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October 29, 2016

Kevin Wilson

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 42, Maryland - 36

COACH WILSON: Kids really fought hard. It was a really good team we played. They came in playing well. They had over 500 yards. We did a lot better on offense, which is critical, and we got some run game going. (We) Took a lot of pressure off of the quarterback with that. Finished a couple drives early. We can always call and execute better.

But it's a good win. It's a tough win. A great group of guys in there. I think the way they battled the last couple games down the stretch, there's some talent. They prepare good and there is a lot of fight.

It is nice to come out and get a good start, not play perfect, but play a little bit better for four quarters against what I think is a real good team. It was a good W. Our guys needed it. It was fun.

We'll enjoy it. But we come back tomorrow. Going to Rutgers on the road. Will be tough. They had an open date themselves. That is going to be a tough challenge.

Good to get a win. That's all it was. It was just one win. We need to get many more.

Q. On Tyler Natee getting some snaps at quarterback and being effective:
COACH WILSON: Just the thoughts of Tyler (Natee) played quarterback, you know, so it was just trying to get some running game in his direction.

Again, Zander has been really good. There's some limitations he has with some of the passing. There's some limitations Richard has with running.

Because of Sam Bradford, because of stuff, everybody thinks we want a tall guy. I'd love to have a dude that can run for 150 a game, throw for 300. It's just so hard to defend the run and pass, especially the quarterback.

But, again, Zander made a great throw to Ricky on one of the deals. Tyler was on a bootleg pass that he didn't throw. We'll keep working on that. That's not the answer. That can get schemed up, that can get defended. We will have to stay ahead of it.

We just have to find some running game in the weeks ahead, but it was a good one tonight. Same guys that couldn't block. We just gave them a little bit better chance.

Again, credit to the kids. We put some stuff in. They had to execute it, and they did. That's a credit to those guys. We didn't have anything. We just kind of wrinkled up stuff we do. They executed it pretty good.

Q. On getting the running game going today:
COACH WILSON: Well, you got to. You need to. Again, when you got some running game going, all that stuff's easy. When you got several weeks where you are playing good defenses, you can't find the running game or you don't create it, when you're not blocking, or you don't scheme it up and get it right, you're playing one-dimensional, it's a lot easier to be defended.

The key to our games over time has been finding a run game. Fortunately we did today. That was huge.

Q. On the defense getting some takeaways today at key moments:
COACH WILSON: We had the one interception. Did we get a fumble recovery? Created a couple turnovers for us. They were good in third down conversions. Less than 50. We'd like to be a little bit better.

They were pretty dynamic on offense with their run game. They worked us pretty good. I think, again, our offense, we had 83 plays, they had 84. Our offense was helping us a little bit. We could have kept them off the field. What, they had four and a half more minutes of time of possession on one play.

So, you know, been nice to have had a few more plays on offense. We had 34 first downs. I think the offense played well helping the D. The D had a good challenge tonight. The couple receivers were fast in space. They had some foul balls they got away with. They missed a couple guys.

But those running backs are really dynamic. Got to give those guys some credit. That one kid had a 66-yard run. Our defense had their hands full.

In college football, you can play really good defense, give up 30, 35 points if you're not careful. I thought we could play better, but we played good D tonight. Got to be careful.

Had some foolish penalties, negative things, we got to take away.

Q. On OL Dan Feeney getting closer to full speed this week after a week of practice:
COACH WILSON: We had a lot better week in practice. After playing last week, Dan was a lot more assertive, just practicing like he used to. One of those plays where he pulls, 50 yards downfield, just running downfield. His comment Thursday night at the captains meeting, he said, Wednesday was the most fun I've had in a long time.

I think having some fun, having the energy. In practice, they practice that way. Everybody practices hard. But like we said a long time ago when we started here, we wanted to learn how to have fun working hard.

One day Marcus Oliver said, Practices are fun. I thought Dan had a lot of fun this week in practice. I think that put a lot of spark in the guys, as well as a lot of big pep talks.

But I think Dan flying around like he used to was worth a lot of word and a lot of motivation for our football team.

Q. On what adjustments were made from last week’s game going into this week that allowed the team to have success:
COACH WILSON: Again, each week is different with schemes. A lot of things we did today we wouldn't have done last week because of the structure of the defense. Each week it's a little bit different.

I know our kids came in the other day and said, we're going to play hard on Saturday. Our offensive seniors said, we're going to play hard, but don't scheme so much. Do what we do.

I said, Wait a minute, it's a different defense this week and there's different things we got to do. So some of the things we did were just kind of the nature of what we do versus their structure.

Again, you got to execute it. A lot of nice plays on the passing game. Helped us one-on-one. Running game is good.

Q. On Natee playing quarterback and having the option to pass the ball:
COACH WILSON: He's all right. Throws with the wrong hand (laughter). He's a lefty.

But he's okay. I mean, he throws it well. He's got great hands. Actually has big hands. Again, he played one game and had one hundred yards. That's not a novelty. You guys give him all the nicknames. Freshman kid got injured in pre-season. With that we try to find our niche, are we a two-back team or not, how to get him on the field and use him. We're working through that.

Like I say, he's a young guy that played one good game. He's got a chance to be a good player moving forward, but he's got a long way to go.

I think sometimes the uniqueness of what he does makes it cooler than it really is. He's a freshman. He's a young kid. He's got a chance to be a good player if he keeps working hard.

Q. On Diamont’s personal foul penalty and his emotions getting the best of him on that play:
COACH WILSON: Yeah, we talked about it after the game. I mean, there's a point, even our last touchdown run, his energy and emotion is what makes him good. Don't cross the line. Every once in a while he tips over. Without being negative on it, he's old enough. That needs to stop. He knows how to bring his energy, how to respect the game and respect players. He'll do better. He better. He knows that. We just politely talked about not crossing the line.

But I'm very proud of a guy that's competing hard to be the quarterback but can't be that comes in and plays that way and accepts roles. Has been a great practice player. That's unusual. Because you're in a day and age where every quarterback wants to tap out and transfer, versus why don't you just come to practice and work hard and get better.

Stop worrying about depth chart and who you're recruiting. Why don't you just work on your craft every day. That's a credit to him, because quite honestly, Richard is more skilled and makes more plays as quarterback, makes many, many more throws, is going to be the guy that leads our team.

But Zander has a unique skill set. I'm proud of the way he's handling that. That doesn't happen in college football a lot.

Q. On running the ball more this week after passing so much last week:
COACH WILSON: Yeah, I think so. Again, I don't know for he's been that far off. I mean, last week, you know, you throw it 59 times, some things are going to happen.

Again, getting some run game and playing in rhythm as an offense helped him play in rhythm. The quarterback always looks good when the surrounding parts are good. Today the surrounding parts were good. We blocked it better. We had run/pass mix. We had run game. We moved chains. We were on schedule. We weren't playing uphill. It allowed him to be collective and make plays. He had help.

Q. On the strategy going for 2-point conversions in the second half after the missed extra point early:
COACH WILSON: When we went up by one, we didn't go for two to make it a two-point game. The next thought was, it was at 5, we needed to get to 7, and we didn't. It's kind of 50/50 when we made it 11. Do you make it 12, which means they have to score two touchdowns or try to go to 13.

The one guy says, At 11, you can kick it to make it 12 or go for two to make it 13. On the card, in that situation, it has all kinds of analytical junk. Some of you guys do it. I actually read all the stuff you do. You work for us. I have to fire some GAs, you guys do all our work and save us money, but don’t tell (Indiana Athletic Director) Fred Glass that (laughs).

Based on fourth quarter, whatever, Go for it and afterwards. But 12 means they had to go for 2. I gave them a chance if they make 2 to kick a field goal. So whatever. The one was going to work pretty good if we didn't have the exchange. But anyway.

My issue was in the first half I didn't get a timeout called and we didn't get a fourth down. That was more critical to me than the two-point play.

They came out with a defense I didn't expect on third down. I tried to get a timeout. I was calling it. I need to be more demonstrative. In fact, the (indiscernible) was looking at me when the ball was snapped. We had a wasted play on third down that got us a field goal.

Then the other situation, we got a third and inches, and we run up the middle twice and didn’t get it. Maybe it wasn’t the best formation. And then went for it on fourth down. We got to execute better. I have put that on me.

Thanks for being here, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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