Indiana can’t keep up with Michigan

WHAT HAPPENED: Michigan receiver Jeremy Gallon set a Big Ten record with 369 receiving yards, quarterback Devin Gardner set program records with 584 yards of offense and 503 passing yards and Michigan outlasted Indiana, 63-47, before an announced 109,503 at Michigan Stadium.
The win is Michigan’s 18th in a row over Indiana and its 19th consecutive victory at home — the longest active streak among BCS conference teams.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Gallon and Gardner were the difference. They helped the Wolverines set a program record with 751 yards of total offense, with Fitz Toussaint adding 151 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
IU remained within striking distance thanks to relief work of quarterback Tre Roberson, who set career highs with 338 yards of total offense and four touchdowns — three passing and one rushing. Kofi Hughes recorded his fifth career 100-yard game with six catches for 138 yards. Cody Latimer became the 21st Indiana player to record 100 catches and 1,000 yards in his career after finishing with five receptions for 96 yards.
Michigan safety Thomas Gordon made a pair of second-half interceptions, while former Indiana commit Raymon Thomas led the Wolverines with nine tackles and four breakups. Greg Heban led the Hoosiers with 12 tackles, 10 solo.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN? Indiana tried to stop the run and got burned deep. IU’s secondary was embarrassed and exploited. Tim Bennett had the toughest day of any Hoosier going up against Gallon. Bennett had his worst game of the season, but he was hardly the root of the problem. Gardner passed through every look and formation Indiana used against him, while taking advantage of consistent 7-10 yard cushions allowed by Hoosier defensive backs.
Up front, Indiana generated virtually no pass rush on Gardner, allowing guys like Gallon to put on double moves and get behind defenders. Perhaps most alarming was Indiana’s continued inability to make tackles on first attempts. IU defenders didn’t get into the Michigan backfield often, but when they did they whiffed on sacks and tackles that could’ve changed the trajectory of a drive. As terrible as Indiana’s defense has looked at times this season, they looked impossibly worse Saturday in Ann Arbor. Consider, Indiana managed 572 yards of offense on the road, and yet it was still outgained by nearly 200 yards.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Indiana’s hope for bowl eligibility remains intact, so long as they can at least win out at home against Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue. If the Hoosiers couldn’t take advantage of a poor Michigan defense, their chances for an upset at The Horseshoe or Camp Randall — their remaining road trips — are incredibly slim. This game, and the way it was lost, should prompt serious introspection for Indiana’s defensive coaches. Indiana may not have a single league-average defensive player, and how much of that falls on coaching is certainly up for debate. Indiana wasn’t supposed to win this game and they didn’t. They’re still in position for bowl eligibility and that’s a goal that matters. Even if it does secure an invitation to go bowling, the real sign of tangible progress for Indiana will only be found when defensive efforts like this are reversed.

WHO SAID WHAT:

Courtesy of Michigan Sports Information

Q. Coach, I think I know the answer, but I’d love to hear it from you. With the offensive performance that we had today, what would be more impressive to you, that or the fact that the defense did what they had to do late in the game to preserve the win?

COACH HOKE: Well, you know we needed a couple of stops at the end, defensively, and we were fortunate enough. But offensively, to answer, obviously we were pretty much in-sync. Devin (Gardner) did a nice job, found the guys who were open, ran the ball better, which you look at the film, and we’ll see why we ran it better. But that was a big part of it. And we needed to complement each other, the stops at the end helped complement the offense, but the offense kept moving and kept bailing us out a little bit defensively.

Q. Would (Kyle) Bosch have played if Joey (Burzynski) hadn’t gotten hurt?

COACH HOKE: Well, Kyle being here since January, I think, has helped his development a little bit. Joey, you know, getting nicked up there, probably got into the game maybe sooner than he would have. But he was the guy that Darrell (Funk), I know, and Al (Borges) really thought was coming along.

Q. (Inaudible.)

COACH HOKE: Well, you know, I think it says something about all of those guys. (Michael) Schofield, De’Veon (Smith) is not bad. I think Jake Butt is coming into his own a little bit as a blocker. A.J. (Williams), I think, was a little better today, like the two fullbacks; if you were on the field, talking about two guys getting on the linebackers, they were pretty good. It was fun watching them.

Q.I know you’d rather not play a game with 110 points scored, but when you do, is it good to have a guy like Jeremy Gallon on your side?

COACH HOKE: I think so. I think statistically it shows that he’s such a great competitor, runs good routes, finds the open spaces. Sure handed. He had one that kind of got away from him. But Jeremy (Gallon) to me, he’s a tough guy who really is a little slippery at times. Yards after the catch are usually decent with him. He’s a total wide receiver. Because if he wasn’t catching it, he’s going to be working his tail off blocking.

Q. You mixed in some more spread concepts today, how did that open things up for (Fitzgerald) Toussaint in the running game?

COACH HOKE: I think it depends on how people are going to match you and how they’re going to match you up. And if they’re going to be a little bit more with a dime or nickel group, depending on who’s in there. Some of that maybe took advantage of our angles, leverage wise.

Q. Coach, we saw Devin take a lot of big shots today on the run. And it seemed like Denard (Robinson) used to get injured at times like that. Do you ever get concerned like Devin’s health?

COACH HOKE: Always. There’s no question about it. You’re always worried about how many shots, how many times he’s going to run it. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen him slide. I don’t think I have. I like it, though, when he gets to the sideline and gets out of bounds.

Q. You said you were confident in Al, today would show that?

COACH HOKE: I’ve had a lot of faith in our coaches. So if that’s going to satisfy people, that’s fine.

Q. What disappointed you the most about the defense?

COACH HOKE: Well, I think it will be interesting to look at it on tape. But we had some opportunities on some of those balls that got thrown over our head. And we’ve got to take advantage of them. The first one I know Ray (Taylor) was trying to get the call from Thomas (Gordon), and looked from Thomas, the ball was snapped, and the guy was down the sideline. But, you know, we had some opportunities in there to battle for the ball, and we’ve got to do a better job of that.

Q. What would you say is the identity of this team through seven games?

COACH HOKE: That’s a great question. And so good that I don’t know if I can answer that.

Q. As far as Jeremy Gallon goes, he had the 369 yards, obviously, and it seems like one play he would run a streak route for 50 yards for a touchdown, and next a come-back for 15 or 20. Kept the defense on their toes. What were you thinking on the sidelines, thinking the 10-yard push on Gallon and still getting deep down field?

COACH HOKE: There’s some double moves that worked well off the boot game. Stay deep and with the double move, he hit two of those, where he double moved the corner. So I think like most corners, to some degree, they get a little gun shy. Then maybe they stay deep with that cushion, and it opens up something else. I’ve seen our guys do the same thing. And so it was just the timing, I think, and Devin having the ability to step up in the pocket on some of those things are really what helped, obviously, when he had that kind of time.

Q. (Inaudible.)

COACH HOKE: There’s no question, because I don’t think anybody, Jake Ryan and Fitz, no one has worked harder to get themselves back out on the football field, when you look at how they rehabbed and what they have done.

So the one thing about Fitz is he’s a guy who he’s got a great toughness to him. There’s probably nobody more disappointed than he was with the fumble. But at the same time, if anybody is going to go get back in the fight, it’s going to be him.

Q. Devin mentioned that on that last rushing touchdown that he had that there was some miscommunication on the field. Can you take us into what was called and then what you saw him ultimately pull off?

COACH HOKE: Well, the last rushing one he, you know, you check protections. Sometimes Devin does it, sometimes the center does it. And one guy checked the protection one way, the other guy checked it the other way.

Q. 6-1 right now, you have another bye week, then you really go into what people would say really a meat part of your schedule, three tough road games, a couple of tough home games. What do you hope to accomplish? Does this bye week fall at a good time for you? I don’t know if you’re going to make significant changes, but will this Michigan team be different in two weeks in East Lansing?

COACH HOKE: I’d like to see the same offense show up but maybe a different defense. And we have work to do, there’s no question about it. We’ve got some things that probably in all areas, but from the defensive standpoint we’ve got to clean some things up out there. And hopefully tap the time. I know we’re beat up a little bit, which, that’s part of the game, get some guys healthier. And then work like heck to go out and win.

Q. Are you glad you’ve got a bye? You just had one. This is odd to have them so close together?

COACH HOKE: Well, we had a three-game schedule there is what we looked at. And now we’ve got the meat of the schedule, like you said, the next five weeks.

Q. Michigan has had some pretty good receivers come through here in 34 years. And Jeremy has had a better receiving yardage game than all of them. Was there something that you saw in him that tipped you off that he was going to be something special during the game today?

COACH HOKE: Not really. I think as the first couple of possessions went, the offense was making progress and doing some things. I don’t know if there was anything special that I saw.

Q. Why Burzynski and (Erik) Magnuson, why did they move into the starting lineup. Do you think Bosch will keep that role at left guard? That second one, you touched on the defense. As a defensive-minded coach, when you see the opponent get that many yards, level of frustration?

COACH HOKE: Yeah, a lot of frustration, sick feeling, that kind of thing, yeah. I mean we’ve got to play better. You don’t win championships without playing defense. And we didn’t play very good defense today.

Q. On the offensive line?

COACH HOKE: Offensive line, they earned the right, because of how they were evaluated, how they competed, what they did in practice.

Q. Nothing wrong with (Chris) Bryant?

COACH HOKE: No, no. And Kyle (Kalis) got in the game. We went some six-pack stuff. And they’ll continue to compete, you know.

Q. After the hit on Devin that drew a personal foul, did you consider doing anything else other than…

COACH HOKE: I thought about scrambling it. Thought about looping go it. Matt (Wile) on those short boops doesn’t get the ball high enough, like I’d like for him to.

Q. Did (Drew) Dileo and Joey, what was Drew’s thing, he was told go?

COACH HOKE: He was back out an PATs and field goals.

Q. Is he okay to play?

COACH HOKE: We’ll see about both of them.

Q. What is the feeling when you’re on the sideline, kind of a tornado from the outside and the inside does it feel like any other game or does it feel different?

COACH HOKE: They always feel like a game, you know, no matter what. If it’s a 9-6 game, you’re still coaching both sides like you normally would and encouraging and doing all that, trying to help make adjustments on some things.

I think you just had a sense that our offense would always respond. And I think that’s probably what was disappointing about both the fumbles, you know, because they were self-inflicted wounds, there, where you’re worried about how many possessions. And watching their offense and what they’ve done so far, you knew that they were very capable.

Q. Big call early in the game on that 4th down on the 1 and 2.

COACH HOKE: You know what, there wasn’t any doubt about going for it. I knew that we would need points during the course of the afternoon.

Q. Jeremy mentioned that maybe the reason he was so open is because Devin Funchess took pressure off him. How much has his emergence helped?

COACH HOKE: I think it does help. I think it does, having both those guys, either on the same side. If people are going to combination one of them. It’s hard to combination two of them. And if you do, then the other guy on the other side is by himself. But I think there’s no doubt that having Devin out in the open space a little bit helps.

Devin Gardner

On winning after a four-overtime loss the previous week … “I just felt like we did a good job of rebounding. It shows the senior leadership and the leadership on the team, after such a tough loss last week, that we could come out and perform and fight like we did and finish the game.”

On the offensive line … “They were really confident. There’s no time for lack of confidence. I tried to do my best to just let them know I’m confident in them. And Taylor Lewan, that is not one of the things he lacks. So they kind of take on his personality and fight.”

On what makes Jeremy Gallon such a tough player and so difficult to defend … “Since he’s only 5-9, I think they might underestimate him some, but he has the same skills as all the tall receivers. He’s quick in and out of his cuts. And it’s a terror for the opposing team.”

On setting the school single-game record for total offense … “I just wanted to win the game. It came down to a defensive stop. I didn’t know anything about the record. So we were just talking down the hall and he told me that you might ask about that. I feel stupid I don’t know about it. But it’s a dream. I guess I could never have dreamed to play a game like this. Such a tough loss last week, and I feel like the team, it’s all about the offensive line. They gave me time to read defenses. And when I had opportunity to make plays that’s what I did.”

Jeremy Gallon

On why he was so wide open … “I can’t tell you, I guess they focused in and forget about me. [I was] just playing the game, just to win, like Devin said, just to come back in and bounce back from a loss like last week, just to come back and win.”

On setting the Big Ten and school records for receiving yards … “I wasn’t focused on it. I was wanted go to win for my team, my seniors. Like Devin said, we had a tough loss last weekend, just to bounce back from that. I wasn’t really focused on any records or anything like that.”

On whether he thought he could put up such a big number of receiving yards … “No, to be honest with you, no. But it’s nice to know. That’s what we play for as receivers, that’s what you dream of. Just going out and giving your all for your teammates and making the best of your ability. Taking advantage of every opportunity to comes your way. To me, that’s what I did tonight.”

Taylor Lewan

On the emotion during the game … “We were running the ball well and throwing the ball well. I’ve learned playing football here that you can only control what you can control. The defense set up so many things and they made plays when they had to. Our defense has played way more consistently than our offense has throughout the year, and it was nice to have their back in this one.”

On the performances of the young guards … “(Kyle) Bosch played well, I thought. My first Big Ten game as a freshman was against Indiana, and I remember coming out thinking, ‘Oh my god, this is the Big Ten.’ Bosch did a great job. I think for the first few series he was a bit starry-eyed. He knows what his weaknesses are and his strengths and so do I. I’ve had the opportunity to play with him here and there. We didn’t just throw him in there; he’s had snaps with the one first unit. I just tried to help him out as best I could.”

On Erik Magnuson’s play at guard and what he’s done to earn that chance … “He’s done the same things he did to get here. He’s playing aggressive, he’s playing hard. He’s not a guard. He’ll be a tackle probably. That’s for Coach (Darrell) Funk to decide, but he’s more of a tackle skill-set wise; he’s more athletic that way. I think he’s done a great job. He keeps moving forward, keeps moving on, and it’s kind of like Michael Schofield his sophomore year — playing out of position a little bit but playing hard over and over again. If he keeps doing that he’ll be successful.”

Thomas Gordon

On the play of the defense … “It’s all about sticking together. We knew they were an explosive offense coming into the game. They didn’t do anything to surprise us, they just executed. As far as the defense goes, we need to make plays on the ball when we have opportunities.”

On the difficulties of preparing for Indiana’s fast-paced offense … “We try to simulate that tempo in practice with the quick offense and all of that, but it’s nothing compared to the game. We felt we were prepared for that. We were lined up. We just need to get the calls across the field. It still came down to making plays on the ball. We were in position, we just need to do a better job of making plays.”

On what was the biggest issue for the defense today … “It was the tempo. You’ve got to get the call, know your alignment and your key all in a matter of seconds. It’s difficult, but it was a challenge for us. At times we stepped up, and sometimes we didn’t.”

Fitzgerald Toussaint

On the improvement of the offensive line … “I thought they were very good. They responded to the criticism. They came out and they executed well. They did everything they possibly could in order for us to have a successful day on the ground and in the air.”

On the play of the young players up front … “Here at Michigan, the expectation is for the position. Whoever is there has to go out and execute the same way everyone else has to. I think they did a great job of that.”

On the overall success of the offense … “Passing and running the ball complement one another. You have to run the ball to open up the pass. That’s what this offense is capable of doing, and coach Al Borges did a great job with the play calling.”

Kevin Wilson

On how he decides when to use Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld … “Tre can extend some plays with his feet. Through the bulk of the year, we’ve gone with Nate early because he can do some things and separate himself with some of that early play. These last couple of games, it’s just been if we need a shot in the arm. His hand actually cramped up, and that’s why Nate came back in. He went into an upper body arm cramp, and we actually thought he broke his hand because his thumb was pointing cockeyed, but he battled. Tre did a good job; Nate’s a good player — they’re young. We’ve got to play better.”

On shoring up the defense … “We’ve got to look at schematics, giving too much time to throw. Then we (blitzed), we didn’t get home; we missed tackles when we were there to make the play. Of course 98 is a nice player; Devin (Gardner) can make some plays with his feet and made us look foolish a couple of times. We’ll look at this during the open date about what we can do short term to give ourselves a chance. We’ve got to keep looking offensively. We only had the ball for 21 minutes, and they only ran seven more plays. If we can get some stops and get the ball back, we could really gas some people and run them out of the building. But it’s putting it all together; if the offense slows down there’s less time of possession (for the opponent), but you’ve still got to get the stops. I think our defense plays hard. At the end, I didn’t like how we managed our red-zone opportunity when we came up with a field goal, and then we backed it up and didn’t get the two-point play. Then we back it up there when we get the turnover and give it right back. We’ve got to manage some things; our turnover margin is not great. As we put it together, I think our kicking game has gotten better; offensively the tempo helps us — it might be hurting the defense, but that’s how we’re scoring those points. Fortunately, we don’t have a lot of turnovers; we’re getting to the point where we’re eliminating negative plays. We’ll do a good job with this open date of really looking at us and figuring out what we think the short-term answers are. It’s a chance to have a better week, then we’ll have Minnesota, and we’ll run it down the schedule to see how many we can between now and the end.”

On his impressions of the game … “A competitive game, initially I thought they came out playing hard and pretty physical, and I thought we weathered it. I think that drive right before half and Mitch’s kick was huge. It was a pretty good ball game until that flurry in the fourth quarter. I think we didn’t manage the score-zone situations or the field goal or two-point (attempt). We get a turnover and then give it back. Outside of that it was a heck of battle.”

On if they feel like they let one get away … “Our goal is not to have good stats and score points, it is to win games. We needed to play well, or you don’t win on the road. They’ve won now 19 straight here. It wasn’t going to be easy, and it wasn’t going to be perfect, but we were going to come for four quarters and at the end look up. We were sloppy, and that’s what we talked about is cleaning up some of that. There are some things in our approach, without being perfect that we need to be more attentive to detail in the way we approach life, the way we approach we practice and the way we approach taking the field and playing the game. We’ll keep coming, we’ve come some degree in the right way, and we need to keep coming down the stretch here. We didn’t give in today, and we’re not going to give in down the stretch.”

On Jeremy Gallon’s performance … “You know with both him and (Devin) Funchess out there, we kind of loaded up to stop the run, they get one-on-one. If we didn’t blitz, the protection was all day with their gap-max protection, and they’d run their boot pull-up scheme, and that worked as well. He had a huge game, and Funchess did as well; 360 yards is ridiculous.”

Tre Roberson

On his hand cramping … “It cramps up every now and then, so before the play I knew it was going to cramp up so I went ahead and ran it and then it cramped up. My hand was stuck and I couldn’t open it so I had to go out.”

On the impact of the weather … “It impacted it a little bit, but us as quarterbacks, we work on wet-ball drills all the time. As quarterbacks we were ready for any type of weather and we can play in it.”

On 47 points not being enough … “We’re getting close, but they scored 63 so we have to score one more. We always have to score one more as an offense. We have to keep working this week and get ready for next week.”

Ryan Phillis

On game play … “We just can’t give up that many points. We had a running quarterback, he could throw, he could pass, he did a great job. We have to contain him more, so we played well on the run in the beginning, it just wasn’t enough. It kind of broke out at the end.”

On the fourth-quarter fumble by Michigan … “That’s what we strive for, and we need more of that. What’s going through our mind is that we need to make more of those plays. We’re excited, it’s a momentum swing, but we just need to make more of those plays.”

On having to go back out a few plays after the fumble due to an interception … “We just have to keep rotating guys and keep guys fresh, and hopefully come up with a stop.”

On Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner … “He did a good job. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball. We just had to contain him more, and we can’t let him pass as much. We just have to move on now.”

29 comments

  1. I know that it is very easy to “see clearly” from the armchair looking at the Big Screen, but after the first 200 yards or so of completions to Gallon, don’t you think that a defensive ADJUSTMENT of double covering Gallon on every play might have been called for? Make someone else be “great” to beat you!

  2. IU football is like having a nightmare dream…example would be like playing in a big basketball game and your playing the game and almost making basketball shots, layups etc. all the time but you cannot score a basket…and finally you wake up and it was all a dream.

  3. I suppose we could really have made an adjustment and double covered Funchess at the same time we were double covering Gallon to shut down their aerial offense.

  4. I’ve now watched IU play Missouri, MSU and UM, and the one thing that repeatedly stands out is the poor fundamentals in tackling. This apparently is a reoccurring theme for this defense. Different coaching staff, same poor tackling fundamentals. Very little measurable improvement. Simply mind boggling.

    When MSU transitioned from John L Smith to Mark Dantonio many blamed Smith’s lack of recruiting quality talent for the poor performance of his teams. Coaching was also an issue, but more often the blame was laid at the feet of poor recruiting. Then Dantonio comes in with his staff and their is a markedly improvement shown by these very same players who before couldn’t tackle air. No, they weren’t making all the plays because of their limited athleticism, but they were often in position to either make the stop or significantly limit the progress of the player. Instead of the guy going 60 yards for a score he was getting stopped after 10 yards. There were fewer and fewer occasions where the defense wasn’t able to make a stop on third down and get off the field. This all occurred in year one and gave MSU fans some optimism going forward.

    The next two years were a bit up and down as Dantonio began playing more of his recruits and living with their youthful mistakes. Even with their mistakes (blown coverage, wrong alignment, etc.) their ability to make a tackle was rarely in question. If they were in position to make a stop, they did.

    Dantonio and his staff kept harping on the team needing to play faster defensively. What he was referring to was a player’s ability to recognize what the offense was doing before the snap of the ball without having to think, diagnosis, and react. Without that bit of hesitation, it appeared that MSU’s personnel were playing faster than their 40 times suggested. The defense that MSU has been fielding the past few seasons has benefited from solid recruiting, but more importantly the backups don’t see the field unless they’ve mastered the basic fundamentals that the staff has mandated. MSU has a highly recruited DB who hasn’t seen the field while lesser regarded recruits have passed him and are part of the regular rotation.

    So what’s the problem with IU and their defensive issues? As an outside observer I lay a great deal of the blame at the feet of the coaching staff, and that starts from the top down. I don’t see Wilson addressing the issue. I don’t know the reason why, but when the issues that plagued your program prior to his arrival, and appear to have not been addressed significantly or at all. Your defensive coaching staff has not impressed me with their ability to coach fundamentals, devise a reasonable defensive scheme, or make proper adjustments. I also don’t believe it is entirely due to a lack of athletic ability. It goes back to players playing fast. Understanding what the offense is going to do and reacting and not having to think too much. It also requires that the defensive staff has the ability to teach players to play fast.

    If IU had the defensive staff of UW, OSU or MSU I couldn’t imagine your defense not showing improvement or playing at a higher level. Wilson has got to admit his and his defensive staffs shortcomings and address this issue.

  5. I have to agree with Spartan4ever. We’ve heard all off-season that the talent on defense is better. We saw the best recruiting class in forever, and we need to still give them time to mature. But solid coaching- getting guys in the right position, tackling instead of lunging- can make some difference. Bennett is a solid player but give the guy some help if there are repeated successful plays. A RB has a career day- not much help can be found there. But one-on-one mismatches CAN be addressed with minimal loss in another position, ideally.

  6. Ahhhh. Just saw an advertisement with that song “it started with a whisper”. Which must mean it’s BB season.

  7. Spartan, I have been watching IU football way too long (as a kid at the stadium south of 10th street). There has NEVER been a time when MSU”s offensive and defensive linemen were not monsters!

  8. I dare anybody/everybody in the media to ask Wilson “Have you even thought of firing Doug Mallory?” Sure wish I had the chance to ask him. The only more revealing answer than “Yes, but I haven’t because blah, blah, blah. . . .” would be “No, I haven’t.”

  9. BeatPurdue, That is exactly my thoughts in responding to S4e’s attempt at being an expert. He is happy with Dantonio and I do not blame him. But he is a defensive coach and fields good D. But they are not offensive juggernauts and their D is always better than their offense. Our tackling issue is talent based and the result of not being always in position to execute the tackle. As our talent level raises it will allow players to be in position to make plays. We are starting to see a little bit of that in Allen, Latham, Oliver and Green. It is like the size issue Podunker has hammered on for 2 years. We have been filling that need starting with Wilson’s 2nd recruiting class. The 7 year contract was by design, the job needed done is longer than most fans can envision.

  10. HC, Wilson won’t get all seven years if he does not improve the defense. He’ll get four or five, but if he can’t get IU to bowl games in five, he’ll be gone, regardless of the contract. You don’t invest the kind of money that IU has into its football program and keep doing what you were doing before, without expecting improvement.

    IU has to win five this year and then get to a bowl game next year.

  11. Our FB program cannot progress further absent upgrades to defensive coaching. I respect Coach Mallory and the contributions he and his family have made to our University over the years. However, it is not fair to our school, our players and our fans to continue to try to compete at this level with the current caliber of defensive coaching. While it may be true that we can pull off a win here and there, it is fundamentally clear that our defensive players are not adequately prepared to compete at this level and that must change.

  12. Hoosier Clarion…its not a bleeding wrist. I’m not suggesting that the defense has not made strides. It has. I also agree and have previously stated that building defenses is a far more complicated and time consuming effort. What I am stating is at this juncture, in my opinion, we have not seen enough improvement in defensive fundamentals to warrant continued investment in this defensive staff. I believe they have taken us as far as they can and now its time to bring in a DC and staff to take our defense to a competitive level.

  13. iufan23, while I agree with your overall point, I don’t agree with the premise “that building defenses is a far more complicated and time consuming effort.” At most, it might be slightly more demanding, but its not “far more.” I think the problem for IU is is that we don’t have the tradition or the coaching staff that can attract the type of talent necessary to turn the defense around in a few years.

    IU has, for the most part, never been known for solid defense. I don’t think Mallory has a strong enough reputation to attract the best defensive talent. And it appears that he and his staff are not developing the talent they do get well enough or fast enough (I’m not seeing it). And, the longer IU’s defense continues to play this badly, the harder it will get for this defensive coaching staff to recruit the talent necessary to build a competitive defense.

  14. Sheesh. I went on the roller coaster ride on Saturday afternoon with the rest of Hoosier Nation. Hoping, praying…nearly calling up Rumpelstiltskin to offer up the life of my 1st born for a 2nd half defensive stop. It just didn’t happen. I’m in agreement with most posts regarding changes on the defensive coaching staff. I would’ve welcomed any adjustments to contain Gallon, double coverage, nickle package…anything. Coaching rule number one: If a guy is killing you, take him away and make someone else beat you.
    All things being equal, when Michigan needed a play we gave Gardner his 1st option (Gallon) nearly every time. You won’t win many games using this formula. Michigan was ripe for the picking, and we let a monumental, program boosting win slip through our fingers.

    On a side note, last week I mentioned Kenny Mullins by name, to illustrate our depth issues on defense. I prefaced it as such, and never want to blame or single out one player for errors. I want to recognize Mr. Mullins special teams play on Saturday. He made a huge tackle during a kick off return, stopping the Michigan runner short of the 15 yard line in the 2nd half. Well done sir.

    I won’t get into the disrespect our team is shown by the refs. But, Tre Roberson got his helmet ripped off 8 yards from the Line Judge…no flag…really?
    Let’s get ready for homecoming and Minnesota. Go Hoosiers!

  15. HC, by your comment in #10, it appeared that you were failing to grasp the obvious.

    You’re the one who referred to Wilson’s seven year contract. My point was, it does not matter if his contract was for five years or seven years. The duration of the contract, unless all seven years are guaranteed, which I doubt, was window dressing. If IU does not improve, and Glass insists on honoring the full duration of Wilson’s contract (as he did with Lynch), then Glass will be putting his dream job on the line.

    The relatively significant investment IU has made in football of late creates a lot of added pressure to produce improved results, seven year contract or not.

  16. Better talent without improved coaching is not going to change our fortunes much. We’re not getting Alabama type talent, nor are we getting Depauw type talent either, but the common denominator is who is coaching our talent.

    We got 3 4-star defensive players in the 2013 recruiting class. They suffer from two significant issues presently, inexperience and coaching. They will eventually gain experience, but if the coaching doesn’t improve I don’t expect much in the way of a performance increase.

    Look at the team we just played. They’re filled with 4 and 5-star caliber players, yet they surrendered 47 points to us. I would expect a much better performance from those players if I was a Michigan fan. What I saw was a defense that is not getting their money’s worth from that defensive staff. Talent is important, but so is being able to coach that talent. I saw two inept defensive units on Saturday.

    I am so discouraged with the performance of our defensive staff that I doubt that a defensive unit filled with 5-star players would perform any better if they were coached by our defensive coaches.

  17. The difference between Michigan and IU football is Michigan traditionally and even currently has and will have many days in the sun with some rainy days in between once in a while….Same goes for Ohio State, Alabama, USC, Notre Dame among others….IU always has a monsoon going on with almost every day being rainy with the sun peaking through the clouds with a rare significant win.

    Each year 3 or 4 4 star recruits are needed in each recruiting class.

    Michigan, MSU, OSU, Wisconsin and others seem to make big plays on defense and offense against IU….in other words they expose lack of higher level talent from IU. IU looks silly, awful, ridiculous, funny etc.

    Last year ended up being a very good recruiting class for IU. However, I wanted 3 or 4 4 star recruits this year.

    IU is recruiting better, but still are not competitively recruiting at top of big ten, or other top major league teams so that puts them in middle of pack. Unless they play 4 division 2 teams in preseason IU will struggle to win 6 games a year.

    Yes, defensive coaches may be needed….but Mallory might look better if he could get a rush on the QB for example…4 star defensive players needed mixed in with some 3 stars (IU does have a couple freshman 4 stars playing now)….they are the ones that can do that and make defensive plays…..To win 7 or 8 games consistently each year in this league, half your first 22 players need to be 4 star high school recruits built over 5 year period and coached well. Anything else is a struggle to win 6.

  18. ND vs. USC when ND QB went down….Even though this was not a good USC team ND just played defense with high level recruits coming out of high school. ND did not do anything fancy but had athletes on defense to make plays when needed….IU does not have that.

  19. We have to break this cycle of hire-hope-failure-fire>hire-hope>failure>fire that has become a source of humiliation for IU and extreme frustration for true supporters.

    We can not do so with continuing serial three year cycles as has happened with over the last twenty years. Each time we have chosen from a number of what we thought were very qualified candidates to lead us- with the exception of Bill Mallory (Fr) (and the tragic passing of Coach Hoeppner)- none of them have been allowed to establish roots for a valid and serious football program that would enable itself to reproduce as a signature of our University.

    I’ve lived (or survived) the failures since the late 1950’s (just before Phil Dickens and his ‘side-saddle-T’). And, after the five (count them) decades of rotating failures, I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is not with the coaching but with the environment and the surrender to frustration that comes from the Hoosier fan support.

    Even with the glory days of the Pont regime, only two years after the Rose Bowl appearance of 1967, some sectors of the alumni and fans were clamoring for the staff to ‘be fired’, forcing Pont and staff- one of the most respected staffs in the country- to pull up stakes and look elsewhere; allowing their talent to benefit other athletic and football programs. It made no sense 40 years ago and it makes no sense now.

    The only success during the intervening years, Mallory’s gradual establishment of a successful program was thrown away by the down year that cost him his job and career. And, cost us the respect of the football world.

    It takes time to build a football program in Indiana, that is not news to anyone. For many years football was clearly secondary to basketball. Indiana high school football did not produce enough football players to sustain three (later four) Division BCS football programs (Indiana, Purdue and Notre Dame). And, the THEN relative lack of commitment to football opened the door to ‘raiding’ by neighboring Big Ten schools such as Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Illinois and even Wisconsin and Iowa. Only after the expansion of the NFL to Indianapolis, did football become a part of Hoosier culture and as serious an athletic activity for the state as its world respected basketball fame.

    But, the problem for its football program is not that IU can not recruit, bring in outstanding athletes or that the coaching has been poor over all those years. The problem is real in the fact that we Hoosier fans are like a self-cannibalizing skin virus…our frustration feeds on our own weakness- our hunger for respectability.

    We have to change. We have to respect our own efforts and the reality they now bring.

    We now have a commitment from the University in the form of an important budget, personnel and facilities investment and commitment. We have a University administration and an Athletic Director who seem determined to do whatever it takes (within the rules and the University’s reputation) to lay the foundation for a solid, top football program. That importance is underlined by the process Fred Glass’ relied on in the identification of Coach Wilson and his commitment to the program he now leads. They are all valid testimony to the determination that now make Indiana University a model destination for quality coaching staff and players.

    We, as fans, need to put some skin into our demand that a cultural change take place in our approach to football. We knew (or should have known) that it would be a time, energy, wisdom and energy consuming process. The hole we had dug was that deep. We succeeded in finding a sound, imaginative and creative football mind in Kenneth Wilson to accept the leadership and responsibility for recovering the football program from years (decades) of complaisance and neglect.

    I truly believe the missing link is our (alumni and fans) support. We HAVE to give it time. We have to understand it will be gradual and, at times, slow and frustrating. We have to accept there will be errors which will require re-evaluation, acknowledgement and change in some areas. But, we have to show our determination and commitment through shear focus and grit. Whenever it comes, it will have to be a result of our focus on the ultimate success.

    If we abandon anything, it has to be the sense of defeatism that has penetrated into our Hoosier being. We have to invest and have faith in our own strength to persevere and our willingness to sacrifice immediate satisfaction for permanent and consistent successful outcomes we know are within our reach.

    Givenm where we have been, three years is nothing; five not enough. Given the objective and goals a minimum of seven years- from the original decision to make our football program synonymous with determination to succeed- represent only our conviction that we can do. Our commitment has to be in not wavering from the road chosen. More important, not wavering when the results do not always satisfy our hunger. That is the distinction we impose on the football players who wear our shirt. It should be the distinction we impose on ourselves.

    It will be the distinction that will separate those who walk the walk of Indiana University football fans from those who just say they do. There are no short cuts.

  20. I agree…stay with coach Wilson and him being the decision maker for full contract and let him own it. If and when he can put a back to back 7 game win season or a 6 followed by a 7 game win season give him a contract extension for program stability…At top programs that would get you fired….But the theory is 7 and 8 win seasons would follow by higher level recruits + coaching….If it does not work what’s a couple years in a traditionally losing program over the past 60 years anyway.

  21. TTG’s post is the best description that has been written about our football plight. t, you are right that we desperately need stability in our program in order to improve it. The incompetence of previous university administrators and ADs over the last fifty(yes 50) years has brought us to this low point in our football program. It appears that Fred Glass(along with the current administration) is working hard to improve our football program and also bring stability to it.

    Having said that, our defense sucks.

    I am sure that coach Wilson is working behind the scene and demanding that it be corrected. If not, he will correct it himself in the off season. It would surprise me if he were to make any personnel changes during the season. As to what he does and/or when he does, he has my full support. Coach Wilson will either rescue our football program or it will be hopeless for years to come.

  22. “The problem is real in the fact that we Hoosier fans are like a self-cannibalizing skin virus…our frustration feeds on our own weakness- our hunger for respectability.”

    While some of what was written in #22 has merit, the above statement is just nonsense. There are not enough Hoosier fans that care enough about the football program to have any kind of impact, positive or negative, on the future of the program. And that is the real problem. There are not enough people passionate about IU football. Most fans have long since been conditioned to have minimal expectations of IU’s football program. They don’t buy tickets, they don’t go to games, they don’t donate money to the program, they just don’t care. Attend a game at Memorial Stadium and then attend a game at any SEC stadium, or any other Big Ten Stadium, and that point will be made obvious. If there were a lot more people passionate about IU football, they would collectively have the power of the purse. They’d do what the fan bases at most power football programs do, demand excellence (i.e., winning seasons) or withhold their financial support. That is real power that has influence on college administrators. You don’t think T. Boone Pickens has real power at Oklahoma State? You don’t think Phil Knight has tremendous power at Oregon? They are arguably the most powerful people associated with those two universities. But with IU, there are not enough people providing enough support, financial or otherwise, to the football program or because of the football program, to have any significant affect on the behavior of IU’s administrators. We the fans, have very little leverage because it was forfeited decades ago. IU’s fan base, when it comes to football, does not represent any significant threat to IU’s administration or the athletic program’s financial well-being. The previous IU administrators that so neglected IU football did not fear a sudden massive drop-off in financial support because of a bad football season or two (or twenty). Absent that threat, they were virtually free to continue neglecting the program. Decades of low expectations and a willingness to accept mediocrity is the real problem. A few disgruntled football fans calling for a change in the defensive coordinator on The Hoosier Scoop are like farts in a windstorm. I assure you, no one of consequence notices.

    Don’t believe me? Ask yourself what would happen to IU’s administration if IU basketball started resembling the performance of IU football again. Look what happened to the IU President, AD and many other top administrators who were responsible for the debacle that ensued in the decade following the termination of Bobby Knight. They did not last long, and rightfully so. Because if you tolerate incompetence, you will continue to get it.

    “Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left behind by those who hustle.” And they do not tolerate losers in the US Army or any other branch of our nation’s military. You move up, or you move out. You accomplish the mission or they will replace you with someone who can. They don’t win every battle, but they have little tolerance for failure. And God help us if that ever changes.

  23. I guess part of my point is summed up by vgBMG’s post (#24). We badly need stability and I sense we won’t get it unless we just settle it down (me included).

  24. Maintaining stability at the top of an organization is important to a point, but maintaining stability just for the sake of stability is how many organizations fail. Maintaining the stability of a winning leadership team is very important, but keeping a manager whose performance is sub-standard, for the sake of maintaining stability, is a great way to erode morale and damage the organization. The other members of the leadership team begin to resent the need to “pick up the slack” created by the weak or under-performing member of their team. They begin to resent the person who is preventing them from achieving the success that they are dedicated and determined to achieve, both individually and collectively. And working or playing for an ineffective manager, you begin to question, “am I being given the best chance to succeed under this person’s management? Is he holding me and my co-workers/teammates back from maximizing my personal success or our collective success.” Those are not the thoughts any leader wants his subordinates to have, because it distracts them from focusing on achieving the organization’s goals.

    It is better to endure instability than it is to tolerate substandard performance. As a leader of an organization, you are responsible to do everything legally, ethically and morally possible to drive continuous improvement and maximize the success of the organization and its members. Essential to that process is maintaining the highest standards of performance and conduct. Tolerating failure, substandard performance, or inappropriate conduct will quickly become cancerous within an organization, is the quickest way to damage or destroy the organization.

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