Notes from Wilson’s radio show

In Kevin Wilson’s radio show Monday night, he hit on most of the high and low notes from Saturday’s 24-17 win over Indiana State. Some notes of interest.

— Unsurprisingly, Wilson hit on the standard theme that every team makes its biggest improvement from Game 1 to Game 2.

“Of all the days of our season, today was one of the biggest days,” Wilson said. “If we’re gonna move forward, we’ve been talking about things in practices. We’ve been showing good things in practice, and we showed a lot of those things in games. We’ve been showing bad things in practice, and those things showed up in the game. … It’s Labor Day, it’s a national holiday, but it’s one of the biggest days in college football. We tried to max it out today.”

— Wilson said he was mostly happy with the play of his young offensive line which started two true sophomores (RT Peyton Eckert, LG Bernard Taylor) and two true freshmen (LT Jason Spriggs, RG Dan Feeney) around fifth-year senior center Will Matte.

“We worked really hard to put them in good situations,” Wilson said. “Even though we threw the ball a fair amount, the quarterback only got hit a couple of times. Protection was reasonably clean.Running game can be better. .. Their effort was reasonable. Jason Spriggs, we thought played the best of all of the guys as a true freshman. I think he had seven or eight knockdowns and he’ll do nothing but get better. He has a chance to be a tremendous player for us. I was proud of those guys, but it was a little bit a part of the scheme. Tre looked comfortable because of those guys.”

— Wilson also broke down sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson’s performance, elaborating from Saturday’s comments after watching him on tape.

“He worked well, he managed well,” Wilson said. “He had no picks and two balls I didn’t like. I thought he forced one on a scramble against the grain. I thought he was late and shouldn’t have thrown it, not enough mustard, could’ve haunted us. Fortunately, their player didn’t quite get to the ball. One time we got them to jump offsides and we were trying to jump a free play, but he threw it in the middle of the field. And what if they weren’t offsides? What if the penalty was on us? We’re trying to be risky but also calculated, and I thought he made two poor choices. He also missed, whether the touchdown called on the crossing route on offensive interference, and the skinny post we miss, the play to Ted Bolser, which was nice, but it was low. We thought we left about four or five touchdown passes. At one point today, we said, ‘Hey, if you hit the skinny post to Stoner, and he runs the right route, you don’t have a pick, you’ve had 17 plays and three touchdown passes. We still left a lot out there. To me, it’s exciting to try to get the offensive players, the receivers and quarterbacks to realize that was pretty good and it’s not close to what it can be. Let’s keep pushing forward.

— He wasn’t as pleased with special teams.

“Not very good,” Wilson said. “… First thing just not very good with some effort. First play of the game, we kick it in to the end zone. Thought Mitch handled the kickoffs well. And outside of the one into the wind that hit the goalpost, his kicks were awesome. The two into the wind kickoffs were big. He kicked it with over (four-second) hangtime giving us a chance to get our coverage down, but we didn’t like over coverage. We didn’t think our effort, we showed them the first kickoff, we showed them the second kickoff. We’d played 9 minutes and 25 seconds, you can’t be that tired. … We’re faster than that, we addressed that in practice…. We need to win special teams. Saturday at best was a push.”

Wilson also said the kicking game and his current lack of trust in the punting game was part of the reason the Hoosiers went for it on fourth down on three different occasions.

He did, however, said he feels good about his punt returners in sophomores Shane Wynn and Nick Stoner, and that defensive ends coach Jon Fabris, who handles the punt return team, is impressed by them. They alternated returns during the game.

“They’re both kind of equal,” Wilson said. “Coach Fabris would tell you — and he’s coached punt units for 19 years and three or four times his unit’s been No. 1 in the nation — he tells our team repeatedly, I’ve never had two guys as punt returners faster than these two guys. We work that very, very hard. We work that team significantly. … We made a commitment try to be a good return. Both of those kids are good.”

— Wilson said he was pleased with the fan turnout — but jokingly hinted that he wasn’t sure the paid attendance figure of 41,882 was accurate.

“I think everybody around here — it’s always the sky’s falling around here — and everybody thought there might be rain,” Wilson said. “We had (41,000) there, on paper it said. We’ve got some very skinny fans. They’re very slight in nature. But as we continue to play, we’re gonna get better every week. We’re gonna have a solid year. We’re gonna have a winning football program. We have phenomenal fans, and they’ll be there. I have no issue with the fans.”

— Wilson said he was mostly pleased with the defense. The Hoosiers gave up seven big plays that totaled 189 yards, but pointed out that Indiana State was at no point in the redshirt. That’s sort of a technicality because ISU fullback Austen Wozniak caught a 23-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-1 that was just three yards outside of said red zone. Still, he was pleased with the Hoosiers’ ability to finish drives.

“There was some mis-communication,” Wilson said. “Mis-alignment. There were 11 missed tackles. Some missed tackles let their nice running back get out. They worked us right before the first half on a nice little drive, but they didn’t get it to the red zone. We were 0-for-0 on red zone opportunities. We created two turnovers down the stretch. Won the turnover ratio. We talked a lot about being a better third-down defense. We were 3 of 12 on third down. If you count the fourth down, we’re 4-of-15, so 11 times we got the stops. … It needs to be better, but I thought the defense won the game.”

— Wilson was asked about freshman tailback Tevin Coleman and why he didn’t play much in the second half.

“Tevin I thought did well,” Wilson said. “He didn’t have a particularly astute Thursday practice, and I was concerned with his ability to be ready at game time. He was a little antsy on Thursday, so we didn’t jog him out there first. … He did show a lot of burst. Did do well. He took one good hit on the shoulder, just felt a little bruised. Came out, he practiced today, no issues, but I think when you’re playing in college, it’s a bigger guy hitting you. Some of those high school guys are used to being the biggest player on the field. He got a little college hit, didn’t know how to be a college football player yet. He’s not injured, but got a little dinged up, so we kinda went with the other two guys.”


  1. Dustin-

    Sorry to go off-topic here..I remember a Scoop thread in which you told us Indiana had officially offered a scholarship to Jameel McKay(JC transfer from Indian Hills Community College)..Do you remember how much I liked his game based on the shoot-around video you later posted on Scoop?

    I don’t remember you updating us that he committed to Marquette instead of IU. Maybe I just missed it.

  2. DD, any info on what HS recruits were at the game Saturday? Elijah Daniel I have heard has stated his commit to Clemson is soft.

  3. Harvard,
    That was first weekend of June. Can’t remember why I didn’t post anything, but they had cooled on him by that point.
    Not sure. Has he actually stated his commitment is soft? Like publicly? That’s a new one.

  4. DD, I had to have read/heard that somewhere – I don’t think it was a dream. I also heard but not a as sure as I am about his soft commit that he was at the ISU game Saturday. I was hoping you could verify. If true maybe this could be part of the recruiting surprises Mark Hagen was referencing to 60-90 days ago before A. Allen committed.
    PS I remember now, Rivals last week stated he was going to take some officials. 24/7 Sports reported he was taking an official on 9/1/2k12 to IU.

  5. I seem to recall reading somewhere that a commit is commonly thought to be soft when the player continues to take visits to other schools after the verbal commitment.

  6. HC,
    Wouldn’t be surprised. I actually asked Allen about some of the guys and he gave me the impression that of the big Indiana recruits — Kimbrough, Kenney, Daniel, Latham — Daniel might be the easiest one to get to turn. He said Kimbrough to Georgia was pretty solid. I hadn’t seen the story, and wasn’t at all suggesting that you must be wrong. I was just interested in seeing if Daniel had actually used the word “soft,” in describing his commitment. Even if he’s visiting elsewhere, the verbiage would be unprecedented.

  7. Really! We’re one game into football season and this string is discussing the status of potential basketball recruits?

  8. DD, sometimes suggestions are right on and it did have me swirling about the origin of the rumor/info/notion/dream. I guess what I am really asking is it worth a follow up on your part to contact him for us to know his status for sure. I’m of the mind this FB recruiting is going to gain momentum and A. Allen may have been the 1st step. Daniel could support that thought.

  9. There’s an elephant in the room that is scarcely being mentioned. It’s going to be sitting on our couch this fall, watching “Dancing With the Stars” instead of football, and eating all the popcorn if we don’t address it. What the heck is going on with our punting game? How can we have any season at all if we are afraid(!) to punt the freakin’ football? Can anyone say “Open tryouts for anyone who wants to win a scholarship next year?” NFL teams rarely squander a draft pick on a punter because there are plenty of guys who can punt a football in a reasonably competent manner. A great punter is, of course, a tremendous asset to a team, but there must be a lot of competent (defined as “being able to kick the ball well enough so that we don’t have to make idiotic calls to go for it on 4th down at midfield with a seven point lead”) punters on the IU campus. Has anyone on the coaching staff made a phone call to the rugby team? Any thoughts, Dustin?

  10. Nothing against Andy’s surviving hair, but I miss the Kartje fauxhawk. Is it o.k. for me to miss Kartje? I just miss the glow. I miss the apples, peaches, and pumpkin pie look about the guy. I miss the perky optimism dancing from his baby Michigan blue eyes. It’s not that you’re a downer or anything, Dustin(Andy? Hmm?…I would shoot for something more like a Country Time Lemonade commercial). And watching Osterman attempting to drown out Andy on this first football ScoopTalk session of the season just brought back a wave of old memories of Ryan. Remember how ‘Ginger’ would never stop rambling on ScoopTalk sessions during last year’s basketball sessions with Ryan? Poor Ryan..I so often wanted him to just tell Osterman to shut the hell up. Maybe you could find a fauxhawk wig and Andy could hide it on his lap during the next ScoopTalk that Osterman has been invited as a participant…? Next time Osterman tries to steal the show again, Andy could pop on the fauxhawk wig? Maybe this could serve as a hint to the dude in foolish white cap that he’s not Orson Welles playing Shakespeare in the park.

    Bring back Kartje! (or at least a new face with some vibrancy, hope, and authenticity). We won a damn football game! It deserved more than the tired old melancholic Andy … or the faux Hoosier optimism emanating out the blowhole a ‘soft’ Georgia Bull Dog …or a poor heartbroken Penn State alum that just painfully witnessed his football heroes go through one weekend of what the IU football team has had to endure for the last four decades.

    I miss the honest happiness for Indiana that fell upon my ears from Kartje(the few chances he could get any words in over Orson Welles). I don’t know the combined number of years Dustin, Osterman, and Andy have accumulated covering IU sports, but it would sure be nice if they could have one cylinder of the spark igniting from a punk from Michigan that became more Hoosier in only a matter of a few months.

  11. Kevin Wilson is 2-0 vs the FCS. Since he still has 5 years on his contract, is there any talk of competing in football vs. the FCS but staying division 1 in basketball-like Butler and Indiana Stae do?

  12. Kartje was an eye blink away from being a Hoosier. He couldn’t help himself. Dustin is the best but I couldn’t help but love a guy that couldn’t pass up a seat on the bandwagon.

  13. IUKoolaid, that’s not a problem. Just change conferences. Do you really want to sit through a basketball season like that?

  14. Just sarcasm Chet, I love IU football, just tired of seeing strange coaching decisions and players who don’t seem to respond to their coach, agree (for once) with Kravitz in the Star, not impressed with KW

  15. I don’t know how old you are but when Lee Corso was here he did crazy $hit. He once called quick kicks on almost every 3rd down against OSU and we almost won because they spent the whole game starting from their 5 yard line because who sends a guy into kick coverage on third and 2?

    Genius or madness?

    Actually, in Corso’s case, we do know.

  16. Chet, was a IU freshman when Corso was fired. Was there for Mallory’s first season, and never doubted he’s get it done. Also never doubted Hep. Kevin Wilson is a position coach-tough, no nonsense, sentence fragments, talk tactics. Head coaches have to inspire an entire team, jave to complete thoughts the team can coalesce around. I want to believe, help me in my unbelief!

  17. Hep’s death set us back a decade. What a tragedy for everyone.

    I don’t think there is a formula. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how much magic a coach is even doing. Belechik never did anything as a head coach until some guy named Brady got put into the game and now everyone seems to thinks he’s the greatest coach ever.

    Dustin tells us he’s a smart guy so that tells me…well, he’s a smart guy. I like the staff he’s put together and I’ve always been of the opinion that that is the single most important part of a head coach’s job. He can’t be everywhere at all times.

    I think no nonsense plays well because players would rather know where they stand than being coddled for no reason and still not know the whole story (we just went down that road).

    I’m pretty sure what you see is what we’re getting. That also is the kind of guy we see in Saban, Meyer, Stoops, et al (though not so much with Kiffin).

    Like I said, time will tell. I do think if Nick Saban had lost his mind and decided to come to Indiana that we would have seen they same type of player exodus (maybe more). I think that was inevitable.

    Keep on believin’.

  18. IUKoolaid, if you cannot see the transition going on now just as it did for Mallory then maybe there is no help. Similar situations as Corso’s last season was 5-6 then Wyche puts up a 3-8. You have to throw the 1st year out as I did for Mallory and now for Wilson. As to communicating with the team, if players can understand Rap they can certainly handle Coach Wilson’s southern born staccato. Actually he gets his candid point of message out rather easily.

  19. I agree completely with Chet’s comment that Hep’s death set IU football back a decade. It was a terrible loss because Hep had all the right ingredients to turn IU football around. And unfortunately, Lynch did not have the pedigree to pick up where Hep left off and continue to transformation.

    But that’s all history. The jury is still out on Wilson and probably will be until after the 2013 season. He’s got an incredibly tough job. His mission is to transform the culture of IU football and convert a traditionally weak program into one that can compete in the Big Ten. He has one of the smallest budgets in the conference, IU’s football fan base is the smallest, most apathetic and pessimistic fan base in the conference (if not the country), the program has a tradition of losing and is constantly being denigrated by sports media, his home state has a small population but includes three other FBS teams that compete for in-state talent, and he is surrounded by traditional power programs like OSU, ND, Mich, and MSU. On top of that, he works for administrators that demand absolute compliance to the rules and insist that his athletes maintain high academic achievement (let’s be honest, a lot of successful football schools don’t care about academics).

    At this point in is tenure, all we have to judge him by is what he has said and done. He has brought in quality assistant coaches who have experience coaching at successful football programs, he has improved the quality of IU’s recruits (on paper), and he has expedited the departure of those players that he believed did not have the talent, discipline or commitment necessary to compete in the Big Ten. He has been honest and direct with the media (almost to a fault) and repeatedly stated his belief that IU can achieve success in football.

    It will take at least two more years before we can begin to effectively evaluate the job Wilson has done as IU’s head coach. In the mean time, without becoming cool-aid drinkers, we should give him the benefit of the doubt and do our best to support his football team. As fans, we have the ability to influence the trajectory of IU’s football program. We can either help it improve at a faster rate, or we can sit back, like pessimistic losers, and bitch, moan and nitpick Wilson’s every move, secure in the belief that no coach can ever transform IU football into a winner. Personally, I think it’s more fun to do the former rather than the latter, at least until Wilson proves he is not capable of accomplishing the mission.

  20. Chet- indeed, the quick kick is a vastly underrated play, and the 1978 OSU game (the one where Woody Hayes’ hat was stolen off his head at halftime by some classics major) is a prime example of how effective it can be. It’s all about field position WHICH MAKES IT IMPERATIVE THAT IU KIDNAP A BRAZILIAN TEENAGER FROM A FAVELA IN RIO, TAKE HIS SOCCER BALL AWAY, AND TEACH HIM HOW TO PUNT A FOOTBALL BEFORE KICKOFF TOMORROW NIGHT!!!

  21. Dustin Dopirak
    Tuesday, September 4, 2012 – 5:37 PM UTC

    Elijah Daniel plays football, Podunker.

    Dustin at his finest. This empty hotel of windbags will sure suffer dearly the day Dustin no longer tends to the front desk.

    Nothing like bringing it right back down to earth.

    Thank you, Dustin. I only stumbled upon the post tonight and it brought some needed chuckle. Such serious novels are crafted and constructed on here; months and months of building kingdoms of self-proclaimed know-it-all fortresses of genius behind nothing other a screen name creation. Never a true challenge rarely be found the experts writing their own stories so nauseatingly thick and heavily bound.

    And then you decide its time to humble the charge. The strongest of stories, the stellar debates and tireless spectacles of defending their kingdoms of gloat-shielded honor, now naked in truth foretold how they soon dip all too deep the gold and glitter this, their day, to fumble. And with such ease and cunning dry wit, you reveal just how blank the pages.

Comments are closed.