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October 1, 2016

Kevin Wilson

Bloomington, Indiana

Michigan State - 21, Indiana - 24

COACH WILSON: Proud of the team. That was a hard win. We had a thought process early in the week that we were just going to try everything we could to get it into the fourth quarter. Didn't know if we could, but that was an important part of our style in the first half. Defensively, we hung in there and we didn't try to take a lot of risks early, because last week we did, kind of burned us a little bit. So in the second half got a little more aggressive, didn't manage a few things well.

But our kids played hard, it was a good win, proud of them. Lot of things to improve on. It was good for our team. We've been in those games and we just talked all week about trying to play as hard as we could and take it down the stretch playing hard. Just look at the end to see if it would be enough and we were lucky enough it was tonight.

Lot of respect for Michigan State, Mark and his team. You don't beat that team if you're not playing kind of okay in all three areas, because they're a prideful program, great players and great tradition. So that was a good team win for us. We ran it pretty good down the stretch. We stopped some of that run a little bit better. We had a couple sacks on the quarterbacks and couple things that helped us, so good win. Happy for the team.

Q. On what gave the team the confidence to come out and get a win tonight?
COACH WILSON: Again, what comes first, the confidence or the winning? The more confident you are, the more you win, the more you win, the more confident you are. Also can't take things for granted. But we talked about this week about not winning the game, but we just talked about it got really simple about the process of taking care of your body and prepping hard and believing in yourself, and taking each play and making each play a one-play play and then stack them up.

So for the most part, we weren't as stiff an offense tonight. We tried to slow down tonight, not be as frantic. Our defense gave up a few things, played well. We didn't talk a lot about the outcome before the game. We talked about the preparation. We talked about how to go play the game, trying to get into the fourth quarter.

We felt in year's past we got to those games and didn't think anything was wrong, just the other team played a little harder and better. So we just asked our guys, we talked about making plays. I think we said word for word, if you try to make a play, you're not going to. If you just play hard, the plays will come. And defensively, those sacks that got them into -- that's probably as good a thing as happened to us all night was those sacks that got them into that long-yardage situation.

Q. On halftime adjustments:
COACH WILSON: We did talk to our guys about, at halftime, about we were playing as a team, and we had some guys, we had the same holding call, almost similar to the week before. We had the same guy jump offsides and that that needed to stop. That's a credit to the kids. I did think early some of those calls were kind of a lot going one way, but whatever. They happen, they happen, you know, the law of averages. Rules of averages, it evens out. At the end of the game, there is a call that they call a guy fro leaping.

And I think that shows the credit of -- of course everyone complains when you don't get calls. Human element is part are of our game, and typically we're always pointing fingers and blaming people. There was a call tonight again that was a good call, and that's the kind of referees we have in our league and the kind of people. Fortunately for us it gave us a chance to win the game.

But you don't know. We're still going to go play double overtime if they don't call that because we missed the field goal there right. I didn't know we had the penalty, that's good.

Q. On kicking the game-winning field goal on third down:
COACH WILSON: No, we talked about on third down, if we have a bad snap, we're going to fall on it and we kick it again. And I said, did I take the timeout or was that the one before? No, that was the first. Same thing happened last week. We go up there and it's like we're numb to the 25-second clock. We actually had to take a timeout which allowed them to get lined up and get a block on us. So, anyway...

Q. On whether this is the biggest win in his tenure at IU:
COACH WILSON: I don't know. I think we've been, you know, I don't know if it stands right because they never put it on the Big Ten Network, but I think we're the only Big Ten team that's ever beaten a ranked SEC team. I think. They never put that on the network because it's played on the SEC Network. It's always reruns of all the other games in the history of the conference.

I think we've had some nice wins, and I don't think our guys have felt like they didn't belong. So it's pretty calm locker room. They were excited about winning. I just think they were elated at the end of the game that we played as hard as we could and made a couple plays at the end of the game to finish, and that's all we talked about. Can we get to the end of the quarter, play hard and see if it's good enough, and tonight it was.

Q. On Mitchell Paige’s touchdown pass to quarterback Richard Lagow:
COACH WILSON: It was good. Took a shot on the one play too. We shoot, the one play we scored on Diamont drew up, and he said, Coach, we need to do this. And I even credited him after the game because I've seen some teams where guys aren't playing, get disengaged at the half. Zander had his best week of practice. And Ricky's touchdown with Zander said why don't we consider doing this? As a matter of fact, he brought it up and interrupted our video session because he wanted to talk about it one more time and I had to kind of blow him off. Because as soon as he started talking, I said, you just want to talk about your play that we call Poker, as a matter of fact.

So, anyway, that was good for Richard. I did have to yell at him for his touchdown reception because he was getting a little out of whack like last week, but he's growing. Tonight the surrounding players and coaches did better for him, and he benefited from everybody else.

Q. On his aggressive play-calling:
COACH WILSON: I don't know. Yeah, I don't know. We had a couple good ones tonight. We missed a couple. I thought early because we were so conservative in the first half. We didn't want to let it get away, so we were kind of playing it close to the vest. Early that one drive was going, I thought because we ran it, I thought that they could pop that little pass on him and I went for it on fourth down, but I thought the defense could stop him.

And even though that didn't work today, you should have kicked it. Well, you've seen where we were kicking field goals. I don't know if that's a guarantee right now. The thing that bummed me, the defense got a stop and the offense got the ball right back in scoring position and did nothing. Actually gave them the ball in good field position. That was the only issue in our whole game of anything that happened was we made an aggressive deal. We counted on our defense, and they came through and the offense didn't. That poker and Andy in the same deal. I'm not even poking him.

Q. On running misdirection plays at multiple times in the game:
COACH WILSON: We've had that in, yeah. As a matter of fact, that was actually something that I said on the first drive. I said, no, we're going to need it later, save it. You know what I mean? You can only go to the well so many times.

Q. Do you ever consider taking the ball first when you win the coin toss in overtime?
COACH WILSON: No, no. As a matter of fact, I was mad at the TV guys because they took a break. Because I brought Marcus Oliver up because he was going to be the guy to tell them what to do, and he's sitting there totally worn out, but there was enough break with the TV deal.

But the deal is, even if they're worn out, you know what to do as an offense, no matter what happens. You know it's four-down territory. You've got to go for four downs. You know it's field goal wins or you know you need a field goal to tie. It just changed up. So that's a no-brainer.

Q. On the performance of Tyler Natee:
COACH WILSON: Yeah, you know, he got a slight knee that held him out a couple weeks in the preseason. So he's kind of getting back. Tell you, you want his big toe in there because he's a big old load. He's pushing upper 270s. But when the game's on you got a freshman his first real deal and it's like, okay, you're sitting there.

But my thing was like, hey, I'm just going to trust your gut. There are some things that happened last week that kind of got my attention about, hey, just quit worrying and let our guys go play. Put together a good plan, quit worrying about the defense. You know, last week when it's a 12-point game we had talked if we don't do something really fast, we had planned to call timeouts. But mathematically, odds are if I would have went for it on third and fourth down, we'd have a greater chance of winning. Now the deal is is your defense going to stop them? And I shared it with the defense.

I didn't know if it was the old D or the new D. And I told them tonight, I was going to play the like new D. That's why I went for it on 4th and 2 early. Most people say I'm going to try to score touchdowns because you need touchdowns in a game like this, and I thought our defense could get stops.

I told the kids at halftime, it's the first time since I've been here, we were playing as a team, and that was a very good team win. Appreciate you being here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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