Kevin Wilson Weekly Press Conference

In his weekly press conference on Monday, Kevin Wilson talked about the things that went wrong against Maryland last week and what IU needs to do this week against North Texas.

Indiana coach Kevin Wilson talked Monday at his weekly press conference about last week’s loss to Maryland and this week’s game with North Texas.

(Opening Remarks)

COACH WILSON: "This morning reviewing our play, got outplayed, outcoached there for sure. Didn't change anything in our approach as far as what we're doing practice wise or whatever. We kind of stayed on our routine. As far as time on task, number of plays, how we practice, I think we do a lot of things in a pretty good way. We have had some solid, strong performances, it's obvious, and a couple that have not been as good. Back in preseason I said we were looking for consistency, and I see some solid things in our routine, I think our players like what we're doing practicewise, but you got to transfer it into the game. So there is more than that just practice, there is what we're doing mentally and our respect for the game, and the opponent, and all that stuff there is more than practice time and game time that goes into the week. Just asking our guys to look at it.

"I know across the board we didn't, again, change a lot, but we go from effort standpoint we go from 89 offensive knockdowns two weeks ago to 33. So that's 56 less times. We had 21 missed tackles. I don't think we had 21 in three games. So all of the sudden -- now, played a good opponent, we had a lot of respect for Maryland coming in, knew they were very, very good and they played very well. So give those guys a bunch of credit, but just a little disappointed, kinda surprised but we're going to keep working at it. We got young guys playing, I think it takes a little bit. I know previous coaches I've worked with say it takes just a little bit to be off, and when you get a little bit off you can be exposed and we were off Saturday in a lot of ways, and it added up for us. We have got to work to clean that up. I expect us to keep pushing for consistency and more than anything have a "winning" spirit and do the things we need to do to keep moving the right way for good buys does and good players. Our players of the game, offensively, we didn't have anyone we recognized up front perimeter or in the backfield, so not a good performance from the offensive across the board collectively.

"Defensively we thought we had two really good performances. Darius Latham played his best game to date, need him to keep coming along, been here not quite two full years played some last year, not a lot, still in the rotation mix. The more he plays hopefully the better he gets. There is a lot of football for him in front of him. He's got a long way to go; he can be so much better, and it's good to see him gaining on it. Good game by Darius. Timmy Bennett, his best game, and I think more importantly from the last week he's been significantly to me like the Tim Bennett I saw last year, better bounce in his step, a lot better leadership. Had guys after the game that evening thought he was the best player during halftime, during the second half and after the game, which was good to see, because I thought early on, he looked tired, sluggish, still playing okay, but from the things he gives us off the field, so I was really proud of Timmy. We recognized him as player of the game defensively and really great to see his attitude at a high, high level, great to see.

"Wes Martin, an offensive lineman, doing a nice job for us, and on scout D we recognized Noel Padmore who travels, plays a little bit, he gets work on our scout work and had a great week for us, and we appreciate that. In the kicking game, Maryland came in No. 2 in the country overall kick unit. We for the most part held our own, in a lot of ways pleased with our effort. Punt team was good, we let one get out a little bit but our punter did a great job in punting, Eric, our punting was solid, punt return we had a big one called back but a little better in the return game, good to see. Kick off return, had the best returns we've had to date in KOR. Kick off coverage was solid. Griffin Oakes and Erich Toth, both of them again. I think Griff was honored as the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week, had a nice, long kick, like we told you guys, those guys were good from 57, I think it was 58, thought he had a shot, wind wasn't hurting him I didn't like the halftime celebration like it was over, if we didn't think we could have made that kick. We got a first down and on second down we had an incomplete pass -- excuse me on first down, on second team we ran an option play trying to get to the perimeter, and we didn't make a block inside, a linebacker made a play so third and 10, we didn't want to give 'em back. We kind of milked the clock a little, didn't make a third down play, but they had gotten a penalty. I think the score was 20-6, and they had scored two or three times in a row on us, so we didn't want to go in without momentum. To come back and make a couple of plays -- as a matter of fact we're very lucky, Nate really threw a check down pass, if they catch it, the half is over, and we're lucky he didn't catch it. They were bracketing outside, they weren't giving you sideline throws, we were out of time outs so it was nice to see Griff make that kick. He's been awesome in kick-offs, we got a lot of touchbacks. He was 3 of 4. We needed him to make them all. He missed the 54-yarder. At the same time he's got short-term success, and like a lot of people around here we seem not to handle that so good.

"I still think Del Grosso has been, through practice, as consistent or more, so we have some competition there. Those guys will keep pushing themselves, and as we move forward they'll do fine. Those guys were the two best kids in our state a couple of years ago so they'll do fine.

"North Texas is coming in 2-2, bowl team a year ago, nine wins, bowl victory a year ago. Played this year at Texas, last year at Georgia, they played some quality teams year after year. They won't be impressed walking in here with us or this arena. They're not used to being in it. A lot of those kids -- I think they have the most kids on any team in the country from the state of Texas, which is great football, their kids play fast, very athletic and active, they play very, very hard, very physical, well coached. New quarterback playing for them, Dajon Williams, who came in the last -- they got Louisiana Tech, a Thursday night game, two and a half weeks ago, played well and got up 42-0 or 7 on them, and Williams came in and played the fourth quarter and since then played one game; they've had an open date. Since he played, his rating at quarterback is 232, he' 16 of 21 for 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, and he they have scored 98 points in five quarters. What's their number for the year, 148, so they scored 50 and the rest of those he got them rolling. They use run/pass threats, different but some of the same stuff we saw with Maryland's quarterbacks, so really playing some unique offense and coming into an open date they've got an open date this week, so they got two weeks to get prepared for us. Their defense is aggressive, attacking defense, very, very physical. They are giving up 80 yards a game, rush defense one of the best in the country, always a style of Coach Skladany their "D" coordinator and Coach McCarney, who is a defensive coach. Every player in their two-deep has a sack. We have 7 sacks for the year, they have 18 for the year, 17 or 18. Very good in turnovers. So against a Coach McCarney team. I know we had an opportunity to play them a couple of years ago, and when I looked at the scoreboard and it was 24-0 and we were getting our butts waxed. So it will be a tough team, expect a good challenges, expect our guys to have a food week, expect us to play hard, look forward to a great game Saturday at 2:30 with these guys.

(On game planning for North Texas)

COACH WILSON: "Every -- by trying to -- what their mathematical numbers are and schemes are to get the box loaded, whether it be by pressure, or edge back or in safety alignments, corner support structures, to get the extra hats, that's where every defense tries to start every week. They have great eye discipline, where when you do that your players that are responsible for covering receivers, need to keep your eyes on the receiver because we're going to cheat and put halfway backers and safeties committed to run. That being said if you're responsible for receiver you make sure he doesn't beat you so they don't give up a lot of big plays to commit to the run, a sign of a good defense. 4-3 structure, they pick their spots how they want to pressure out of it, but it's just a very, very -- I think their best defensive end is 230 pounds, but he is active, plays hard. It's the time of program that Coach McCarney has had. "I think he was the winningest Coach in Iowa State history, or one of him. He's coached a number of years, very successful. His guys are going to play hard. Coach Skladany, he's been a lot of places, great defensive coach. It's structure, it's attitude, it's quick guys, but, again, when the box gets loaded you gotta make one-on-one plays. They got some guys that can play one-on-one defense. They got four guys off their defense a year ago from pro camps. So they've got some active guys. Got a guy playing for the Cowboys last night that's a North Texas guy, we played against a couple of years ago. So they got some really good guys, trust me.

(You mentioned the return getting called back. The long run with respect to penalty. Is this team at a point where it's mentally strong enough to bounce back from moving those two scores just the emotions of getting up and seeing that play?)

COACH WILSON: "You gotta be because you're not going to get everything -- not everything is going to go your way, whether we call a foolish play or you make an error, you drop a pass, you miss a tackle. There are a bunch of humans out there on game day doing a lot of things and human error it's not going to be a game of perfect. We've told and what's been pleasing is that our guys realize that things aren't going to go their way, and you gotta overcome that, we had two penalties, was what it was, still had the opportunity to score, one of them we got a field goal out of them. So you kinda keep playin'. We talked about a week ago we jump off sides on a kick play and our freshman kicks it again, late hit on the quarterback and that same guy made the tackle to win the game, so we've talked -- but you gotta do it and there was a lot of reasons we got our butt beat and more than that one play let us down. We didn't lose that game because of a play getting called back. We got outplayed."

(Do you have a sense that everything worked where they were?)

COACH WILSON: "No. We didn't deviate one thing. Again, hopefully the guys get to the point -- look at the games last week across the country; look at the week before. If you don't come to play, there is such a fine line between a play or two, a call or two, and your ability to play hard, if you're not on, I don't care who you are, and that he to me is what we said a week ago. That separates the really strong players from the guys that aren't, is consistency. It's not, hey, they got a bunch more better recruits, more tradition, no they do it week after week, as we build we said in preseason what did you want? We want competition and consistency, and we're going to push for that because to me that creates the trust we talked about a week ago, the trust from the fans, hey, you gotta consistently play, we didn't do it. We didn't change our practice routine but for whatever our thought process we were not the same team, disappointing, see if we can learn from, I don't think some rah-rah -- we're going to maintain, I truly believe we are doing things right in our structure, we didn't come in yesterday and start yelling at them, we didn't show a bunch of negative, week before, here is some good plays, some bad plays, here it is on tape again, this is your effort, do you like this predict because don't sit here and say that's not us, because that was us. That's how we play what we're not on. Let's get back on, because we've been against pretty good teams and we've been off. We've got to be consistently find ways to stay on. And it's my job to create and foster that.’’

(Could you detect after watching the film the specifics and why the passing game struggled so much?)

COACH WILSON: "No, I didn't like our concepts and what we were doing. They loaded the box up and the pocket collapsed a lot. They gave us some plays where -- they scrambled. There weren't some clean places for him to throw, protection is firm where you can step into throws, you have muddy water coming at you versus it's firm and I can stand there and play, some receiving timing has to get up, we had some protection, it was a combination of it all. From protection, to route running to concepts to everything. It was errors by the entire group from the scheme and play calling, it could all be better. Got guys opened we missed, too, though. Several drops. You name it, it was a day where if anyone that had a part of passing could mess up some things, we were hitting on 10 all day, whether it be the play call, the time to call it, the placement, the route, the protection, the read, the catch, whatever you name it, we were all part of it, collectively."

(How much of it has been made in a largely either new group of receivers or receivers in new roles that's been hard to make that click? Is that as much to do with it as what you just described?)

COACH WILSON: "You can say that but that's an excuse. I'm watching A&M and they got a new quarterback and a bunch of guys that got drafted and those guys came in ready to play and our guys gotta come in -- you're going -- in college you're going to lose some guys. You have an injury you don't want, things happen. Next guy up, you gotta do it. At the same time I think we've shown the last couple weeks before that when you throw for 300 and 200 and something against a team on the road, it's not bad. We got to do a better job of screaming it up, and they did a nice job of -- if they take away the run, balance is when they take away the run you can execute it. We had 37 pass calls, what we did it, we didn't execute. It's got to be sharper, we'll keep pushing for it. I'm confident it's going to be there but it's got to be consistent because you go back the previous two weeks, you see some pretty good things, and all of the sudden you see that. When you've got two not good passing days and two pretty solid passing days, and the two solid days are against doesn't teams, too, so what is it? Credit Maryland they played well. We still had some guys open but protection, run game, staying on schedule, schematics, set your feet, rip it, don't aim it, rip it, be aggressive, trust it, we'll keep pushing. We won't change. We gotta get better. We gotta get better at it and I believe we believe, I'm sure we will."

(On offensive rhythm)

COACH WILSON: "I mean, you know, he was in the slot the other day. Missed him on a corner route. If you don't block him, you don't stay on schedule, don't throw everything to him, you got to throw it to a bunch of guys, they can always take away one guy where he is and they ain't taking him away, they're not honoring him, they're stopping the run. If you want to work one guy you can always defend one guy. Our offense has been about not one guy and right now we got the run game going pretty good and the pass game has been pretty inconsistent. The running game wasn't consistent, too, it skewed those numbers statwise to make them look a little better than they were. The other guy is playing good inside; he's doing okay outside. We'll keep looking at it. I don't think that's the answer. I don't think that's the problem. I think it's a team problem, from schematics, coaching, play calling to team execution. When you're doing something good, when we are running the ball good the receivers are part of that, too. When you're doing something good it's a team deal, when you're struggling, typically it's a team deal, and collectively we were way off. Hadn't practiced that way. We'll see. When you get out of rhythm, get out of whack, hard to get going. We didn't jump start it. We just let them off the hook. We'll see what we can do this week, because this week will be loaded boxes, one-on-one's, they're very competitive and very good in the secondary. It's not like this is going to be an easy week to "solve our problems" because they're a very good defense."

(On the defense)

COACH WILSON: "No, I mean, you know, I'm always like, hey, what's the -- what's the answers, because to me the field is way too big, that's why I think the hardest thing going and we're playing somebody like the team coming in or the team that played good defense you got to give them credit because it's hard to -- there is a lot of space, a lot of grass, a lot of good players, and offenses have gotten where they're making you defend a lot, and to me it's finding the answers. If they're doing this, let's get to this, and that's one of the reasons why I try too stand behind the defense if I can. I try to look at them, where are they at, what where do we need to go, what are they doing? I get more into problem solving rather than getting frustrated. Afterwards you look at what did we really do, are we doing it with the right guys in the right spot, let's "eval." We're not going to stay stubborn, I think we've always evolved and I think we have to continue and we always with."

(One of Maryland's linebackers said they were picking up on your calls. Did you see anything on film reviewing stuff …)

COACH WILSON: "I mean, we do what we do. I was calling their option when it was option from the screen from the sideline and here comes their screen you watch guys you get a feel for what guys do. We have tendencies, every team does, still have to execute. If you don't win the line of scrimmage or play hard, the odds go down a little. If they're on to something -- we always keep looking at it. We were different, there were new things we did Saturday we hadn't done, some new routes, some of them didn't work. When you have success you got all the answers. We didn't think we had any, so I don't know. You should stand by me on the sideline when the other team -- I call about 70% of the plays right watching the their offense, same side power, here it comes, screen, screen, screen, kids can't hear you, that's why the voice is raspy, like you guys yelling at the TV when you don't travel, can't nobody hear ya, but you get the feel for stuff. That's the beauty, comes down to execution. Right now we're going to spend hours this week watching North Texas do what they do and they gonna do what they do, they do it really good. Why are you wearing the green shirt today anyway?"

(On stopping screens)

COACH WILSON: "Well, we do it once in a while. Couple of them were play-action screens, where the demeanor of the quarterback, I got my back to it, everybody starts running one way, he aborts, comes back, one time they did it off the option. Hey, we're going option this way, stop and throw back, so it's like a counter deal, and they were a good screen team. They true it deep and short and this team this week is going to do the same thing they're going to take the shot and throw it underneath but that's the essence to me of a good offense. They're making you defend the field and everyone, just good play calling and execution, some things we need to do better."

(On the timing of the offense)

COACH WILSON: "Well we call it the long foul ball, everybody gets all excited and then there is a gasp of air because nothing happened and the defense never feels -- even when you beat them the defense never feels threatened until you make the play and we've got to be smart and calculated and make sure when we are taking shots, the one interpretation that we had the other date, Nate adjusted a route we didn't need to. I said why did you do it? We had an end-breaking route and he got stuck because he wanted to throw it to Shane, a deep one, and I said hey you got to stop it. So my deal is we looked at it with him last week and sometimes it's timing, sometimes we call them deep routes they're not deep routes they're get-open routes so if you can't win you have options of stopping it or am coming back and bending. Sometimes I think we're running just to run and what you're doing is -- it's no different than when you're in the basketball world and they're playing a 2-3 zone you're finding spaces within the zone to get open it's the same thing on certain routes and we have a deep route but he has options, and he has options to run and he has options, because he has to beat the defensive end, not the corner so can I beat him deep, beat him short, but I got to do it before the end gets there so I got 2.4, 2.5 to decide, and quarterback has to know and that's why we talk about typing. Is he running by him, snapping it off, coming back, taking it over the top of the guy or going inside. It takes time with that, and if we go out there and practice it over and over we will get better but we will also get tired so it's limited reps. You don't want to run 60 "go" balls and a kid like Shane or Nick is going to be gassed. That's why we talk about timing, that's some of the timing. And the kids that are really, really good when you watch them, they're doing things in sync where you just know, I got you, and those are things we're working on we're not as near as good as it ought to be, and we gotta fight to get there because those pictures change all the time. And it's always neat, I get the running back on Sunday 20 times, tell them what they want to do. He's got 1.7 seconds to figure if out or he's really good or really bad. I get the running back for 30 seconds, why didn't you do this or how about that, and the receiver is the same deal. That's what being in sync is about, they got about 2 seconds to figure it out, that's why it's neat and challenging, and it's pretty fun. Anything else?’’

(On talking to Coach Joseph who guided North Texas safeties in 2012 and 2013)

COACH WILSON: "You know, we didn't a whole lot. As a matter of fact I even said go to Nate because Nate is a smart guy I said don't be talking to Coach Joseph about all the DBs that he coached, because he'll give you too much info and now you're thinking by the way -- you got 1.7 seconds, you don't need clutter in your mind. Bottom line it's a defensive structure that's very sound, that's been going around for a long time, there are coaches that we've went against that you do and you know, and there are coaches that do it well. We didn't spend a lot of time on Bowling Green. It's more about their tape and their players and this year. I didn't get into the games about those guys. I guess you can, I don't know, I get more into watching tape rather than what guys think about 'em. Sometimes I think the more you know it can hurt you. I don't need to know this guy can do that and I'm just watching tape and this is how we want to attack, don't overload me, I don't think it's a big deal. But he's here.’’

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