home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 19, 2015

Kevin Wilson

Bloomington, Indiana

Western Kentucky - 35
Indiana - 38

COACH WILSON: It was a tough game and our guys really fought hard. Nice to see our guys keep battling in what we're doing. We've got a lot of improvements that we've made but a lot we can keep making. Again, there was a lot of ball in that game.

Early we fall behind, but I think settling down. I think the goal line stand was pretty nice, certainly huge, and then to take it 99 yards after that, that was very outstanding. I think we had an interception down there tight that led to a 96-yard touchdown drive. So great responses, great stops, great responses.

Another pick by John Crawford there which was awesome. Blocked field goal by Nick Mangieri. Punt return, Mitchell Paige. You're in a one-possession game, that's why, again, we're up 10 and we went for 7. That's why when we had the ball we were running boot passes. We needed to keep the gas on because we knew we needed to score and we needed to score a touchdown, so very fortunate.

I really appreciate the way the guys keep battling. Give a lot of respect to that team because they were awfully good. I think somebody had them rated top 30 in the country in one of those magical poles and that's very deserving.

Again, proud of our kids. What excites me is they're buying in and they're getting better, and there is so much we can keep working on. So it's good to have a nice victory and we'll keep moving forward and we'll have a great challenge in Salem.

Q. Talk about how you had the 3rd quarter success?
COACH WILSON: I'd like to tell you something magical. We don't go in there and yell. We just say, go play one play, next play. I'd like to say we're doing something fancy in practice, we're not. I do think we have a strong team, physically strong. I think we're mentally getting stronger. I think as the game goes on I think we gain a little momentum as we play.

I think also in this day and age it's very easy as coaches that we can get in the way and there is a bunch of clutter. We have way too many formations and concepts and blitzes and coverage. If you're not careful, you get all over the place. Once you start playing, you start seeing how they're really attacking you. You watch three, four, five games and every week's different in how people attack you, I think sometimes it's a matter of us as coaches -- I think the players settle in and get stronger -- I think as coaches it's eliminating clutter. Really, what do you need and what do you get to?

And I think our coaches and players have been together enough now we understand some things and we can get to some things. I'd like to say it's something earth shattering. It's not. It's a little maturity. I think it's a little elimination of things at halftime, getting in a good rhythm and just plain work.

Q. Can you talk about how Howard's day?
COACH WILSON: Yeah, I think he gets stronger. I think the line is pretty good. I think the O-line is good, and the tight end group, we've got a bunch of those guys out there playing football. We had almost 60 or 59 rushes. I'm sure Nick's got a scramble or two in 27 passes. So when you play a game in college football spread and you're 50-plus rushing attempts and 30 or so passing attempts, that shows that you've got a little bit of rhythm going there.

So I thought they started very much in a run-oriented offense that set up their pass. I thought we got going when we really ran the ball coming down the one-yard line and really got into some rhythm. I think that just kind of transitioned our coaches' thoughts and we got into a good sync.

So Jordan's strong. He's matured. It's kind of how he played last year. He's a guy that gets stronger as he goes. Also think that's a sign of Coach Hill, those fourth and fifth-year O-linemen. I think you keep those fourth-year, fifth-year tight ends. Those guys kind of wear on you a little bit and that's good to see.

Q. Can you talk about the adjustment in tempo?
COACH WILSON: Well, sometimes I think we can go fast and get some missed alignments, and we scored a touchdown going fast. We got them in a busted coverage. We weren't quick enough. They didn't get it out, and it was a freebie. Sometimes you get some negative plays going fast because there are a bunch of funky looks you get, per se.

Just as the game went along, there was a time when we started huddling. I think our former -- we changed some verbiage, but we thought they were on to some things. It's one of the reasons we huddled. Don't let them hear the call. Again, we're just trying to max it out.

We are a better team when we stay in rhythm though. So even though we huddle, we still didn't try to hold it, hold it, hold it and then come out. We don't like to walk to the line. So even though we huddle up and try to use the clock, we didn't want to get in non-attack mode. So we have a way of doing that. We hold up, let 20 seconds go off and then come up and we're kind of playing in our rhythm if that makes sense.

That's why those boot passes, there were two minutes left in the game where everybody says, hey, what if you drop the ball? If you run it inside, they've got too many dudes, you hit it 1, 2, 3, and Jordan was getting 4, 5, 6 because he was just running hard.

Q. Talk about the defense tonight?
COACH WILSON: Yeah, pretty good. In this day and age of college ball the way they came out and shut them down in the third quarter, gave up a couple big plays, that's going to happen. I'd like to see us wear our body language a little bit better when it's not going well. I think sometimes I'm watching Oklahoma and Tulsa, and it goes from 31-10, to 31-24 in 15 seconds because they bomb it. Onside kick, Hail Mary, boom.

In this day and age, you've got to snap it. That's why when the old school says run the clock out, I was telling K.J. you've got to go score. If they would have had a timeout, we would have tried to score, but we didn't need to in the end. So take a knee. How about in a couple weeks everybody says, hey, you should run the clock down and kick the field goal. Anybody watch the Giants the other night? That worked out pretty good. You've got to score.

Our deal was we had to go score. This was a game that you need to score touchdowns. We needed to get turnovers, which we did. So, again, I think the defense, you can skew those numbers. It's a better defensive crowd, and that was an offense -- that kid's going to throw the ball in two seconds. He's throwing it to dynamic players. I didn't expect it to be a shootout, but I didn't expect it to be easy.

I think our defense, a lot of improving they can do, but I don't dislike the way they played. You can look at that all you want. What are we? Eight or something on third down? What are they? You've got two turnovers. And they're 5 of 11 on third down, is that right? We're 8 of 12. You're winning the turnover deal. They throw the ball 46 times, you know, so they've got 26 rushes for 64 yards or 84? So, we've got them one dimensional. When you get somebody one dimensional, you've got a chance.

We give up a couple plays to the young DBs, and those young DBs make plays, and we've got to keep playing with them. It's kind of fun.

Q. What did you think of Crawford?
COACH WILSON: He's talented. He's long, tall, range, he's played a lot of sports. He's played a lot of ball. He wasn't playing with his thumbs. He's out in the backyard playing basketball, football. He's got good awareness and good feel. He's played sports, and because of that you get those kids down south and they play -- you get kids that play multiple sports and they're used to playing ball. He's a good ballplayer. He's a great athlete and a really good ballplayer.

Q. On that last drive, what happened?
COACH WILSON: We thought we needed to score. So it wasn't like just try to get a first down. That's why a couple of those runs were huge by Jordan. We huddled up a couple and milked the clock, but we didn't lose our rhythm. I mean, that was big.

We were trying to score though. We weren't trying to run it out. We were trying to score. We were trying to take time and trying to score. You cannot sit on the ball with a team like that. We didn't get in the end zone, but we've got problems and we're going to try.

Q. What about the senior quarterback?
COACH WILSON: On that throw we talked before the drive, hey, we're going to do this, on third down, we're going to do this right now. That was a tempo play because we thought we could go tempo. We changed the formation, and we said if we do this play, we've got a chance to get a single shot to the boundary either to Ricky or Simmie, and then of course good protection and then Nate delivered. So, again, Nate's pretty good.

I don't know necessarily how many great players are on offense, but when you put them all together collectively and when they play together collectively, it's a veteran line, good tight ends. There's good skill outside. Getting better. Backs are strong. It's a good quarterback. It's pretty good.

We were complaining about how bad the offense was doing. I think we've got the leading receiver, leading rusher, second quarterback in the conference. It's nice our standards are getting to that we're high in stats and everybody complains, that's a sign of our program growing. We kind of like that. We take that as a positive challenge and we embrace that. Our kids like that. That's a lot of fun.

Q. What's your thought on winning three close games?
COACH WILSON: I think one, the way we prepare, but two, the we've talked about it's not the way you practice, but the way you bring it. I think a couple kids told me even though we've got a bunch of good kids, this is the best senior leadership because they've kind of been with us all the time and they totally get it.

Like Corsaro told me after practice, hey, man, you know why I kicked that field goal. He goes, Coach, I'm the only guy here crazy enough that likes you. I've got you. But those guys are in sync with us. I think part of it is our seniors, our leaders, Marcus Oliver all those guys that do a lot for us are totally invested with us and they have no second doubts. They see it; they like it.

I think the way last year ended, they knew it could have gone the other direction, even though we only won one game down the stretch. The way those kids battled, they came in here feeling we're kind of close and we had some bad breaks. In time there's going to be good breaks. Let's keep playing hard and make good breaks. It's good to be 3-0, but we've got a tremendous challenge. So we'll get over this one quickly and get on the Wake.

Q. How did the special teams unit do?
COACH WILSON: Again, you watch them play and you knew you needed to play well on all three phases. They had a great returner averaging 44 yards a return, so the kickoffs were awesome. I mean, you just took that out of the game.

We talked a lot about not punting the ball a lot. We needed to go for it on fourth down, and of course the way the offense worked, the punting game wasn't an issue. But when you're going to play really good -- again, that team, if you can believe those rankings, that's potentially the third highest rated team on our schedule, if you believe certain rankings. Whatever those star values of rankings are, whoever ranks those. So that being said, we knew we needed to be at our best in all three phases.

We talked about it. We made improvement from week one to week two, and that was a great challenge on all three phases. Great returner, we won the return game. We won the turnover game. They came in plus four or five in turnovers. We won the turnover. We outrushed them. It was a physical game. That was good to see. We win the second half.

There are a lot of things you talk about that you need to do to be a winning team, and that was nice. This team's good enough to keep going. Now you're going on the road and you're going to play four Big Ten teams on the road. And now you've got to bring that energy on the road, and you've got to create that energy on the road, and it's the same field but you've got to learn to do that.

So it will be interesting to see how far this team wants to go. They've worked hard, they've prepared hard. Now we're going to see how hard they want to push themselves against a really good team.

Dutra played today. Fuchs played. You saw that. Injury-wise we're fine. Depth chart we're good. We played a bunch of guys. What else?

All these things you guys -- all those Twitter things you guys say. Okay. What else? We're good.

Q. How did you feel the team did taking advantage of the opportunities they got?
COACH WILSON: I'd like to say that we're sitting here and really stressing things. All we stressed about is all that matters is the next play. I really thought Jonathan Crawford started celebrating too much and it's a ten-point game. Heck of a play. That's awesome, and I love the energy.

So I don't want to lose the energy. We just had a very energetic locker room that was awesome. I never want to snip that energy. But there is so much football to play. Until it says double zeros and they blow the gun, you've got to get on to the next play. When it's good or when it's bad, you have to keep playing, and that's all we're preaching.

Now, they're mature. I'd like to say we make a big chart of, hey, every time we turn, yes, those are great stats to look at. Our stat is we talk about you've got to play the next play. All that matters is what's next.

Now, you know, we're sitting 3-0, and what's next is Wake Forest, and it's going to be a good challenge and we need a good week. We'll take it day by day and have a good one.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297