Gilbertson was visibly relieved after the game but maintained that he was more concerned with where his team was at and where they needed to improve and to just get better each week. "We are going to play some offenses with some high-powered athletes and we are going to have to get the game under control earlier than the third quarter."
He was happy with the team's balance offensively but didn't think Cody was as accurate as he could've been. "He said his chest (pectoral) felt tight at the start of the game, and he threw a couple of balls that were really not like him. I've seen that guy throw howitzers at people, but I didn't see that ball really zipping today," said Gilbertson. "He really couldn't turn it lose and he really didn't know what it was. For a long time, he really had nothing on the ball."
Pickett's tight chest didn't appear to be anything serious, as it loosened up at half time.
Even though the Dawgs started slowly, Gilbertson maintained that his team wasn't flat. "I didn't sense that. What I sensed was that they came out and started mixing up their offense and making us think instead of being able to light our hair on fire and go get ‘em. They had two lengthy possessions in the first half that really limited our time of possession."
The coaches made some key defensive adjustments at halftime, but Gilbertson was still irked that Indiana opened up the second half with a score. "They just went right down the field and got a field goal. I knew we were in for a battle. They fooled us for a while, but we made the right amount of adjustments and we knew who we were supposed to cover."
When asked what sort of miracle speech he delivered at halftime, Gilbertson maintained it was nothing earth-shattering. "I told them that the team who wants to win the most is going to do it. If we really want to win the most, then show somebody."
The tide turned in this game after Reggie Williams' 70-yard touchdown reception. But Gilbertson thought he made it more difficult than he needed to. "As soon as he caught that ball and made that first move, I thought ‘touchdown!' I just knew it. But if he had just stayed up-field … but what I think he wanted to see if Charles Frederick would REALLY block for him, because I'm not sure if he is every really sure about that," laughed Gilbertson.
Everybody's concern from last week was making sure the team found a running game. "It was better," said Gilbertson. "Obviously, that's not Ohio State over there. But last week, we left people unblocked and today, I thought we got helmets on people. I thought all three backs made some runs."
One thing that had to warm the coach's heart, to a certain extent, was being able to watch his RS freshman running back score on his first carry. "That was a blast play, he was supposed to hit his head on the goalpost, not the fence." But Coach wasn't too upset that he bounced it to the outside. "It was a great run (grin). This is a result-oriented business, right? Do it my way, but if your way works, fine."
Coach continued to say nice things about his fastest running back, who had one fumble as well as two touchdowns. "Shelton's got some stuff now. He is a skilled, talented guy but sometimes he really misses some inside lanes, and he can't fumble the ball. If you fumble a bunch, you don't get to play. But he gives us some explosiveness back there. He is very, very fast and will get better as he gets to play some."
Another element aiding the running game was the return of FB Zach Tuiasosopo, who Gilbertson calls, "our best fullback."
Another offensive threat is Isaiah Stanback, who saw his first action at receiver today. "We actually had another formation for him that we didn't use today, but we did use him in the slot and ran a couple of sweeps for him. When we got a lead, I wanted to get him some reps at quarterback. I want to give him a really good feel for running that option. It's probably not going to remind you of Marques (Tuiasosopo) quite yet, but he is going to be a very exciting player that people will have to defend."
|UW vs INDIANA GAME GALLERY|
On one play in the third quarter, it looked like the coach was going to give Evan Knudson a long field goal attempt. "I was watching the flag, but the American flag pointed straight towards Hawaii. There is no way our kid is going to kick one into that wind, so let's sky punt it. I wasn't trying to deceive anybody, I just changed my mind." The play resulted in a penalty against Indiana and Washington was able to score a touchdown.
Another area that was pleasing to the coach was the kicking game. "I think our kickers kicked well. We kicked it out of the endzone a few times. We were able to speed up our PAT/field goal attempts. Our punter, after kicking one 45 yards that rolled about 15, he got off a 61-yarder."
Some concerns for Gilbertson centered on his defense, as he tipped his cap to IU offensive coordinator Al Borges. The Hoosiers came out a little differently than they did in the contest against Connecticut. "We didn't get out of any drives in the first half. A week ago, Indiana was just basically trying to run the ball. This week, they got into a lot of bunch and trips formations, and motions across. They got us goofed up on our coverage a couple of times. They hit the screen on us two times in man coverage when a guy was assigned to that player and we didn't get it done."
Gilbertson also wasn't pleased with the little pressure that his front four got on Matt LoVecchio.
LB Greg Carothers also had an up and down game. "He does some things really well, the pick really got us going. But there are some other times when I'm not sure Greg knows who he is supposed to be covering," related Gilbertson with a chuckle.
On the injury front, LB Joseph Lobendahn left the game with a significant knee injury, and Gilbertson said while they don't know the extent just yet, the thought is that he'll probably be out for awhile. Rob Meadow was held out for precautionary reasons with a twisted knee, and Roc Alexander had a bruise. Marquis Cooper twisted his knee but returned to the game.
For the bye week, the team won't practice Monday, but will on Tuesday through Friday. Gilbertson doesn't know yet what next Saturday holds for the team. They are obligated to give the team one day off a week, so "we'll need to check with our compliance people," quipped Gilbertson.
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