Wilson addresses quarterbacks, injuries on radio show

At Kevin Wilson’s radio show on Monday evening, he tried to douse water on any flames of quarterback controversy that might have ignited after Indiana’s loss to North Texas on Saturday.

Starter Ed Wright-Baker was pulled in the fourth quarter after completing 23 of 40 passes for 209 yards but also throwing an interception and taking three sacks. Sophomore Dusty Kiel, who battled with Wright-Baker for the starting job all preseason, went 7-for-12 for 145 yards, including two huge touchdown throws. One was a 44-yard pass to freshman Cody Latimer, and the other a 67-yard strike to sophomore Kofi Hughes.

Wilson was quick to point out Saturday and again Monday night, however, that while Kiel did a good job of recognizing a busted coverage, the failure of North Texas to put anyone anywhere near Latimer or Hughes on those plays made for an easy pitch-and-catch.

“He was very opportunistic and fortunistic,” Wilson said. “They busted two coverages and we kinda had two plays up where just by luck, there’s a guy in space where coverage is busted. We were going a little quick and made a couple of plays. But he also delivered the ball, he saw it and he delivered it.”

Wilson, though, said he wasn’t quite ready to make a change because he didn’t think Wright-Baker was the problem on offense. The Hoosiers didn’t get much from the running game — just 50 yards on 27 carries — and didn’t get much from the offensive line or tight ends in terms of blocking. They were also playing without senior wide receiver Damarlo Belcher, while sophomore wideouts Hughes and Wilson were somewhat limited by wrist and back injuries, respectively.

“I would’ve made a change earlier Saturday if I thought Ed was the problem,” Wilson said. “I didn’t think Ed was the problem. I thought the line of scrimmage, the front seven and the offensive line on the offense was the real problem.”

Wilson did say, though, that Kiel would continue to have an opportunity.

“We’ll go through this week and we’ll evaluate it,” Wilson said. “I don’t know if we have an open situation there. At the same time, I’m not closing the door and saying he won’t be the first guy out. I’m not going to have Ed looking over his shoulder, but all along, I felt we had two guys that I felt we could play well with.”

Wilson said Belcher practiced on Monday. He said his injury was a bone bruise in his knee suffered against South Carolina State.

“A guy went low on him,” Belcher said. “He’s an offensive player, they don’t worry about going low. He flipped over and got a glich, got a bone bruise right there at his knee. He was very limited last week and just felt he wasn’t gonna play, so we kept him at home to stay off it and rehabilitate it. he did practice today. Thought he felt pretty good, looked pretty good. “

16 comments

  1. I realize the entire team needs big improvement. But the QB situation is VERY CLEAR. The leader of the offense needs to be aware of all things on the defense in front of him. He must be poised in the pocket with clear vision to make the throw. More importantly, the QB must have the situational awareness BETWEEN the plays; that is- identify defensive sets while receiving the play-call, getting the line-blocking assignments called at the line, and snap the ball- QUICKLY. It is so clear just how much faster Mr. Kiel gets the play going very, very quickly to catch the defense off-guard and capture opportunities, like the two broken defensive plays he capitalized on! That is just plain execution and “awareness”. I think this QB needs a serious shot at the job! It is apparent that he has the better arm strength. He has demonstrated on-field awareness. But WHY has Coach Wilson waited so long? Now we have league play beginning! It’s a heck of a situation if CKW gives Mr. Kiel an opportunity with Big Ten powerhouse Penn State.. But, hind-sight is 20/20… I am just hoping we can see him get a good opportunity! I’m not giving up on my Hoosiers- let’s go boys- kick some butt!!

  2. I am really hopeful Coach Wilson uses Dusty Kiel. That CKW gives him all the opportunites that he has afforded EWB. I think EWB is a great scrambler (Mike Vick type) and a great young man. We need confidence and leadership to move forward. C’mon MAN, it makes more sense to use DK now, he has the momentum swinging his way. He stays in the pocket, he’s not afraid to take a hit, he is smart. These next few games are going to be intense. IU football has been practicing all season to get the W in the Big Ten. The cream always rises to the top. Let’s Go Hoosiers!

  3. HOPEFULFAN: To say that “EWB is a great scrambler (Mike Vick type” is laughable. He’s not even as good a scambler as John Paci (for those of you who are new to the program John Paci was a quarterback for the Hoosiers in the early 90’s that got replaced by Chris Ditto) let alone Mike Vick. That said, I know you were trying to be complimentary to a young man who is struggling. I for one don’t think the answer is currently on the roster. With the exception of two blown coverages Dusty Kiel has been awful to this point as well. The only way we win this season is by the defense learning how to play as a unit and the offense learning how to run the ball.

    Coach Wilson has a 7 year deal for a reason. WIN TODAY is a great concept, but next year I anticipate significant improvement.

  4. Thank you Larry! Kiel was clearly beat out by Baker over the summer. How in your right mind can you think he is a better option at this point. He might be smarter, but he is NOT better.

  5. I am very impressed by the superior knowledge of quarterback development shown by bloggers on the Scoop than that of the former offensive coordinator of the Oklahoma Sooners. I assume that one of you is Charlie Weis. I haven’t figured out the other.

  6. The Hoosiers have been duped!! The Wilson you have in Bloomington is not the same Wilson they had in Norman, Oklahoma last year. The Wilson they had in Norman would never have let a player threaten with transfer and give in the way Wilson has in the backfield.
    Apparently he has made it clear that players HE recruited will have an advantage over inherited players regardless of skills or work ethic..
    Oddly enough, when you look at the Sooners offense from a year ago, versus what Wilson seems to be putting together here, doesn’t mesh. Keil

  7. Fourjp, you don’t need to copy/paste your comment to several articles at once. I don’t think people really find it that interesting, and I doubt you know anything about what is happening at IU.

  8. “fortunistic”? oh, brother. now we have two high profile coaches representing our university that can’t master english.

  9. If I may, I will use Mallory standards here.
    I believe Steve Bradley was his first QB. Good QB, just no help. Mallory struggled to find a true starting QB for a few years. DeWitz, Kramme THEN Schnell and Green. Not the other way around. At least KW has one coming in next year.
    I like to use baseball analogies. I would rather have a pitcher who can throw 85-90mph and throw strikes, force flyouts and ground balls, than a pitcher who throws 100+ and gets the only pitch he throws for a strike, jacked.
    I agree with Larry, IU’s roster does not currently have that luxury. This year is about establishing the way it is going to be, under Wilson, not how we or the players want it to be.

  10. Sorry about that.. I hit the publish button by mistake..
    The difference I see between Wilson’s Indiana vs. Oklahoma’s Wilson suggests that he was not on the same page as Bob Stoops, whose record speaks for itself. Dusty has a better grasp of the philosophy than does EWB, however EWB is more athletic.. At Oklahoma, the trend over the last decade has been to favor the smarter, more deliberate style of QB as opposed to the “Vick” style of play. ( I can’t believe I just used Vick as a verb.. I’m embarrassed!)
    It will be interesting to see how Wilson recruits..
    Then you will see whether he weighed in heavily on the offensive personnel in Norman or Stoops.

    Matt Perez needs to get the ball more. Roberts will never be the 3rd and 2 guy.. He doesn’t like contact, and he will not flourish behind this offensive line. If Perez gets the call on the same plays Roberts does, you will see a whole new ballgame. The difference is Perez can run inside and outside, but hasn’t had the opportunity… Roberts on the other hand can only run outside.

  11. Sorry JFB… I meant to edit before publishing.. My bad.. Admittedly, this is the first year I have been following IU football… On the other hand I am VERY familiar with Kevin Wilson as I have been a lifelong Sooner fan.

  12. I second Chet’s point. Wilson has been directly involved in recruiting, developing and coaching some of the best QB’s to come out of college in the last decade. The Sooner’s current QB is a Wilson-coached player and he is a leading candidate for the Heisman trophy this year. I think he and his staff have a much better perspective on which player, EWB or DK, gives IU the best chance at winning. It’s kind of silly to question his judgement on that issue.

    Speaking from experience, it’s often a lot easier to go into the game in the fourth quarter and try to rescue the game than it is to be the starter. You have nothing to lose and you can relax and just let in fly. ?There’s no down-side! There is no mental pressure, plus you’ve had the chance to observe the defense for three quarters. So it’s not really appropriate to compare one quarter of football played by DK to the many quarters played by EWB.

    Besides, IU’s defense is the major problem right now. If it does not improve significantly and immediately, nothing either QB does is going to alter the outcome of any of the remaining games.

  13. “Speaking from experience, it’s often a lot easier to go into the game in the fourth quarter and try to rescue the game than it is to be the starter.”

    Podunker- That’s a really good point. And even more so when the game looks completely out of reach and the defense has become less active in attempting to create confusion, less concerned with changing up schemes, blitzing, or has a D-back that lost his shoe lackadaisically taking his sweet time putting it back on between plays, etc.

    I guess on the flip side of the argument is that a QB change(other than injury) is rarely made when the starter is on the field with his team still in contention. Just think how fans/bloggers would scream if the head coach pulled a starter that was looking good because he wanted to see how the backup QB reacts to as close a similar game situation as possible.. Then, while the fans are still perplexed the need for a change, the replacement instantly throws a pick resulting in a score and the complexion/momentum of the game has been drastically changed.

    I’m glad I’ll never have to worry about such decisions. Kiel did build momentum and so much of sports is psychological. Do you ride that momentum even when you’re still not convinced a change is in order? I still like what I’ve seen from Baker, but you made Kiel fetch a bone and he did not disappoint.

  14. Another thing I’d add to the argument is the focus with a lead such as McCarney’s team possessed would be action to deepen and possibly broaden the deep pass D with a prevent type scheme. Coverages break down, shoes fall off, defenders run into each other and with that amount of lead mental awareness dulls. I have a hard thinking a breakdown did not also occur 7 offensive plays prior, 19 plays sooner or 38 plays earlier. If I watch the contest again maybe I erase all the above, I don’t know. But there are 3 constants I am convinced of, Kiel is 1A and EWB #1 for the simple fact he is the better scrambler for bailing out the OL because of what they can block, DK sees the field better and reads progressions faster and 3rdly Coach Wilson has a decades long record when it comes to utilizing the right QB. But it will not be a big factor until the D improves enough to hold preseason OOC opponents to 14 points or less and that is where the most need for better talent lays.

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