From today’s football practice: the Brown and McClurg Report

Here are some thoughts from IU middle linebacker Adam McClurg and defensive tackle Greg Brown after practice this evening.

McClurg said the challenge in playing against the Illinois offense is its versatility in running and passing the ball.

“They have a lot of weapons that you have to control,” he said.

McClurg talked about the rushing ability of quarterback Juice Williams and his ability to throw to receivers like freshman star Arrelious Benn. And he said Rashard Mendenhall is the best running back the Hoosiers will have faced so far this season.

“He’s fast and he runs hard,” McClurg said.

“Our first challenge is stopping the run,” Brown added. “It’s their bread and butter. We need to try to make them to alternatives.”

McClurg said that beyond just the improved numbers IU’s defense has accumulated against preconference foes, he believes the Hoosier defense is much better this year, in part because it’s the third year of playing the same defensive scheme.

“I feel like our athleticism has skyrocketed,” he said. “And one extra year in this scheme has been helpful.”

Brown said that despite the improvement, Indiana needs to get better at every facet of its defense, which will face its biggest challenge so far in the conference opener Saturday.

“It’s a whole different speed, a whole different tempo,” Brown said of Big Ten play.