This Saturday Indiana will be looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they host the Michigan State Spartans in a Big Ten conference game. Here are 10 takeaways from today's press conference with head coach Kevin Wilson.
1. THE DETAILS: Indiana (2-1) opens Big Ten play when it hosts No. 17/16 Michigan State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. EDT and BTN will broadcast the game. The play-by-play announcer will be Eric Collins and the color analyst will be Glen Mason.
2. NOTES: The Old Brass Spittoon has been awarded to the IU-MSU winner since the trophy’s inception in 1950. The Spartans lead the all-time series 45-15-2. Michigan State comes into the game with a 2-1 record as they have wins over Furman and Notre Dame to go along with a loss to Wisconsin.
3. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Coach Wilson announced the players of the game for the Hoosiers from the loss to Wake Forest.
"Players of the game on offense, Rick Jones had some big plays, really good in the blocking game," Wilson said. "Jon Crawford played every snap defensively. I think he was in on 10 tackles, two pass breakups, 6 of 6 on 1 on 1 opportunities. Really didn't have anything in kicking. Our punter did a nice job and all our kicks were deep in the end zone, but we didn't have a specialist. We thought that impacted the game. Guys we thought played well besides the players of the game, Marcus Oliver and Tegray Scales, defensive performance. Up front we thought Wes Martin by far his best game to date. A lot of effort, energy, can be better but thought he did really, really, really well."
"Our scouts, young guys, T.J. Simmons and kind of helping out, was recognized defensively with Johnny Albomonte and Nick Ramacca, who is an offensive lineman, is doing a great job on the scout team."
4. CAMIEL AND FEENEY ARE QUESTIONABLE FOR MSU: Coach Wilson gave an update on the status of starting offensive linemen Dimitric Camiel and Dan Feeney. Feeney missed the Wake Forest game due to a concussion he suffered against Ball State, and Camiel has a back injury. Wilson said it is still a wait and see deal with both guy. "I saw Dan doing more yesterday," Wilson said. "Today is a light teaching day in our program, what we're doing, but I think as he goes through exercised induced activities, it's just a matter of, I know, does he have headache issues and when that's clear I think our doctors are giving the clear. So they're just pushing him through work and after work if he's feeling good consistently he's going to get to go. If he's got any recurring -- it's not stepping backwards, it's just going through the process and I think it's called exercised induced activity to get through the response where he is. Dimitric is going through a back and see where he gets to."
5. WILSON TALKS ABOUT CAMION PATRICK: In the game against Wake Forest junior wideout Camion Patrick finally made his first appearance in an IU uniform in a real game. Patrick was only in for three plays, but Coach Wilson expects him to get more and more snaps as the season goes along while also acknowledging the talented Hoosier has some rust to knock off.
"He's been practicing a couple of weeks," Wilson said about Patrick. "Again, he just needs to...that's a talented guy, but let's...he's got to get on the field and prove himself here. He has in other places and he's coming off the injury and sometimes when you've been sitting that long, there is a little rust that sits in and it's knocking the rust off and it was good that he was cleared and got some plays. I think he played a handful, five, six, seven, bigger packages. He's playing outside receiver now and he was looking good at practice today and we'll keep workin' it and see how it goes."
6. WILSON EXPLAINS NOT BEING MORE AGGRESSIVE AT END OF 1ST HALF: On Saturday the Hoosiers got the ball back with just under a minute to go. and all three of their timeouts. Instead of trying to take some chances and possibly move down the field for a possible score, Wilson decided to run the ball and go into half time down 21-7. He said that he was concerned that if they had to punt the ball there was a chance of a big return or a block that could give the Demon Deacons even more momentum.
"I thought we needed to go in and cool down," Wilson said. "If we had punted the first run and got out of the gate. Things were going to change, but where it was right then and they had two timeouts and the way it was going. If we had thrown it three times in a row or they take too much, here comes the punt team again, here is maybe a punt return or punt block. So I felt like risk management, let's go in, take one play at a time and one possession at a time and try and get back in it. That was my thought at the time."
7. HOOSIERS PRACTICE GIVING THE BALL TO THE OFFICIALS: There have been a handful of instances where a player is going in for a touchdown only to have it negated because he dropped the ball before crossing the goal line. Coach Wilson said in practice they work on situations like that and talk to their players about not making that mistake.
"Of course, we always...every one of our practices here that we have our managers are in referee shirts because every play you give the ball to the referee and that helps us play fast so, you know, if you throw a pass in a practice that's on the ground we're supposed to pick up the ball and give it to our manager," Wilson said. "That's your ball, even if it's on the ground. So we're used to doing that, but only thing I would say is that we did show those plays. We showed the kickoff return where the guy caught it and threw it to the referee. We try as much as we can to educate."
8. WILSON PLEASED WITH PROGRESS OF IU DEFENSE: Coach Wilson was asked today about how he thinks the Hoosiers are playing defensively under new coordinator Tom Allen.
"Coach Allen is doing awesome, great presence, great standard setting and I still think, though, he will tell you he and his players are close and to give up a couple of plays we did, the penalty on the big drive, the self-inflicted wounds, no turnovers," Wilson said. "I think it's digging him deep and I know he will work hard to try to address it without pointing fingers, to get his guys playing better, and we're going to need them to."
9. WILSON TALKS MICHIGAN STATE: Indiana will be facing an MSU team this week that is coming off a very disappointing 30-6 loss at home to Wisconsin. Coach Wilson said that he expects them to rebound and play well on Saturday.
"They're coming in, didn't play well last week by their standards and that's probably several teams in our league are really, really strong," Wilson said about MSU. "But that program across the board shows the strength of a program with the way they recruit, develop players, coach players, playing all phases, kicking game, kicking fakes, defense stopping the run, defense not giving up big plays, balance of offense, players. That's why they've won, what, 10 games or more, 11 over the last four years, five years, Big Ten champions, playing in the playoff last year and they were off to a good start and they played a good football team last week and Wisconsin played well. But they're a good team and just like us I know they're going to have a good week."
10. WILSON SADDENED BY DEATH OF ALLISON HOEPPNER: On Saturday before the game against Wake Forest news broke that Allison Hoeppner, the daughter of former IU head coach Terry Hoeppner, had been killed in a car accident. The Wilson family and the Hoeppner family have been friends for years and Coach Wilson said hearing about the the loss of Allison Hoeppner was very tough news to get.
"We shared it with the team," Wilson said. "My wife was actually driving me to the hotel that morning where the team was and she got a call from one of the coaches' wives. Very sad there. Tough deal. She grew up...our first recruit for Coach Walker was a young man in Oxford who dated Terry's daughter. So not only was Terry on the staff, but dated her. As a matter of fact, a couple of players from that team hit me with the news, texted me. So just pray for their family. It's tragic. I think a couple of our coaches are tied in with her kids and personally knew her. So it's a tough deal, but we send prayers and love to them."