Indiana (1-0) plays its home opener at 4 p.m. Saturday against Ball State. Here are Ten takeaways from Monday conversations with Indiana players and coaches.
1. NO CELEBRATING: One of the biggest things to come from Monday’s conversations with the IU players and coaches is that even though IU won and its defense played well, there wasn’t any celebrating.
Wilson, on a number of occasions, mentioned the phrase “good but we can get a lot better” in some variation.
He even mentioned that a lot was made of Devine Redding’s fourth-consecutive 100-yard rushing game but not of Redding’s fumble. Wilson said Redding fumbled in Monday’s morning practice. “There’s a standard for taking care of the ball,” Wilson said. “His coach will get him right.”
Redding, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd are tied for the most consecutive 100-yard games in the nation with four each.
2. QUARTERBACK PLAY EVALUATION: In his first game in Division I, junior college transfer Richard Lagow was 18-for-27 passing for 240 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
“Those are better numbers than (Nate) Sudfeld had against that team,” Wilson said, referring to IU’s starting quarterback last year who made the Washington Redskins’ roster.
Lagow was on target 75 percent of the time, but got bluffed on some things, Wilson said. The next step is additional understanding of what’s going on and tightening up his footwork, which Wilson emphasized is important for a taller quarterback. Lagow is 6-foot-6.
3. NEW GUYS ON THE FIELD: Indiana had new players in a number of spots, especially along the defensive line.
Six of the 11 defensive line players who saw action in Indiana’s season opener were playing their first game.
Several young guys on defense were praised for how they played in the first game, especially Marcelino Ball.
The 6-foot freshman defensive back from Roswell, Ga., tied for being IU’s second-leading tackler with five and also had a pass break up.
“He’s fearless,” IU defensive coordinator Tom Allen said.
4. BALL STATE NOTES: Indiana faced a pass-oriented team in Florida International but will see a much more run-focused team in Ball State on Saturday.
James Gilbert rushed for a career-high 160 yards on 29 carries as Ball State rolled up 325 rushing yards and 6.2 per carry in beating Georgia State 31-21 on the road in Atlanta.
Ball State’s longest play from scrimmage was a 46-yard scramble from quarterback Riley Neal.
It was Ball State’s first game under new coach Mike Neu, the 1993 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year as Ball State’s quarterback.
“The thing about Ball State a little bit, they've only got one game with the new staff. They attacked Georgia State a certain way. How much of their offense have you seen yet?
“So our defense this week, same offensively, we saw a lot of things against Georgia State. You can get some different looks this week. These first couple games are always a little hard, cat and mouse, how much have you showed, not showed?”
5. JORDAN FUCHS TO HAVE SURGERY: Six-foot-6 junior tight end Jordan Fuchs will have surgery on Tuesday for the dislocated ankle he suffered in Thursday’s opener, Wilson said.
Fuchs will miss “significant” time and could redshirt but that decision will be made later, Wilson said.
6. OFFENSIVE LINE ADJUSTMENTS ON THE FLY: IU’s offensive line had to make a number of adjustments on the fly at Florida International, Wilson said.
Only about one of 10 offensive sets were what they expected, Wilson said.
“Our offensive line played very, very hard but wasn't as clean as it needs to be. Quite honestly, for what we prepared against, what we thought we were going to get to what we got, we probably got one out of 10 right in preparation,” Wilson said.
“They were in a different front, different coverage looks. Had to make a lot of adjustments.”
7. DEFENSIVE GRADE: Indiana outscored Florida International 22-0 in the fourth quarter in Thursday’s 34-13 win and scored on two interception returns.
“I’m really excited about how hard they played,” Allen said. “I told them before the game, ‘I don’t care about making mistakes. It’s going to happen. I want us to play our tails off and tackle.’
“I feel at times we missed tackles. I wasn’t pleased with that. … If you’re flying to the football, playing hard, playing hard for each other, together, then you’ve got a chance. To me, that was a good sign.”
8. ABOUT THAT HAT SPIKE: Allen spiked his hat and jumped up and down the sideline after IU’s second interception return for a touchdown, a clip that received plenty of attention in highlight shows and on social media.
Allen said he didn’t recall spiking a hat before.
“My wife asked me what I was thinking. I really wasn’t,” he said.
9. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Indiana named as its players of the week: Tight end Danny Friend on offense, linebacker Tegray Scales on defense and punter Joseph Gedeon on special teams.
10. THE DETAILS: Indiana (1-0) plays its home opener against Ball State (1-0) at 4 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNews with Mike Corey on play-by-play and Rene Ingoglia on analysis. Radio with Don Fischer, Buck Suhr and Joe Smith.