The best of former OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s second Big Ten Media Days
Traditionally Indiana is known as a basketball school (actually, it’s really a soccer and swimming and diving school since they’ve won so many national titles there, but that’s besides the point). However, IU Athletics Director Fred Glass wants to build a winning tradition for his football program, so he went far outside the Midwest box when he picked up Kevin Wilson, who, as you know, came from working under Bob Stoops and his winning Sooners.
I sat through a season of watching Wilson’s team play as sports editor of my college paper. He had problems with injuries, seniors who didn’t like playing behind younger guys (mainly freshman) and a program that really hasn’t been a contender for the postseason. (The last time that team spoke the words “bowl game” was in 2007 for the Insight Bowl.) Then Wilson had the nation’s top-rated quarterback, Gunner Kiel, drop his commitment before eventually choosing another Indiana school farther north (Notre Dame). Wilson did have Kiel’s older brother Dusty on his roster as a quarterback. Dusty Kiel played in four games, starting only two.
IU ended the season without a win in the conference and losing the Old Oaken Bucket game to Purdue.
Now, Wilson is entering his second year and he’s hoping to be a contender in the Big Ten. At least that’s what he said at Big Ten Media Days yesterday.
“I think we’ve laid a solid foundation,” Wilson said. “And I think we’re going to be pretty competitive this year.”
On what was fixed in the offseason on both sides of the ball
I think we’ll be a lot better on defense, but we’re not at a point physically and in year two to play lights‑out great defense. We’ve got to score a lot more points, too. Everybody talks about our D struggling. We average 18.1 points. That’s as poor an offense as I’ve been around since 1999.
So we need to score points, because that will help our defense. We move the ball offensively. I think 59percent of the time when we got to the 40 yard line, we scored points. So basically, three out of five times, we scored points at the 40 yard line when you’re getting into that fringe score area.
So scoring points is going to be critical for our football team’s success, to complement the defense, and I think third down stops, because we’re not going to play great defense yet, but we gotta get some stops to keep the game manageable and give us a chance to start getting the Ws in Big Ten play.
On giving up 240 yards against the run
We’ve got to be a lot better than that. We were one of the few teams in the nation that gave up more rush yards than pass yards. And when a team can run the ball‑‑ when coaches talk about balance, they’re not talking 50/50 to me; they’re talking the ability to establish a run game. Or if you’re a true option team you can make some passes.
And in our world, we’ve got to get a team playing one‑handed. So last year, our inability to play defense in the run game allowed our defense to play as poorly as it did.
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