Wilson eyes a clean up as Hoosiers prepare for Ball State

Kevin Wilson’s review of Thursday’s season opener could be summed up thusly:

It was good, but not good enough.

Entering game-week preparation for Saturday’s home opener against Ball State, Wilson has mapped his strategy for keeping his Hoosiers on course for improvement. Even after a win, however spotty, he’s going to push this team harder than he’s pushed before.

“There’s a lot of improvement that has to be made, needs to be made,” Wilson said.

That goes for all areas of Indiana’s team, one that put together one of its more complete defensive performances while waiting until the fourth quarter to see its offense establish a groove.

For all of the defensive plaudits this team received — and, frankly, deserved — in the wake of the 34-13 win at Florida International, there are clear points of emphasis for the next four days of practice.

Wilson lamented the four explosive plays Indiana yielded to FIU, along with Tegray Scales’ third-down facemask penalty during the Panthers’ first drive, which ultimately led to a field goal. Wilson said he also spotted too many missed assignments and still too many missed tackles in space.

On the offensive side of the ball, Wilson wants to see better ball security. The Hoosiers dropped the football a couple times, including a fumble by Devine Redding that FIU recovered.

IU’s veteran offensive line was also flagged four times, much to Wilson’s annoyance.

“We also had way too many yards crossing the 50 yard line 12 times with (only) two touchdowns,” Wilson said. “Got to clean that up.”

On the flip side, these mistakes create teaching points, standing as tangible evidence of areas where Indiana can improve on individual levels and from a team standpoint.

That’s especially the case for freshmen, who now have a simple foundation of experience from where they can build.

“Once those guys get on the field, I think they listen to you a little bit more or they realize (that they have to improve),” Wilson said. “We do need to make a lot of strides. Defensive, offense, play calling, scoring zone, a lot of things that got to get a lot better. Field goal team, we got a lot to clean up, not only this week but as we go forward.”

Hoosiers mostly healthy

Tight end Jordan Fuchs is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a dislocated ankle suffered in Thursday’s game.

Although a timetable on Fuchs’ recovery is not clear, Wilson said he expects the junior to miss a significant chunk of the season. Fuchs could get his year of eligibility back by taking his available redshirt.

Other than Fuchs, Wilson did not report any other injuries from Indiana’s trip to Florida — other than his own.

“I got a little raspy voice, a sinus infection I’m fighting,” he said.

IU offers nod to top performers

Indiana recognized three players on Monday for their performances at FIU.

Tight end Danny Friend received offensive honors, linebacker Tegray Scales picked up defensive honors and punter Joseph Gedeon was named the special teams player of the week. Corner Andre Brown was IU’s scout team player of the week.

Friend caught a 21-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that helped Indiana to the win. Scales made four tackles, a pass breakup and he returned an interception 16 yards for a score late in the contest. Gedeon blasted three punts inside the 20, including one that pinned FIU at its 1-yard line. He also had a long punt of 53 yards.

In addition to these players, Wilson also gave a nod to quarterback Peyton Ramsey’s work behind the scenes. The true freshman had been limited by a shoulder injury, but is now participating in practice.

“(He) is going to be awesome,” Wilson said. “Did a great job last week.”

Although Wilson harped on areas that must be cleaned up against Ball State, he was pleased a few other individual performances at FIU.

The IU coach said defensive tackle Patrick Dougherty had a “championship performance” in his first start. Dougherty graded well at 88 percent.

“Six of our 11 D-line players was their first performance ever,” Wilson said. “So we got six first-timers up front, rotating a lot of guys in there, whether it be Sykes and Brandon Wilson, a lot of those guys. Good to see those guys. We had Ja’merez Bowen in there. A lot of guys getting first-time work. Did well.”

Freshmen A’Shon Riggins also received a pat on the back.

“”(Riggins) had 38 snaps as a true freshman playing corner and was very good, especially in the fourth quarter,” Wilson said. “Very good. Same thing with Marcelino Ball as a freshman.”

One comment

  1. This past game was an ideal game for IU. They got the win yet it is clear to the players they have areas to improve. Having a blowout it is hard to get players attention, this type of win it is easy to get players to focus on improving. BSU will be an important game because it is the first home game and it will show how how the team is progressing.

    There were some very good performances last game. Despite some short comings, the defense had a very good game. The defense will get better as the offense does a better job finishing drives. The offense showed in the 4th quarter how effective they can be. I am excited to see how they play against BSU as IU needs to have a solid game with few mistakes.

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