Fancy uniforms, Tevin Coleman and more from Kevin Wilson’s coaches teleconference

For nearly 10 minutes each Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Wilson joins the Big Ten Coaches Teleconference and speaks with local and national media members regarding football in Bloomington, in the Big Ten or across the nation.

This week, Wilson touched on Missouri, Tevin Coleman and Nick Stoner and the Indiana defense. As far as the latter, Wilson said he’s expecting a different approach Saturday in Columbia.

“We need to be relentless,” Wilson said. “Play harder, play more physical, play with more energy, play with our hair on fire and play harder and do it this week and back it up in the weeks to come.”

Below, you’ll find the full transcript from Wilson’s time on the call (Questions, paraphrased for brevity, are in italics):

Are the top Big Ten players on par with those in other conferences?
“Don’t know if I can compare every other conference. I think, in this league, the best players within this league are on par. I think maybe certain teams and programs, whether those programs would be in other conferences, there’s more depth and more guys. But you can look at the guys that are drafted, playing on Sundays (and) you’ve got guys from all over the country. I think the best players in this league are some of the best players in the country and we’re gonna see some really good players Saturday vs. the SEC and against Missouri out of their league. But I think we’ll take a couple solid players on our end down to play against them.”

What’s been most impressive about Tevin Coleman and what he’s done?
“He’s really just played the way he plays. Played that way last year and had 900-some yards and didn’t play the last three games and a quarter, so he missed 13 quaters. He was a 12-13-14-15-hundred back a year ago. He’s playing pretty good. Decent size, good speed, plays hard. We need more guys to play like him. We need his teammates to play a lot better for him, but he’s a good player off to a good start. Only got two games. He’s got a long way to go to have a good season, but he’s played well for two. Not surprised. He did that a year ago. An injury caused him to maybe not get recognized like the year he was having. He had a decent year a year ago.”

Does Indiana aspire to be a program like Missouri?
“I got a lot of respect for Missouri and, really, coach (Gary) Pinkel. … They defeated a program that I was a part of that was ranked No. 1 in the country, so they’ve been very, very good in football for a long time. Quality state with good, good athletes. Coach Pinkel has a great thing going down there. I don’t know that we’re trying to emulate any program, although we do try to steal great ideas and the processes of top teams and the program coach Pinkel has built. Not only there, but he did it at Toledo. We respect his program and what they do. I don’t want to say we’re trying to be them, but we respect what they do and are trying to get our program to have the success that they’ve had.”

Nick Stoner is coming off one of his better games — what kind of development have you seen from him?
“I think just in some physical maturity. We’re still looking for some consistency, but like you say, he’s coming off a good game. As a senior, who’s now been here for a while, you need guys to back that up and have good games week after week after week. That doesn’t always mean you have the same number of catches. Just your ability to have an impact on the game with your speed, your effort, what you’re doing on special teams. To me, a guy that’s not a senior that has played, he’s fast and he’s gotten stronger. You just like to see some consistency and another good game again. Don’t just play OK. You’ve played at a solid level. Let’s don’t wait three, four, five weeks to see it again. Let’s back it up with a great challenge from a strong Missouri secondary, then let’s back it up the following week because, as a senior, you don’t have a lot of weeks left. Let’s make these some great weeks and back it up. We’re looking for some consistency. When we started, we said this season was about consistency and competitiveness. We didn’t compete very well Saturday. We need some consistency and better play this week.”

Where have you seen the defense improve with some of the changes Brian Knorr has made?
“We’ve tackled a little bit better. We didn’t give up a significant amount of large, big plays. We got worked and they kept us on schedule. I’m not into the bend-not-break style of defense necessarily, but we didn’t get stops. We did create two turnovers. Just from going against our team in practice, we’re a fair offense and we do OK on that side of the ball. Competing against them in practice on a daily basis, more than most, our defense has had the upper hand and the better go. I need to see that transfer over to the game day arena. My thing is just seeing what we’ve seen in practice, which is all talk, but if they weren’t good, we’d be saying they weren’t good. We’ve made a lot of improvement, but until you do it in games, it doesn’t matter. When you’re called upon, you gotta step up and make the plays. We had many opportunities where guys were in position to make plays. More importantly, we need to be relentless, play harder, play more physical, play with more energy, play with our hair on fire and play harder and do it this week and back it up in the weeks to come.”

What’s your impression of Missouri’s defensive line?
“One, know their coaches and respect them, so (it’s) a product of their culture and the environment, the kind of kids they recruit and the standard that they’ve set. Not surprised. They lost quality players, but you put the tape on and a lot of the times — shoot, my eyes sometimes with those fancy numbers they got, sometimes you can’t tell what the number is and it looks like the same guy. It’s a credit to (defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski) and what Craig’s about, and it’s a credit to (defensive coordinator Dave Steckel). It’s gonna be a tremendous challenge. Those guys play the game the way you want to play, and it’s gonna be a tremendous challenge. But I love watching the way they play because they play the game I think it needs to be played. So, I really like their defensive line. I like their team. I’m looking forward to taking our team down and battling and seeing how we match up. It’s a good football team and I look forward to Saturday.”