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October 13, 2014

Kevin Wilson

COACH WILSON:¬† Go back through our last performance against Iowa, disappointed there.¬† We had a lull where, pick six, and two one‑play big plays, 21 points where the game gets a little out of whack.¬† Started throw.¬† I think we go three‑and‑out, three‑and‑out with a pick and then another three‑and‑out before we got into some offensive rhythm.
Passing game struggled.¬† And not just because of‑‑ it was 4‑9 and been struggling so we've got to keep working on that.¬† Running game's okay.¬† Need to be a little bit more consistent.¬† Defense settled down, held them to 17 in the second half, 126 yards of offense in the second half, 300 in the first half.¬† Kicking was okay.¬† Didn't hurt us but didn't impact us.¬† Had a chance to down the ball inside the 20 a couple times.¬† But nothing significant in the kicking game.
Effort is okay.  Still needs to be better.  Standard of play needs to be better.  We are capable of playing good football.  We showed some good things, and not an inconsistent game.  Just gave up some plays and had a chance to make some.  We had potentially three big dropped passes that would have been nice.  We had a pick in the end zone end of the game.
So again, there's some opportunities.¬† We squandered some things away.¬† Performances we thought were good on the offensive side, felt Tevin Coleman, Roberts and Cooper had good showings.¬† Defensively we thought guys that played well, those aren't players of the game.¬† Guys we thought played well‑‑ several good efforts in the kicking game, Scales and Simmons and Kennedy, Stoner a couple good plays, kicked over a couple tackles.¬† So thought those guys played well.
Our players of the game on offense were Coleman, defense, Simmons, and special teams we had some good performances but didn't recognize a player of the game.  No one outstanding and a lot of guys played well.  Kicking has gotten better and not just the kickers but the coverage.  We need some more returns.  I think the two kickoff returns we had started on the 14 and 15 or 13 and 15 and the others kicked out of the end zone.  Like to get a little bit more out of the return game if we could.
Scouts of the week, Arthur Jones is a defensive back, second year player walk‑on, good kid for us, did a nice job.¬† Offensive, senior Michael Pogel (ph) who played special teams, does a great job and Danny Cameron, quarterback, did a good job for us.
Coming out of that game injury‑wise, of course Nate has a shoulder injury.¬† Visiting yesterday with the doctors, it is going to require surgery.¬† He'll be out for the remainder of the year.¬† He'll be out.¬† Didn't know that until Sunday.
So moving forward, whether it be with he being out, Chris Covington, Zander Diamont, Nate Sudfeld, we don't have necessarily an open competition but those will be the guys we play with and we'll move forward there.¬† No one else, really, out of the game, a couple guys, we lost a couple guys, everyone does.¬† It's a little bit of college ball.¬† You have to overcome that and I believe we will.¬† That's where we are health‑wise and the rest of the guys, I think we're in pretty good shape.¬† Good opportunity this week, playing a tremendous football team in Michigan State.¬† Very, very solid, very aggressive, no one for outstanding defense and playing well again, as they always do with just guys in great position, great structure, challenge secondary with DBs that make plays on the ball and a great blitz package and well‑coached with coach Narduzzi and Coach Dantonio and the culture they have created.
The offense, they have evolved.  When they were young, they were a little out of sync and now they have matured and now one of the leading offenses in the nation, I believe that's correct.  Really balanced in what they do and really good running back in Jeremy Langford, and good direction, fly sweeps that they always do a great job with.  Connor Cook, one of the better, if not one of the best quarterbacks in our conference, and the country, throwing the ball to some good guys.
And then Coach Dantonio's teams always pick it up with great kicking whether it be the punter, the kick game, always fakes up the return unit.¬† So that's why they are a Top‑10 team and that's why they are depending Big Ten champs and Rose Bowl champs.
Play awfully well and I know at the same time our team is looking forward to the opportunity to play our team.  And we have gotten significantly better and I expect our team to have a great week and have a strong showing against an outstanding opponent.  It's going to be a good test.

Q.¬† Inaudible.¬† I know there's different grades‑‑
COACH WILSON:¬† I don't know when you say grades, but just kind of slipping on him and so again, those medical guys can tell you something, speculating.¬† Sometimes if a shoulder separates and pops back, how much damage is there, if it's his left one, it's not his throwing side.¬† So that being said, he should be able to make a pretty strong recovery because he plays a position that typically doesn't do a lot of hitting because it's his non‑throwing side.
So that being said he should be able to make a pretty strong recovery because he plays a position that typically doesn't do a lot of hitting and it's his non‑throwing arm so should be a normal recovery.¬† The joint, when he landed, we were talking yesterday, he's taken a lot of hits, a lot worse than that one, but the way he felt, he dislocated it and tore enough and had enough damage tear that thing up.

Q.¬† Is running more of an option‑‑
COACH WILSON:¬† I don't know, we kind of‑‑ we're not going to‑‑ we kind of do what we do, we emphasize, you play the strengths and weaknesses of what guys do.¬† We are not going to sit here and run at every play.
We are one of the better running teams in the country and we throw more balls, I think Army has thrown 34 passes and we're throwing about 30 a game.  So part of us running the ball is you have to defend the guys and take shots down the field and put two of them on target, should be caught for big plays, he's got a great arm.  One of his picks is a batted ball where a receiver should catch it and doesn't.  We'll do what we do.
You'll see a tremendous defensive opponent, so you have to put those guys in good places and don't get cute, don't get fancy.  We are not going to hand the ball off to every play that doesn't work.  We are not going to be a true option team and maybe the quarterback runs a little bit more but you know, we'll play to our strengths.

Q.¬† Do you get an opportunity‑‑ will you have to calm him down?
COACH WILSON:¬† No, he's pretty good.¬† All three of those guys‑‑ Chris's problem is coming off of‑‑ he wasn't cleared before going to the Bowling Green week, so he was limited in practice because he was coming off a knee injury.
And you know, Diamont and Boudreau got the bulk of work and as you watch him, I still think he gives you the best chance to play and to win with, and that's why we went with him.  But we'll see.  He's a young guy and he's going to make some young guy mistakes but he's a calm dude.  He's very talented.
Again it's going to be difficult this week because you're playing a good team but we have to put them in about situations and play to our strength.  Got a pretty good offensive line and we'll do some things.  They are good defensively.  They come at you and cause turnovers and sacks.
It's going to be a tough challenge no matter if you had Peyton Manning, it's a good defense you're playing this week but we have to do everything we can to put them in a good position.  We'll clean it up this week and see what we've got.

Q.¬† What's the update‑‑
COACH WILSON:¬† He's slight, 160‑some pounds and‑‑ Big Ten's big.¬† Colton (ph) is 220, and so, you know, he was a great quarterback in high school.¬† We recruited him as an athlete and thought we need him on defense.¬† But with their depth spaces and watching him play, we thought he would be a viable option and as he got in and got comfortable, we think he's the next best one.
But Zander is a good player, throws well, runs well.¬† He's a smaller guy.¬† You've got two freshmen, so you've just got to be careful of what you ask those guys.¬† When you have freshmen, you have some mistakes and they are going to be challenged but the defense is going to do everything they can to make his role uncomfortable ‑‑ and in your quote for starts, we see just Chris, both guys, where does Nate Boudreau fit into the mix.
The other two guys are a little bit more athletic and can run around a bit more where Nate Boudreau is a version of Nate Sudfeld:  Good arm, good mobility, but not as much of a runner.  Again we are not going to be an option attack.  We just run the zone plays and once in awhile you can read it and pull it out, and so the offense doesn't change anything, the play calls don't change.
Just some of the slight schematics do because the quarterback now is a bit more of a runner than a thrower but we'll keep throwing it‑‑ run the zone plays ‑‑ and once in awhile you can read it and pull it out, so the offense doesn't change anything, the play calls don't change, just some of the slight schematics do because the quarterback now is a little bit more of a runner than a thrower but we'll keep throwing.¬† We're not going to throw five passes.

Q.¬† Does it help to have same plays‑‑
COACH WILSON:  It's the same plays.  They are called the same.  It's just do you cut the end off the back side or do you put him out and read him.
So you either block the guy with by formation and the five linemen are blocking the same, they are double‑teaming for the same guy, man blocking, it's called the same.¬† Just formation‑wise, the quarterback becomes the blocker because he reads the guy so it doesn't change anything.

Q.  You've had a lot of success with Michigan State.
COACH WILSON:  Well, like all teams, Iowa is the same deal in a different way and slightly different, but not major.  I mean, you know, the way to play better defense is to outnumber and put players in position where they can't be blocked.
And so for example, we are halfway through and I think we played by Big Ten standards, if not one of the toughest schedules to date in our six games, and I think our run defense is now 51st in the country; a year ago it was 115. 
Our pass defense still struggles because we have corners and safety supporting the run and you're out there one‑on‑one.¬† A year ago, we were bad in run d and we've gotten a little better in run d.¬† Michigan State is good at run d because of not just players but because structure and where they commit them.¬† And that being said, they are also good out there one‑on‑one.¬† You have to make some one‑on‑one plays.¬† If you want to go sideways on these guys, you can, but man, they are flat footed and fast coming downhill.
Oregon is pretty fast and pretty good and they just don't‑‑ sure, Marcus Marioto (ph) made some individuals, great play, it looked like in that game.¬† But the structure of what they do and the players they do it with and the culture, they make it hard to do a lot of things, straight ahead, sideways, you name it.¬† And it's a combination of culture, schematics and players.¬† They have a tremendous defensive environment.
At the same time the game has gotten, you're looking at TCU last week, who was No. 2 defense in the country gives up several hundred yards and on fourth down at midfield they go for it because they don't want to give the team the other ball.¬† The game changes where ‑‑ there's not a lot of 7‑3 ballgames.¬† You don't play shutout football a lot.
This is a good Michigan State defense and I'm sure they are mad they are giving up 21 points a game, and that's a lot more than their standard but that's the game.  We have to find ways to give it to Tevin and just run inside or outside.  You have to have balance and defend it deep.  We had potentially three huge plays the other day that we are not making in the perimeter, receiver, that they are there with the next quarterback.  You have got to keep your offense going.
You have to stay in attack mode and that's what we'll keep emphasizing different things because of the talent level of the quarterback in his youth, but you have to stay in attack mode.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WILSON:¬† One, he's a good player for sure, but some of it, too, needs to be a credit to the other guys.¬† He ain't doing it by himself.¬† One of the best plays I ever saw in my life is his long 45‑yard touchdown the other day where he ran towards their bench and Nick Stoner had a guy playing man‑to‑man and took off running, as fast as he would run, as he's running for the track team and took a guy 50 yards with him.¬† And we had players going to celebrate with Nick Stoner, because it was a phenomenal effort.¬† Where he comes out, he sees the guy‑‑ if you get a chance to see the play on TV, we just showed it to our team like this is a phenomenal may.
So if I'm Tevin I'm grateful and thankful for that.  I'm thankful that we are going to continue to throw the ball.  I'm grateful I've got my second team tailback and third team tailback playing for me because I can play hard.  It's a group effort.
When you're running the ball decently like we are, it's a little bit of an attitude mind‑set and it's a group, and to me it shows physical maturity and it shows physical development and shows development of your team, if you can play six games and you're running the ball for 300 yard a game bauds that ain't easy,¬† and we are not doing it with the wishbone and running every play.¬† Tevin is a huge part of it and he is a special, special player.
As a freshman, he worked like that guy Peterson did at Oklahoma when he was a young guy.  He had a phenomenal work ethic and really high talent.  But his work ethic and the type of kid he is might be better than the talent and the talent is pretty good because you all see that but we see it on Tuesday.  You come to practice, he practices that way.
Matter of fact sometimes in practice, I toot the whistle quicks, because he gets rolling and he gets going, because he is a tremendous player, tremendous kid, one of the best players‑‑ he's good.¬† And if he's really good, his team will keep playing for him and keep getting the ball back and the defense will keep making plays and we can win games.
And with our passing games when we do get open on those shots and we have the ability to catch the ball and throw the ball we'll make some of those big one‑on‑one plays because with what's going on there, he's got a chance to have a huge impact for our football team.¬† Because he's setting a standard of play in button nose (ph) he's setting a standard of play, how you prepare how you practice and how you play.¬† That's what it looks like.
And as a coach, that's a lot more than any film session I can ever have.¬† And so I respect him, appreciate him, and we just look for, I think we are just‑‑ and not that he's going to have any big stat day‑‑ we are going to play a couple defensive‑‑ shoot, this defense, I think Penn State is second or third in the country in rush d.¬† We are going to play some really good‑‑ Michigan is playing out standing run d.¬† You look at the Big Ten, defense, there's some really good run defenses and we are going to be limited because of quarterback.¬† But it's going to take a team effort for him to keep doing what he's doing.
I think Tevin will tell you, he's got some good teammates, so we love him, he's pretty good, I think he would tell you he appreciates what his team does for him.  We have to keep building that thing.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WILSON:  Only 60 plays, and so by the time you do your throws and then, he made the comment, he's good to go.  When he comes out, it's because he needs a blow and when he taps his arm, it's the old basketball guy putting his fist up.
So his deal, when he's good, there's not one play on our offense we don't do because Tevin is in the game, we don't call it.  You want to be run and pass and protection route.  He's our best player, and he has the green light to go but again, he goes hard enough, he gets gas and he needs some blows. And he trains right, lives his life right, no issues, except he sells out.  He leaves it out there every day. 

Q.¬† Command of the team‑‑
COACH WILSON:  That's a cliché.  Instead of coach speak, we have media speak now.

Q.¬† What kind of a leader‑‑
COACH WILSON:¬† I mean, well‑raised kid, kind of a tough environment, great strong mom and dad, good worker, good vibe.¬† He's young and he's got a lot of the right values.¬† That's why when we looked at physically we thought he could but we thought he had the makeup of a quarterback, the makeup of a winner and same thing with Zander.¬† He's a young guy that's got some self‑esteem and self‑confidence and they are different in their deal but they are both, for young guys, they have got the moxy and things.
When you're young, it's not unusual‑‑ so he's not going to have the big 'team talk,' but I think Chris has the makeup of not just physically but some things‑‑ he throws the ball a lot better than most people think.¬† He has the strongest arm on the team and it's not close.¬† And he can deliver the ball and we have to continue to communicate and see‑‑ he's got a makeup that to me is pretty impressive there.¬† He'll be okay.

Q.¬† Zander in the season ‑‑ inaudible.
COACH WILSON:¬† Well I didn't know if Nate had his shoulder separation.¬† He could be back in a week ‑‑ because we had an open date coming up.
Now, if you know, like two years ago, we had a kid break a leg and you knew he was gone so in that game, the freshman, Nate, played because you know okay we are going to play‑‑ I didn't know until yesterday for sure Nate was out.¬† If we had known that Saturday‑‑ at the same time, we are in a two‑score game and down in the scoring zone trying to score with a minute and a half to go so the game is still kind of in flux so we thought that was the best guy.
When we talked about it earlier in the game the deal was we were going to ride Chris until we know.¬† So if we need Zander or want to get him‑‑ there's a chance because you're going to need him so we'll see.¬† We did it a couple years ago but that time wasn't, like he wasn't ready or prepared as much as he was‑‑ he's kind of been the third, although he throws it pretty good, he's kind of the third.¬† We just didn't know the significance of the injury.
We potentially, although the game got close enough the way the defense set her down, we potentially would have said Saturday he would have played if we would have known Nate was completely‑‑ at the time it was a separated shoulder.
But once you do the MRI and it's shoulder and it's going to take four or five months where he's out, if you know that Saturday, might have gotten him in Saturday, maybe not but that comment was made, like, hey, is it just a separated shoulder and is it grade one, grade two, and because it's non‑throwing you might get him back here in two weeks three weeks or if it's surgical he's out and we'll have Zander in the mix and bud row has been red‑shirted so they are all available and we'll use them accordingly.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WILSON:  A little bit.  And same time, Jay Shaun (ph) sees it every day, so he's used to it.  It's like you give reps to your first team quarterback but I think we've proven around here that we can play with more than one quarterback.
So we know how to practice quarterback reps.  We've had quarterbacks kind of play good and right now, we have not played as good.  Our receiver play has not been as consistent and our quarterback has not been as good as it needs to be, and that's a challenge as we kind of keep those guys coming.  And touch is a part of it.
There's a difference between throwing the ball and passing the ball and Chris can throw a football.  But there's a little bit, like I say, as a passer, where you touch it up and you understand without lobbing how to take a little bit off of something.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WILSON:¬† Yeah, I mean, we are limited with how much we can do by hours.¬† Department‑wide every athlete has an iPad and our guys are able to boot up our system and watch video 24/7 if they want to.¬† They have iPads they use for academics and note taking and it's also a video tool.¬† Kid doesn't need to come in here.
Kevin Johnson can put together a videotape and say, these are your third down coverages if you get a chance to take a look at it.¬† Everything is kind much at their fingertips.¬† But we said a week ago, we have a great business school but if you just show up for class, you have to put in some time and the quarterback has probably got to put in more time than anybody and I can't make it mandatory because we got a 20‑hour rule but the kids those kids got to put in time, and they know it and they typically do.

Q.¬† The way you played the last three quarters ‑‑
COACH WILSON:¬† Well, I didn't like the big plays we gave up early and then to settle down and be a little bit structurally clean.¬† We have got to continue.¬† We had some third down situations where we could have got some stops and didn't.¬† We didn't come close to getting turnovers which was a concern.¬† We, quote, talk about it, but that's the hugest thing in games is turnovers, all of a sudden we have three but really, and it's unfortunate we have three‑‑ one had a huge impact because it was a pick six, but the real deal is we have to create plays.
And we talk, talk, talk; how can you‑‑ going into last week, and I don't know if this is accurate, but I was told this, I thought we were like first in passes defending and fourth going into ‑‑ so how can you defend the pass and not have more interceptions?
Because one, you have to be good enough to be in position and you have to have structure and be coached to be in position.  You're in position, now make the play and not just break it up.  Now sometimes it's a pass break up because I have to rip it out and that's considered a pass break up.
But we are in better position and the opportunities are there but we have to cash in, and again you can talk and talk and talk.  My thing with this football team, are they pleased with what they are putting on tape because the one comment that I heard one of our players say that I disagree with strongly is when someone said, that wasn't us.
Well, if you go out there and play like that, that is you and you've seen what this team is capable of and we are trying to hold them to, that is your standard and we'll keep our consistency and continue to try to coach better and put them in better positions, call better plays, call better defensive schemes, make better adjustments.
So as coaches, we ain't got anything figured out, we are going to keep coming.  We got a good thing in how we are doing it.  Those kids are in position and are capable of making plays.  They have to start holding themselves to that winning standard that they can make those plays.  You'll need it this week against Michigan State and we'll need it in the Big Ten and every game.
I like where we are at, but we need to keep pushing to make plays.  I don't like the results.  I don't like seniors not getting the wins they deserve.  Their team needs to play better and I expect them to and they can't.  It's just you get a little bit off, you're margin all, you get a little bit on, you're good.  A couple plays, and again, they are there.  They have got to make them.  Ain't nobody giving them way.
We use the analogy of people out of work.  Somebody ain't going to come knock on your door and give you a job.  Ain't nobody giving us a victory.  They ain't handing out success for our football team.  We have worked hard, we're in position and you have to go get it.  You have to go do it and they are capable of doing it.  That's a choice winning teams make and we are in position to do so, and they have to put it on themselves because they are capable of playing very, very well and they will need to this week against a really outstanding Michigan State team.

Q.  When is the surgery?
COACH WILSON:¬† I think this Thursday.¬† Sometimes those knees have some swelling and it takes a while.¬† I think it's during this week.¬† I think it will be‑‑ we'll know, probably will he be back for spring ball?
Unfortunately for him if it happens during the first four games there's a redshirt year, after the fourth game, there's not.  For him, this is his junior year.  Like we shared with the team, you can live with that now.  I'm sorry you got hurt but you can live if you're five games and a quarter of play, quarter and a half of play, you can live with that.  Because like last week, Roundtree, Wednesday's practice tore his Achilles.  He's a senior as you live your life, I tell these guys, when you live your life, you have to live with what's going on.
So we have a great thing going on with the environment, things in place, university commitment.  You have to live with your performances.  This team is very, very capable when it performs and we are going to keep pushing those guys and building those guys up because they are good enough players and there's enough good things going on for this team to have some success.
Don't like being 3‑3, we are better than that but at the same time we are 3‑3 and we are playing a tremendous opponent this week for home coming and that ain't changing either.¬† We need to have a good week and do our best to get at this team that we are playing and we are going to keep doing it this year.¬† It's a group that's worked hard but they ain't giving nothing away and I need these guys hungry before I go give them some stuff.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH WILSON:¬† 2‑14 the last go, you guys reported about it.¬† You want to do some Heisman voting for Tevin you guys got a tool, it's always an instrument, you're public like right now, so if you want to promote him, feel free to.¬† That's a part of it.¬† One of the trophy games of the league, they have had a good run of it right now.
Our last win is, what, 2006?¬† So they have a nice long run.¬† Didn't play them every year but since '93, I think they are 2‑14 in that series.¬† They have controlled it and they have this platoon and we need to go get that thing, and if we don't play hard and play well, they will keep it.¬† But if we play hard and play well, it will be a great thing to have for our seniors and for our fans.¬† It's a trophy game, but again, if we want those guys to keep it, they can keep it up there.¬† They are a great team.¬† It ain't going to be an easy game but we look forward to a good week, though.

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