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Nov. 17, 2012
INDIANA HEAD COACH KEVIN WILSON POSTGAME QUOTES
Penn State vs. Indiana
November 17, 2012
I thought for the most part, we were trying to compete and battle. I didn't like the end of the first half, for sure. But the way last week went, at least we came back and settled down and got back in it for a while. Defensively, we talked about making plays. They have a great offense and they do a great job. I think one of the keys to this is our ability to move the ball but not get points. We had several times across midfield and several times in the scoring zone and we came away with nothing or three. I thought this game, to win it, we needed 35, 40, 42 or 45 and we left some points on the board. Credit to Bill O'Brien and Penn State. They did a good job. Last thing, I feel for Mike Mauti, too. He's the kind of kid that when you go against, I went to the players and told them that I was sorry that kid got hurt because that kid plays the punt team as hard as anyone I have ever seen. So, I just love him as a player. We love going against good players. We feel for them. We lost Charlie Love, a senior, last week. I think it's important for our game but I hate when a great player like that gets hurt. I wish him well. He's a special player. As an opponent, I respect him.
Q: How disappointing was the defense today?
A: We will keep looking as we move scheme wise and getting guys in the right place with the right guys. We were there sometimes. I know we made a play starting the second half where we were great coverage with man-to-man. Great throw, on target. I didn't know that we could have had better position but we didn't make the play. We make some good plays at the line of scrimmage because we look at things like our support with linebackers and secondary, we just lose leverage on the ball and give up some plays. I really appreciate those two inside guys and three, counting Nick, the way those guys battle, those three seniors. We have to keep working defensively. We are not at a point right now where we can play shutdown defense but we have to keep finding ways to play better, that's for sure.
Q: Many drives, you were able to get across Penn State's 40-yard line, you either got three points or nothing. What do you think was the problem there?
A: Execution. A couple of times I think there was a play review, one of the guys get injured, little things like that get you out of rhythm. Because we were rolling a little bit, then we were a little bit off. They didn't do anything unusual. We had a couple scoring zone opportunities and we need to be a little cleaner. Because we didn't run the ball, one of the best ways to be a good scoring zone team is when you run the ball and the field gets compressed, the zones are tighter, the windows are tighter. We need to run the ball. We run the ball for 30 or 40 yards, but we have to keep working to get a run game going. We don't have a really good running game. We would like to throw it some but we want some balance. The more balance we have, the better we work. When you don't run it well and you don't play good defense, it's tough to win. That's the main reason we are on the wrong side of the ledger today.
Q: Did it look like Cameron Coffman left plays out there?
A: I thought he left a bunch. One of the key components of him, he has to make some plays, some tight windows and tight throws. [He had] a couple of third down throws and run-pass bobbles, he's doing some passes he shouldn't. To move the chains, there were a couple of those when you get to the 40. A couple of times we had a combination of run and throw and he took a throw that wasn't there. It's give and take and sometimes you're right and sometimes you're wrong. If we didn't want him to throw it, we could call the play without it. But we are putting the ball in his hands and sometimes, as he continues to grow, let's remember again he is our backup. He has been here less than a year. He left a lot out there. That was a decent building point for him. We didn't play Nate [Sudfeld] today. Nate, last week, got nicked up with a concussion. He didn't practice Monday but was back Tuesday and on. We just thought, just to make sure he was clear to go and there was no problems with him, he's coming off of it why take a chance. Go out there and he just hit his head on the ground when he slid last week. He'll be good. That being said, we will kind of have both of them back in the mix. We kind of win with this one unless there is a problem we are just going to ride with Cam. Both of those guys have to keep coming. We still like Trey [Roberson]. But I think when the season is over, we will go back and look now Cam has started to play more football than Trey. So, we will have an interesting dynamic as we move to next year.
Q: When Penn State was able to convert on that 4th down, it was about 4th-and-9, how big was that play for your team?
A: They converted a lot but that was 4th down with pressure coming. We didn't get home. We were basically in zero coverage. We don't have help. Our defender got beat to the inside. By alignment, he can't do that. He has to take away the inside, use the sideline as a defender and force the plays out. He just missed the line, lost leverage and they made it competitive. A matter of fact, another point in the play, I think the ball when he catches it, from where I was, it looks like he catches it and there is a competitive play where he is going to be about a yard short. He also finished the play and moved the chains so it's a competitive play by their player. When you win football games and you move into the scoring zone and score, you make competitive plays or you don't. Penn State's guys made a lot more competitive plays than we did. As we grow, we have to make plays. It's not blaming guys, you just have to step up and make the play. We will keep working to do that.
Q: After the one touchdown, you had an onside kick then a fumble. You only had three points out of those two series. How did that set you back?
A: Again, we come out last week where right before we lose momentum and we had nothing in the second half to come back and get a stop, have a big play, get the onside, then not do anything. Get the fumble, like you said we only got three. We tried 54 and I think we converted a 46-yarder. Play call, play execution, no run game, we bogged down plus 40 and left points on the board. At the end, as we are there and don't make tackles or they make the 4th down, at the end when we get the ball down to the 10 and kick field goals or we cross hit and have a high snap. We throw a pick on a protection right before the first half. We left points on the board. We aren't going to get them all and to say we are going to get them all, you're not. We left some that we should have got today and it could have been a game.
Q: Why was it such a mixed bag for Mitch Ewald today?
A: When he had his streak, I kind of knew that he was trying to be perfect and there wasn't going to be one perfect thing in the world. I told him, get over it. I said that we were coming back on for the onside right now. Instead of saying what happened, we said sorry, you're human and we are going to go onside right now. The offense did manage it, we tried a 54-yarder. Typically, when you kick a long kick, you can kick a long swing and it actually hooks. He had a great kick on the 54-yarder, we come back 46. If we make some plays you are going to make the kick to win this one for us. My deal, you respond. The other thing I thought was a tremendous play today where there was a pick where Kofi Hughes ran about 55-60 yards to run a play down. Those are signs of what I'm looking for. Mitch Ewald, to miss a kick that meant a lot to him, you have no idea. That kid is very prideful. To make that next kick, that's a sign of a winner. That's something we can build on. Kofi, down there and going to score, had a great play and almost scored on the screen. We blotched it up, we had a batted ball, they pick his effort. We don't like the result, but we like the response. That's what we are going to keep building on.