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October 3, 2015

Kevin Wilson

Bloomington, Indiana

Ohio State - 34
Indiana - 27

KEVIN WILSON: Good effort game by a lot of people, and we were fortunate to have a chance, and just disappointed that we didn't make enough plays. The kids played very, very hard, and I thought both teams played -- you look at I think Devine Redding had 30 carries for 45 yards, I mean, so they played great defense, and they popped a few runs with their running back who's a tremendous player, and we laid him out and attacked. You know, in the game, their ability to make a few big plays and our inability, they had a few turnovers that helped us, which we appreciate, but at the end of the day they're a great team, and our team is getting better, and we've just got to keep working hard. We've got another tough challenge now in Big Ten ball, going to Penn State, which is a tough place and great place to go. I thought our kids played hard. I thought they'd have a chance to have a good going, and like I say, I like that part, and we're just going to keep working to get better.

Q. What's the status of Nathan and Jordan?
KEVIN WILSON: Just ankle, a minor deal. Nate got -- it was actually last week, a little gimpy and just kind of got where he wasn't mobile. He could have played. He wanted to come back in. Jordan tried to go. I think ankle sprain is the severity. I don't know.

Q. Talk about the play of Zander to come in and (inaudible)?
KEVIN WILSON: Yeah, Zander, you know, he's got different strengths, you know, and weaknesses. You know, it's not a different offense, but you favor things that are more, quote, apropos for him, I guess. But he's a competitor, got a lot of heart, teammates rally with him, and he's better than he was a year ago. And Danny Cameron is better, and Boudreau, we're a better quarterback, we've got a good tailback and a good quarterback that can't go against a good team, and the next guys are coming out and playing to give us a chance, and that's a sign of your program growing, and again, I'm pleased about that, and we want to keep -- that to me is a part of program development. We've got to keep working at it.

Q. Do you expect them both to be good for next week?
KEVIN WILSON: Yeah, you know, they both tried to go. I think it'll be how productive. They're both good enough players. They don't have to practice every play. I do think timing is always a part of Nate's deal, so we'll see. He wanted to go back in the last couple drives. I just didn't feel he was as mobile, and thought -- we were in a one-possession game, we could work it. Like I say, we go down to 1st and goal and give ourselves a chance, so we played it right, and just weren't good enough to execute like we needed to to make a play.

Q. Why did they break the three long runs on you?
KEVIN WILSON: Just missed some runs. They did some nice stuff, in their unbalanced formations where they get you in some formations where if you're not communicating properly, it's a simple one-back power play, just blocking down, pull the backside apart, really good running back that runs it well. One time we didn't tackle, the last one, but the other two times we just didn't, quote, structurally fit the play properly, and they blocked us, and he's a good player.

Q. What did you think about the play of the defensive line as a whole today?
KEVIN WILSON: They played hard. I mean, we got seven, eight, nine guys counting the bandits are going to play, so I thought there was a few times where we allowed them in the first half a couple times -- I think to stand around in a pocket a little too long, but I think they got some good pressure on them, and except for the long runs they popped -- I know he had a 75-yarder, what were the other runs?

Q. 65 and --
KEVIN WILSON: So 55 and 65 is 130, and 75 is 205, so the rest of the day he's got, what, 72 yards. And they've got less than 100 except for three plays. Like I said, to me the difference in the game, they turned it over a couple times, gave us a chance, they made three big plays, and we really didn't make one.

Q. Are you still encouraged about the defense?
KEVIN WILSON: Pretty much. Like I said, we gave up 500 yards, but those kids battled. There's a lot to get -- again, this team is a great group of guys to coach. They're just going to play hard. They're going to keep getting better. There's great senior leadership. There's really good buy-in. But we've got to get better. Like I said, we've got to keep moving forward. That was a really good football team, very good. They're No. 1 in the country. They've won a boatload of games in a row, and they're good, and at the same time if we can just get our team a little bit better, and what's pleasing to me is our kids will fight and they can get better, and they know that and we know that, and we're just going to keep working to keep this thing moving along. We've got a lot of football to play, seven more tilts, four on the road in the Big Ten East, which is tough, and we've just got a long battle. We want to keep our guys -- you guys will pull your calendars out and circle, hey, how can we get to six -- I shouldn't say you guys, but we as fans, we circle tomorrow, because we didn't think today was a big day, it was just the next one, and tomorrow is the next day, and we want our kids tomorrow to just come in and keep getting better. That's the motto of how we're living, how we're playing, how we're coaching, and that's the fun thing about this group. We didn't play for this day, just it was Saturday, and we're going to come back and we're going to have a really good Sunday, and we're going to keep moving. Like I say, we might keep stubbing our toe, but we're just going to keep moving, and it's just fun to coach these guys. It beats working for a living.

Q. You had mentioned at the beginning of the season that you had thought about trying to get Zander into some games. Do you see that going forward, even if Nate is healthy, trying to get him in some games?
KEVIN WILSON: Yeah, just, you know, it's difficult, and you know, you get those -- when a guy is in rhythm -- we've tried to make quarterbacks happy, and you can't, and play to strengths, and then you get them a bit all over the place. I mean, Nate is our best guy, and Zander can do some stuff, but we had decided to play him -- like I say, if those games would have been a little bit more in our favor early, we'd have got Zander in game 1, game 2, game 3, just didn't work. We weren't planning to hold him, we decided as preseason went, we weren't going to redshirt him, we were going to play him. He was our best guy and we were going to play him.

Q. On the last possession there, when you had 1st down and 9, you ran the ball and then you got a false start. Were you trying to get a time-out before the false start?
KEVIN WILSON: No. We just glitched. We just messed up.

Q. I imagine that you guys (inaudible) your four wins. Can you see how that would work that way, and is that what's going on in your locker room?
KEVIN WILSON: Well, my thing was, I kind of told them at halftime, even though we talk about you thought you could play, now you know you can. But again, we've had -- we've had the last couple years some games where we've actually played very well. What we have not done is been a consistent team, and this team is a little bit more consistent. There's -- I don't think our team lacks confidence that we can match up and we're mature, we're strong, we've got some depth, we're going to have a lot of issues and things to clean up, but I don't think our team -- I'd say we weren't -- we were doing everything we could to win today, and we didn't, and we're disappointed we didn't win. We congratulate Ohio State on getting the W.

Q. In that respect, is it almost sort of more self-affirming for them, what you had to get through in the second half, not having Jordan, not having Nate, being able to at least get to the point where you're controlling your own destiny to a degree there at the end of the fourth quarter?
KEVIN WILSON: I think you could cosmetically script that and say that. I think those kids thought that a long time ago. I think that's why some things have happened. Our guys just kind of keep playing. I think that's why we haven't gotten rattled. I think we like our -- we've recruited better, we've got more depth. We're still young. Every team has got issues. You've got strengths and weaknesses. Everybody does. But we've got a lot of strengths and we're just trying to keep building on it, and we've got some really strong seniors. Mangieri, Shaw, Sudfeld, Corsaro and Cooper, Jake Reed. I mean, there's just some guys that go out there every day and set a great example, and because they set a great example, I think we were passed -- I don't think they think, oh, what's wrong. It's just they think, don't play, next guy is going to do his job. I think that's why the kicking game has gotten better. We like to say we've weathered some storms defensively, and offensively we've got to keep coming along.

Q. On the fake punt, what was the thinking behind that?
KEVIN WILSON: Well, we had something up, and unfortunately the way we done it, we had the ability to go a couple directions, and we kind of practiced it in a direction where all of a sudden we got a look and we called it to good the other way, and unfortunately it just didn't get communicated, and basically Eric just busted, just busted on the right, and we blocked -- it was kind of set up and he just made a mistake. But we also practiced it to go to the right side of the field. They lined up and said, hey, it's to the boundary, let's take it that way, and we just messed up, and it was really our fault as coaches. It was there, but the way we had practiced it and choreographed it, we didn't have a chance to clean it up. It was just an error on our part. We put him in a bad situation.

Q. And Donavan Hale on kickoff returns, is that -- is there something wrong with --
KEVIN WILSON: Well, Devine Redding got an ankle sprain or a knee or something he missed -- he got rolled up on a kick, so he missed the last.

Q. Devine?

Q. Brookins.
KEVIN WILSON: Yeah, Ricky Brookins. What did I say? Brookins got rolled up and something was out, so he was the next guy on the return deal.

Q. The last play of the game, was that a mis-snap or --
KEVIN WILSON: I was looking at the coverage, all of a sudden I saw him scrambling, so I don't know where the snap placement was, and so we just -- we dialed it up, had an option, and all of a sudden he was scrambling for his life. I got smoked on this. Did you see that? Ran right into me. Made a nice little hit on the quarterback, shoved him right, I went right in the kicking net, like the bang-bang out-of-bounds pass -- I was looking for a late hit flag, I didn't get it, so I didn't see the last play so somebody told me. I have a bruise right there on my knuckle where he got me.

Q. Had you scored a touchdown would you have gone for two?
KEVIN WILSON: Yeah, we talked about it. We stood in time-outs and think about if we tied it up early, we would go for one. If it was late, we were considering going for two. We thought we could -- we'd had a conversation about the 10-minute mark, if we score early, we're going to tie. If we score inside of 2, we need to consider going for two, have a two-point play, have it ready. We hadn't made up our mind but we had talked that direction.

Q. As far as the defense goes, you mentioned the yardage, but --
KEVIN WILSON: And I think with the injuries, it was kind of like we needed to, hey, what is it. That was kind of the thought process.

Q. When you guys (inaudible) on their first eight possessions, what was it that working (inaudible)?
KEVIN WILSON: D-line -- again, structurally -- you know, D-line, some penetration. Like I said, I do think our line of scrimmage play can be reasonably good. I didn't think we were very good at our edge positions today in the offensive game. Tight ends sometimes were both -- their other defensive end kind of hurt us. But the way the defense played the front, just had a good beat on them. Played hard.

Q. Do you expect Darius to be back this week?
KEVIN WILSON: No comments on it. Anything else, guys?

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