Kevin Wilson Press Conference Part 2

Here is the second part of Kevin Wilson's weekly press conference looking back at North Texas and ahead to this week's Big Ten game at Iowa.

Kevin Wilson’s Indiana football press conference from Monday was too long to keep it in one file. Here’s Part 2 that picks up where he left off in our first installment.

(On playing the way you practice and making plays)

COACH WILSON: "No doubt. One of our comments a week ago, though, we talked about with our guys, because I felt prior -- a couple of weeks ago we had a solid week of practice but didn't show. One of the things we talked about was not just practicing or practicing hard, but you need to practice making plays, so for example, when I beat a scout team offensive lineman or even the ones or twos in a pass rush, maybe I can't tackle the quarterback, but I continue to pursue to be in a position to do so, because I felt some of the things you're talking about in years past, sometimes it was tough to get up. But sometimes we were there and still didn't make the play, and man, you're in great position. That's a pretty good call. We are unblocked; make the sack. You're all over the guy in coverage; get your hand on the ball. So one of the things that we're just emphasizing is continuing to play hard, and as you practice, not just practice hard, but practice making the plays you need to make in the game, because if you don't do it on the driving range, it ain't ever going to the first tee.And we can go hit a bunch of balls but we need to start hitting them good. Hey, we've been hitting a bunch of balls in practice, but we need to start hitting them down the middle, and we talked a lot after the Maryland game of not practicing harder but practicing with the purpose of making plays, coming into the building with the purpose of having a good meeting instead of just coming in here and doing your job. Let's be productive because we got a good chance to have some success as we keep moving forward."

(On playing the full 60 minutes despite the score)

COACH WILSON: "A little bit, but the real -- that's a good question, because we need to, yes, for sure, keep playing. As a matter of fact, you're a turnover away from being into an 11-point game with six minutes left, for what that's worth. So now all of a sudden on-side kick, and you can be in a two-possession game and think, hey. So again, I showed them highlights of the Arizona comeback against Cal where they scored, what, 36 points in the fourth quarter saying, look, I don't care what the score is; you better keep playing. Even if you're down, keep playing and even if you're up, keep playing. It's not about running up scores, or it's not about, hey, the game's over, just keep playing. So one, that's a point, but to me the thing is that we busted some things that we hadn't technically seen, but conceptually you're always going to get in certain situations. So I don't care what the formation is, and third and longs people are going to have some version of rush control; so is it draws, screens, whatever, they're going to have goal line, certain play-action passes, so you can say, hey, I didn't see this, but as a young defensive player, moving forward on the two-point play, every team in the country has the sprint-out pick pass to the right, for what it's worth. They don't do it all the time, but that's one -- we did it in 1982, it was called 574 at North Carolina. Everybody runs that play. The pros, it's QB option. Everybody runs that play. We'll see it this week. We got it this week. But as a defensive guy, how are you not ready for it? Well, there's so much processing going on that you forget, and that to me was what was disappointing, not that we didn't play 60 or we busted a coverage, but with young players -- and you're young, but start learning, because bank that play because you're going to see that again, not because you busted, but in the history of football, you're going to see that play and learn from that."

(On Iowa OL Brandon Scherff)

COACH WILSON: "I had a chance to quickly speak with him at the Big Ten meetings. I thought it was him. Wasn't sure. He's a big guy, like who are you; and as soon as he said, I said, you're the guy that kills guys. And he said, I try to play as hard as I can. I said you do. He's very strong, very athletic. I think he's kind of grown into that position. He can come out as a natural, big guy. He's used their development of their weight program and their strength coaches and the position coaches, but he plays with a lot of passion, so he's a fun guy to watch. And I remember a year ago not playing them, but when we would watch defenses and you watched him making some awesome plays against some special guys. I have a lot of respect for him. He's a tremendous lineman, one of the best in the country.’’

(On playing hard)

COACH WILSON: "And again, you don't try to make it -- we've had conversation with players, what were you doing. Well, I was trying to make a play. Well, if you're trying, it ain't gonna happen. So we just talk about, you know, play hard, do what you're -- be where you're supposed to be. But one thing we talked about last week was especially defensively, as you are being where you're supposed to be -- I'm canceling a gap. Feel free to kick some butt as you cancel the gap. So just being in the gap is not the job. Be in your gap and create some havoc and make a play. So bottom line, we keep talking, and we can talk and talk and talk, but as players you need to keep playing. You need to keep playing every play. Games are never over till they're over. You're never out of it. If you're out of it, just keep playing. But bottom line, it's easier said than done. If it was, everybody would win every game and everybody would play perfect every game, so you got human beings, you got kids, we got some good kids, and our deal is we are emphasizing, showing them the good. There's a lot of positives to build on and we want to keep building on it, and it's going to be a tough challenge with these cats now, because they're going to play hard, and they are very, very good so we're going to need our best go, like we've had a couple times, we're going to need a really good go this week."

(When you know what they're going to do is the preparation easier or harder?)

COACH WILSON: "I think really, unless a team is really, really, really junky all over the place, most people, they change from week to week, but you get a feel for people, you know what they're going to do. And bottom line, it's executing plays, yeah, that's kind of what we do. We ran a lot of the same plays the next week. Does somebody hear, because you're up there talking, hear your words and share words, whatever; you change your words, you change your pig Latin, for whatever your stuff is. But at the end of the day, it's execution. And I think the worst thing as coaches sometimes -- sometimes, you know, Coach Stoops said a long time ago, he said, you got that big piece of paper and you need to call all those plays. And he goes, you know, you don't have to. So feel free to do what they give you and take what's there and don't feel free, like you need to justify your existence and guard your desk every day and work 90 hours to do a bunch of plays. Find out what works and get your kids to execute it. That's the key to --, in this no-huddle world, a lot of guys on defense talk about how simpler they've made it, which allows their defense to play harder and when they know what to do, the faster they play, the harder the play, the more they play. Now, you can say it's so simple, you know where they're at, but the kids know what they're doing. They're playing so hard, they're making plays. And as we've gotten more talented, sometimes the coaching needs to -- you can coach your guys to play hard instead of coaching them on a bunch of cute little gimmick stuff all the time. You can kind of play a little bit more normal football."

(On play-calling)

COACH WILSON: "I call the good ones and Coach Johns calls the bad ones. That's a fact. If it's not a good play, I had nothing to do with it. For example, Missouri, the last drive, it was amazing, my headphones went dead. Yeah, so I just had to take them off and yell at the guy with the call. It was amazing. Happened twice that game. Little-known fact. You've been there, right, Buck? All of a sudden, went dead. What happened here. I don't know. We need to score a touchdown. I don't know. Sometimes -- I'm one of the five coaches on offense, so I help out over there. I thought at Oklahoma Coach Stoops was very involved in defense because that was his background. He was the head guy, but he sat in every defensive meeting, and he was the DB, and you can ask Coach Shelby, he coached corners. He was the corners coach. Okay. He was the head guy, but on the field I got you. That's my deal is I'm not the best, but I coach a little, so let me help coach a little. And I'm best when I'm working with the offense, and I'm best -- I go over there and I say, here's what I think they're doing offensively. Y'all figure out how you need to stop it, but make sure we just attack and stay aggressive. Same deal on the kicking. Coach Inge was huge with that kickoff, onside. Not me. He's like, it's there, I want it. I said, okay, go for it. That was his call. I just said, yeah. That was his choice. He said, Coach, it's there. I said, go for it. That's a part of staff. Like I have final say on a lot of stuff. They're down there right now, probably taking their break for lunch, but they're going to go through every formation, every down-and-distance situation. We put a lot of plays up, and what I try to do is get the eraser out and start taking the clutter off the game plan. So what do we need to have enough tools in the toolbox to go after it. And we get out there, and you just kind of get a feel for it. I've called plays since '90, and so I got a feel for certain things, but sometimes it's not a good view, and Kevin's got a good view. So it's just kind of a team deal. The real play calling is done when the drive is over; what do you want next time. I'm thinking, give me this, give me this. What do you see? Should we do this or that, what do we need, and we kind of put it together. We don't script the game -- like I don't have a 15-play script. We don't do it. I mean we don't even sometimes tell them what the first play is going to be until we get out there, because what's the wind, what's the situation because I'm telling you exactly what it's going to be. We practice that on Thursday, we practice that on Friday, all of a sudden, it's a 20-mile-an-hour wind and you're on the three-yard line coming out; wait a minute. We do a good job on the sideline, this is what we're going to do next, and we try to get the flow of things. So that's kind of how we call plays. You got 40, 50, 60, 70 selections, but we're going with these four, five, six, seven, eight. That's kind of how we do it. Anything else? Good. Appreciate you being here, guys."

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