Coffman returns to practice, and other notes from Wilson’s press conference

Indiana sophomore quarterback Cam Coffman returned to practice on Monday after missing the fourth quarter of the Hoosiers’ 41-39 loss to Ball State on Sept. 15 with a hip pointer.

“He actually could have practiced last week,” Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said at his press conference Tuesday. “But like with some of the other guys, we didn’t want to aggravate it and have him gimping around. Whether it’s moving throws, moving pockets, reading plays, whatever, he just looks like him. Makes some good plays and bad plays in practice. Plays I like, plays I don’t.”

True freshman Nate Sudfeld handled the vast majority of the reps in practice last week after earning Big Ten co-Freshman of the Week honors by engineering a fourth-quarter comeback in the loss to Ball State. Wilson said he was happy with Sudfeld’s practice throughout the week, but that Coffman will maintain the starting job.

“We need both of those guys on their ‘A’ game,” Wilson said. “(Coffman) looks fine. He’s practicing good. So is the other guy. It’s a good deal. Cam will go first, unless there’s some issues between now and walking out there at 11 or whatever time it is on Saturday, 11 central. Cam will go first, Nate will also be ready to roll. They’ll both be ready when we need them. It won’t be Play 1, Play 2, whatever it is. We’ll play one.”

— Wilson said linebacker Chase Hoobler is still very limited in practice because of a nerve issue in his back/neck area.

“He is very limited yet,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to get him back. He’s got a nerve deal we’re trying to quiet down. … We’ll go through the week and see if we have Chase. We’re very fortunate for us that Griffen’s come in and played well. Griffen Dahlstrom. The other guys, Flo Hardin’s working out there as well. Right now those guys are getting the bulk. Chase is close, but he’s trying to quiet down.”

Wilson also said defensive end John Lahinen will return to the lineup this week after missing last week with an injury.

— Wilson said quarterback Tre Roberson is already out of a cast after suffering a season-ending broken leg and could actually begin jogging next week.

“That’s kind of amazing,” Wilson said.

— Wilson returns to Northwestern to play the Wildcats at Ryan Field for the first time since he left Evanston in 2001. He had been the offensive coordinator there under then-coach Randy Walker from 1999-2001 after following Walker from Miami (Ohio). He was with Walker from 1990-98 in Miami (Ohio).

“It’s a nice stadium, its a beautiful place,” Wilson said. “I go back and I know 10, 12 years ago things happened there impacted my life in a very positive way. I’m grateful and I respect that. But at the same time, trust me, I got an edge about this game. I want our kids to learn how to win Big Ten games.”

Fitzgerald was an assistant in Wilson’s final season in 2001. Though their time together was short, Wilson said there is a bond between them in both having coached with Walker, who died of a heart attack in 2005 at the age of 52.

“The common bond for us even though Pat’s got some of Coach Barnett is just the time with Coach Walker,” Wilson said. “I thought Coach Walker was a tremendous influence on a lot of coaches because he coached coaches. Something that I’ve tried to do this year, I’ve tried to spend a little bit more time working with quarterbacks, but coaching coaches, and how we’re preparing practice and how we’re scripting. What are we doing? What are we seeing? because Coach Walker coached the coaches. Not on the field, but off the field and was a tremendous influence in developing me as a coach and as a guy. I spent more time with that guy than anyone except my father. … That’s the thing, with Coach Pat, I think Coach Fitz has carried a lot. He’s got his flavor, his personality, his strength, working with his background with coach Barnett, but there’s the feel of coach Walker.”

— Wilson and co-defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler both said they were extremely impressed by Northwestern’s offense. Both said the Wildcats are significantly better offensively because of the move of Venric Mark from slot receiver to tailback, where he has rushed for 399 yards and four touchdowns in four games. Quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trevor Simiean also allow the Wildcats to give teams widely varying looks with Colter being the more athletic of the two and Simiean having the stronger arm.

“They actually play almost three offenses,” Wilson said. “They got one back running game with what they do with their running game and what Venric Mark can do for them. Then when Kain gets out there, they get in almost a split back and old school veer. They run some true option, make you play option responsibilities. Then with their other quarterback, they get into some more traditional passing. They put a lot of stretch on you defensively. As an offensive coach, I enjoy watching their offense.”

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 1

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson Part 2

AUDIO: Seth LIttrell

AUDIO: Mike Ekeler

4 comments

  1. I was at the game and it was an exciting comeback. We lost in disappoiniting fashion but that takes nothing away from the effort put forth to take the lead. I don’t think the loss was funny nor do I admire those who think it’s funny to mock the players who put forth that effort. I think we’re going to be respectable under Wilson and I hope for more than respectability.

  2. Agree with IULONGAGO. I, too, was at the BSU game and I think CKW will indeed turn this football program around. Poking fun at the football team doesn’t help. I’m old enough to remember that Northwestern was the laughing stock of the B10. They got themselves a coach to turn things around, but more importantly they got themselves a positive frame of mind, an attitude and a mindset that they can succeed. IU can do the same. Go Hoosiers!

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