(Pass rush this week was better than it had been previously. Was it aggression or getting off blocks, what was it?)
COACH WILSON: "Little bit of both. Sometimes it was some movements calls that started from the start. I think three of the first runs were tackles for losses. You can talk to Coach McDaniel or Bryan a little bit more about their schematic calls. I don't get as much of that as my thing was, you know, there are different styles, and I think we're good here if we conservatively invest. I don't think that's why we go no huddle. That's why we go for it on some fourth downs. That's why we do some things. We've got to be calculated. Like I said a week ago, don't be careless, but we have to have an aggressive approach. I implored the defensive guys, do what you need to. I don't understand all the schemes. I see when I attack it from the offensive view that I have. But I know this, if I want to sit around and be cautious in my investments, I don't know if you're going to get the return you want. You can get burned. It doesn't mean you need to get blitzed a lot, but we played a bunch of guys. You got to play those guys. Now, you can get burned by playing a freshman, but we needed to play those guys to play as hard as we could after that. If we hadn't played those guys we wouldn't have had enough gas in the tank. As a coach that's a risky investment, but you have to do that sometimes to get the return you want. We have to have enough guts to challenge ourselves and not worry about the results. Coach Stoops said to me and he got it from Coach Spurrier, you have to make the calls you think are best and don't worry about criticism. Everything we've been doing here is what's best to help the team. From a recruiting standpoint, budget standpoint, you name it, we're trying to build the team. And every decision we did in the week in game planning is put those players in position where they have a chance, they can go out there and get after it and be aggressive."
(Talk about wanting this to become a program. Like you're talking about, week-in, and week-out it's competitive. Where do you feel it is at that standpoint? And what are the keys to Missouri being one of your leaders?)
COACH WILSON: "One thing we've talked about is even though we've yet to crack the deal over being a bowl team, you have to get to where you're competitive on the short side before you get over the hump. So I know we go through it, like in our time here. I think now we've won our last eight, and we've lost games by one, two, three, three, four and six. So we're going to play very, very competitive football. Now we've got to keep playing hard, coach better, make enough plays to get on the right side. So we've been competitive winners. We've been competing and doing things that make us competitive, but now you've got to do things where the competitiveness becomes consistency, and you have the winning and you get on the right side of the ledger more. So I think our guys, that's why I keep saying we do a lot of things right. It's got to transfer to game week and play this week probably as skilled as talented teams as we played today. Probably the most. It's going to be a huge test for us, and a great team coming in."
(On Maryland's defense)
COACH WILSON: "Maryland's defense is very multiple in what they're doing. They're not very static. Their defensive coordinator has background in the pro deal, so it's a combination of three-man fronts, four-man fronts, pressures, lot of movement in the secondary, confusing your quarterback on rotations, looking like you've got a field throw, and all of a sudden clouding that way and clamping down over top and making you work. So athletic crowd, they've had a few injuries, but like all of us, we've got a few on the defensive side now and that's part of the game. They've continued to overcome that and they came up short against an opponent in West Virginia. West Virginia as two close losses in Alabama and Oklahoma. They've played a very good schedule. They've been on the road twice. Playing at Syracuse, playing at South Florida. They've traveled, and they've had a long travel. To me they come in as a veteran team. They were a bowl team a year ago, so they have a lot of good habits. It's going to be a strong test. Whatever you want to call it, success or whatever, we need to put last week away and move on and have a good week and come out and play hard. Maybe we call the right plays and get right bounces, maybe we don't, but let's go play hard and get after it again."
(It's your Big Ten opener, and their first Big Ten game ever, their first conference game, do you figure their guys are going to be ready to play?)
COACH WILSON: "No doubt, sometimes you come in and you feel a little slighted. Whether it's you or the media who gravitate, so sometimes you get a little slighted. But understand this, they've come out of playing big games against great teams. We were playing against Clemson and Florida State, and the guys in the ACC, they've played in big games and very, very successful. So, again, it's not like to me they're stepping up. They just moved over. Sometimes you see teams stepping up from maybe a non-Power 5 conference. They moved over from a competitive conference. So I don't know if their coaches or players might feel a little slighted because media day everybody knows the quarterback from this school and maybe not them. But at the end of the day, they're not out of their league. This is where they belong. We're excited to have them here and excited to have them in our division, and we look forward to a great game Saturday and need to play very, very well.Daily Feature: Monday Morning Quarterback
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