Indiana’s Kevin Wilson wants more Ws to go with effort
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent October 15, 2013 11:06PM
The Big Number
Michigan, IU’s opponent this week, has 18 consecutive home wins. It’s the longest active home win streak among BCS conference schools.
The Extra Point
TE Ted Bolser was named to the Mackey Award midseason watch list on Tuesday, a day after earning offensive and special teams player of the week awards for IU.
“He can make some plays in the pass game, but he’s been awesome in kick coverage. He’s been awesome in punt coverage,” Kevin Wilson said.
“I do think he has a great sense of urgency because he … wants a chance to be an NFL player,” Wilson said.
Updated: November 17, 2013 10:01AM
BLOOMINGTON — Midway through his third season as Indiana’s football coach, Kevin Wilson sees a team that’s fun to be around.
Now it’s a matter of making Saturdays more fun, with some wins to back up the effort he sees from his players.
At 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers have their best record at the season’s midpoint since the 2010 team started 4-2 in Bill Lynch’s final season as coach.
But that team lost its next five games before eking out an overtime win at Purdue to finish the year 5-7. There are only seven players on IU’s current roster who were with the Hoosiers that season, and Wilson hopes for a better sendoff for them.
“The frustrating thing is, I want some seniors to selfishly find a way to get these wins, and these wins aren’t easy,” he said.
Consider the results of IU’s game last Saturday at Michigan State. The Spartans hadn’t allowed more than 17 points in a game this season; IU scored 28, the most scored against Michigan State since Nebraska also scored 28 last November.
But Michigan State had over 200 yards both rushing and passing in the 42-28 win. It was the most points scored by the Spartans against an FBS opponent since scoring 55 against Indiana in 2011. Wilson and defensive coordinator Doug Mallory said a big issue with IU’s defensive effort was missed tackles.
“A couple of those explosion plays we had guys in position to make a play and just didn’t execute the No. 1 fundamental thing on defense and that’s tackling,” Mallory said. “That’s just something that you try to work and you drill throughout the week.”
Still, “We don’t have time to spend 15, 20 minutes every day on just pass rush moves or proper tackles,” Wilson said.
“We just need to be a lot more disciplined in practice.”
And while the defense has plenty of room to improve in the second half of the season, the offense needs to continue to work toward more balance.
“We’ve got to find a way to get some run game,” Wilson said, even though Tevin Coleman is on pace for IU’s first 1,000-yard rushing season since 2001. He’s got 557 yards on the ground at the midway point.
“You just want to keep finding ways to get these Ws so that our fans, our recruits, and for the seniors that bought in, they can taste what they’re working for,” Wilson said. “But they work like it, and they play like it, and they’re fun to coach, and they’re fun to be around.
“It’s a group that’s very enjoyable, and we need to give them some enjoyable Saturdays.”