This Saturday Indiana will be looking for a 2-0 start in Big Ten play when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. Here are 10 takeaways from today's press conference with head coach Kevin Wilson.
1. THE DETAILS: Indiana (3-1, 1-0) plays their first conference game on the road when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take No.2/2 Ohio State at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8th. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. EDT and ESPN will broadcast the game. The play-by-play announcer will be Bob Wischusen and the color analyst will be Brock Huard.
2. NOTES: Indiana has never defeated a team ranked No. 1 or 2 (0-28). The program's lone victory over a top-three team came on November 25, 1967 -- a 19-14 win overNo. 3 Purdue in Bloomington to clinch a trip to the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 72-12-5. Ohio State comes into the game with a 4-0 record overall and a 1-0 record in the Big Ten.
3. PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Coach Wilson announced the players of the game for the Hoosiers from the win over Michigan State.
"Up front defensively, a lot of activity, not a lot of stats, but Nate Hoff, Patrick Dogherty, Greg Gooch very active, Ralph Green. Ralph had some strong leadership throughout the week in the game, so the front four guys were recognized just for the strong effort; we needed it. We played a lot of other guys that kept those main guys fresh. Players of the game defensively, Tegray Scales. Had 14 tackles, two TFLs, Marcus Oliver, 10 tackles, one tackle for loss, quarterback hurry, forced fumble. Jon Crawford not a lot of action; ball didn't get his way, but very, very good, playing with a lot of confidence. And A'shon Riggins, who's a freshman, seven tackles, one great pass breakup on a third down and really good big-time play for a young freshman in that situation. Really proud of him"
"Offensively, we recognized two guys Richard Lagow and Ricky Jones," Wilson said. "Ricky Jones played well, five receptions, 124 (yards). Mitchell Paige, one touchdown, one touchdown pass, big-time return he had for us. Richard Lagow had some stats. That's his best game, settling down, fighting, finishing, graded very, very well, two touchdown passes and one touchdown receiving. Offensive line, Coy Cronk and Wes Martin, best game that we've had to date with Jacob Bailey and Brandon Knight also fought and played very, very hard and well. Danny Friend, 86 percent. He had 12 knockdowns at tight end. Both running backs recognized, Tyler Natee 33 yards after contact, Devine Redding 40 after contact 19, 100 yards, always tough sledding against Michigan State's front and their scheme, and to run the ball fair enough was a strong effort by those guys
"Special Teams Player of the Game was Chris Covington, showed up very, very well in the kick cover," Wilson said. "He's on three of our teams, played his best game at linebacker as well, really growing into the defensive mindset, really healthy now off his knee. He had back-to-back high school and freshman year knee injuries. I think he's just physically and mentally just stronger and more confident, and again, proud of him."
"Allen Stallings, (Johnny) Albomonte and (Jake) Attar were our Scout Defensive Players of the Week and Jack Trainor and Peyton Ramsey are our Offensive Scout Team Players of the Week."
4. CAMIEL'S SEASON COULD BE OVER: Coach Wilson gave an update on the status of starting offensive linemen Dimitric Camiel and it looks like the fifth-year senior could be out for a while. "Dimitric is out for a while with a back deal, and it might cost him the reason of the season," Coach Wilson said. "He had a bulging disk had to get trimmed. And does that take him through the season and the bowl and he's a fifth-year guy. You know, we'll just kind of see how it goes for him."
Coach Wilson also mentioned offensive lineman Dan Feeney, but he did not give a timetable on when he might return to the field for the Hoosiers. "We'll see, again, where Dan is," the IU head coach said.
As far as Wilson is concerned it is the job of everyone to pick it up when key players go down. "We recruited well enough," he said. "It's not the next guy that's gotta pick up; everybody's gotta pick up, because you don't replace Dan. It's everybody does their job better. It's not Jacob (Bailey), it's everybody around him. You know what I'm saying? That's called team."
5. GEST AND ROBINSON ALSO OUT WITH INJURIES: Coach Wilson also' Wilson gave an update on a couple of key players that were not available for the Michigan State game in freshman running back Cole Gest, and sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Robinson. He had a concussion," Wilson said when asked about Robinson. "Had an ankle, hurt in the last game," Wilson said when asked about Gest.
6. WILSON PLEASED WITH PROGRESS DOUGHERTY HAS MADE: Indiana defensive lineman Patrick Dougherty has gone from a player that saw very little playing time the last two seasons to a guy that has become an integral part of the IU defensive line. "Pat has been a good teammate who's worked hard, gotten better," Wilson said. "He's taken time to get to where he's now contributing more. We need him to be better, but he's been a guy like in so many places for us to be good, and like we've talked earlier and made a comment about a couple of guys that are injured. My concern with injuries, kid needs to get healthy, but we're a team where the kids always have to keep getting better. And that means you're getting stronger and you're more mature and you're learning the game and you're growing each day as a player and as a man. And that's what Pat Dougherty has done."
Coach Wilson said for the Indiana program to be successful they need guys like Patrick Dougherty to come in and get better and be contributors by their third or fourth year. "He's got a great mindset," Wilson said about Dougherty. "He's matured. Again, I wouldn't say by any means he's one of our best players, but he's got enough confidence now. He's playing hard in that rotation where guys are playing hard. He's got enough confidence and he's coming along. I'm very proud of him because he could have been a guy that could have went through the motions and blended in, and sometimes in a program like ours guys can blend in and not develop. For us to be good those kids gotta come through. And it's nice two and three years down the road when you're projecting a guy to help you he does his part, because it's a credit to him and his work because he needed to do some things to give himself a chance to grow, and he's done so. And now because of that he's playing and he's helping us. And we'll need him down the stretch and in the years to come here."
7. WILSON TALKS ABOUT LUKE TIMIAN: One of the pleasant surprises for the Hoosiers on offense has been the play of wideout Luke Timian. Coach Wilson said that his improvement is related to the strength he has added since joining the program last year. "Stronger," Wilson said when asked what's been the key for Timian. "He's always been kind of good. That was a great catch the other day. You talk about plays made. That was a great catch. That was a big-time play. He was one of our players of the game I didn't recognize, too, as a winning performance guy. I mean that was a point play. And that's a kid playing hard and a kid making a play. And he just, he's been good. We actually had him at camp coming out of high school. He's just gotten stronger, and with that he's now a little bit more competitive, and hopefully his role, he was one of those guys that really you look at I wish I had a scholarship to give that kid because he's as good as a lot of scholarship players."
8. HOOSIERS MAKE A CHANGE AT HOLDER: For the first three games of the season wide receiver Mitchell Paige was the holder on field goals and extra points, but against Michigan State it was punter Joseph Gedeon who was doing the holder. Coach Wilson said that they made the change because Oakes feels more comfortable with Gedeon as the holder. "After we had our blunder at Wake Forest, I asked (Griffin) Oakes, what do you want, and...because to me that's his team. And right now, like we addressed that this morning. You need to make sure, and as coaches we're going to help you, but you get your group right. And because he can only make a field goal when the other 10 guys do their job. If you can't snap it, you can't hold it and you can't protect, the kicker gets all the credit. Everybody football play is an 11-man job, and right now that team's gotta get better. I'm kind of putting it a little bit on him to make sure, and he said, let me have Joseph, because we've just had more time together. And not that Mitchell has had bad holds. That's who he wanted. It's kind of like, you know, a lot of times you ask the quarterback which play you like, which one are you more confident in. Because quite honestly, I don't know if Mitchell is a good holder as much as I have confidence in Mitchell as a player. And I think where Griff's like...because when they're in practice, those guys are doing it the whole time. He goes, I've just had more time with Joseph. So we're going to stay with Joseph for now. Mitchell will be in the mix if there's an issue, injury or whatnot. Danny Cameron also does it."
9. WILSON RECOUNTS HOW IU RECRUITED TYLER NATEE: Indiana freshman running back Tyler Natee was not highly recruited coming out of Trinity H.S. in Euless, Texas, but when Coach Wilson heard what coaches down there said about him he was intrigued. When he watched his tape he knew that he was guy that could help their team. "Well, it was weird because I went down to see Lagow, and I had some time to kill, went to two really good schools and asked two coaches that I know very, very well from my time at Oklahoma who's the best player around that kind of nobody is really recruiting right now," Wilson said. "And they said the quarterback at Euless Trinity. And so 15 miles away, know that program well, been there many times. I just drove in, called the coach. As a matter of fact, didn't even get the coach on the phone. Walked in, say, hey, I'm killing time, I'm here to see a kid later at night; they say, you got this guy, tell me about him. He's a quarterback, he's a lefty, he's kind of short and heavy. And he goes, I don't think a lot of assistant coaches are selling him to the head coach. I said, let me see the tape. And he's basically doing a lot...it wasn't a Wildcat offense, but in his running style he's basically like a Wildcat. He threw the ball. That's why we threw it the other day with him, we tried. He doesn't have a bad arm. He had two years, I think 2,700 yards total offense.
Coach Wilson said that he felt like a big back like Natee could be useful in his offense. "I just didn't think we had a big back like that," Wilson said. "And in spread offenses, short yardage, it would be nice to have a fullback. We had a kid at Oklahoma named Trey Millard that was awesome as a fullback and Matt Clapp, who is our strength coach, was an awesome fullback, and we were a spread team. When we had that big back, we were a better team. And I just thought hey, I'm the head guy making decisions, we need to have a guy like this. And I saw his tape, I liked him. I met him. I liked the look in his eye. I was afraid some other people might come in on him late. I think luckily enough it just fell our way. I'm glad he's here, and he's got a chance to be a really good player."
10. WILSON TALKS OHIO STATE: There is arguably no better team in the country than Ohio State right now. The Buckeyes are playing lights out on both sides of the ball, and Coach Wilson said when he watches them he sees a team that is very talented and plays hard all the time. "Well, now, again, they lost a lot of players, but they've recruited so well," Wilson said. "They're very, very talented at every position. It's very, very youthful where there seems to be a lot of competitive spirit where guys are fighting to get on the field, fighting to get open. Throw me the ball, fighting to run hard so don't throw it, give me the ball against the runner, and it just looks like they have a lot of competition over there where they got a young team that's buying in, and Coach Meyer has a great staff. He does a great job, and he's got a great team atmosphere going right now. It's a young team that's very, very talented but playing very, very well as a team. Very, very well. They're awfully good, always are. Very, very talented. Right now it starts with Coach Meyer and the standard that he and the staff set in recruiting, development, you name it, tradition, talent. They got players, got a great program. And they're playing about as good as anybody in college ball right now. They're first basically in every offensive or defensive stat in the conference, so whether it be yards, points, rushing, time of possession, defensive stops, defensive yards, they're first in every stat."