Image Courtesy of IU Athletics
IUSC brings you Olivia Humphreys’ weekly update from Kevin Wilson’s Tuesday press conference.
One Play: The coaching staff seemed content with the Hoosiers’ overall performance on Saturday opposite Navy. Understandably, they were disappointed with the loss but head coach Kevin Wilson commended his team saying they gave a solid effort through the whole game and he was “pretty pleased with the way the kids battled.”
On that note however, both Wilson and offensive coordinator Seth Littrell said the game ultimately came down to the Hoosiers kicking too many field goals instead of scoring touchdowns when in the red zone.
“When you go on the road and kick field goals,” explained Wilson, “it’s not a good formula. We need touchdowns.”
And although the field goals may have played into the loss, Littrell and defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler said there is one thing the Hoosiers continue to miss.
“We’ve been one play from winning the football games and we need to figure out how to make that one play,” said Littrell.
But the coaches weren’t just referring to quarterback Cam Coffman’s 4th quarter interception that secured the victory for Navy. Ekeler referenced several aspects of the defensive game that could have potentially changed the outcome for the Hoosiers had they been executed.
“There were 3 balls on the ground. Pick one up and that’s one play. There was a missed interception that could have gone for a touchdown. There was a missed block for a touchdown. That’s one play. There are so many different plays that go into a game that when we find that ability to focus and refocus that’s when it’s going to happen.”
And while Wilson says the one big play is missing in action right now, he believes the team collectively has to come together to win the game. “Player don’t win and lose and coaches don’t win and lose and right now we’re all collectively short.”
Greg Heban: Wilson announced that junior defensive back, Greg Heban, was named the Defensive Player of the game by the coaching staff after leading the team by posting a career-high 13 tackles and 9 solos against Navy as well as a TFL and broken up pass. Ekeler had nothing but praise for Heban saying, “Greg Heban is a stud. He comes in every single night and he’s studying the game. He’s a student of the game and he’s a great football player. He’s flying around, diving competing, giving everything he’s got 100% every play and that’s why he plays the way he plays. It’s contagious and other guys see it.”
Fighting Illini: ‘Multiple’ was how the coaching staff described the Illinois team who is coming off a bye week and currently holds a record that mirrors Indiana’s.
“Offensively, I don’t know exactly who they are,” admitted Ekeler. “They are really good at a lot of different things and are very very multiple. They’re really athletic and have an extremely athletic quarterback. Anytime you toss in a running quarterback it’s a whole different dynamic.”
The man Ekeler is referring to is Junior Nathan Scheelhaase, who is currently ranked 10th on the B1G career rushing list. But despite Scheelhaase’s impressive performances this year, Wilson believes that injuries have set the Fighting Illini back.
“I think with injuries, they’ve had a hard time getting their offense in a flow. If they get in a rhythm, they have playmakers though. They’re very multiple.”
Another concern for the Hoosiers on Saturday is the Illini defense, which is currently ranked sixth nationally in fourth-down defense and 12th in defensive three-and-outs. Wilson says their strategy is to move the ball efficiently and make sure the Hoosiers are not 3-and-out.
If everything can come together (the one big play, stopping Scheelhaase, converting on third downs) there is no reason why IU can’t secure their long overdue third victory of the season.