Indiana coach Kevin Wilson had his first of 12 weekly press conferences Friday looking ahead to next Thursday's season opener against Indiana State. Wilson touched on several topics including the quarterback situation. What he said there was that he still wasn't prepared to make an announcement and said it could go until Tuesday or Wednesday before he knows. The reality is don't be surprised if no one knows who the starting quarterback is until he breaks the huddle on the sideline for the first offensive series and trots out onto the field.The one thing Wilson continues to maintain that no matter who is the ultimate choice at quarterback, the Indiana offense will not change. As Wilson says, "We're going to do what we do.''
"Now, certain guys have certain strengths,'' Wilson said. "There's certain things that Ted Bolser does in route running that's different than (Anthony) Corsaro, and certain things Cody Latimer does that's different than (Nick) Stoner. Every player has strengths and weaknesses, but the gist of our offense is going to be what it's going to be. One, we're going to spread it out, but we'll be a little bit more multiple personnel. So I think you might see some more multiple personnel groupings, because we did have a little bit more depth at tight end, backs, and we're getting a little bit better fullback play, so you might see a little bit more of personnel groupings.
"We'll still work tempo. Tempo doesn't mean we're going fast all the time. We'll use that as we need to. We have the ability to try to even go faster, but whether we do, when we do, we don't try to be consistent. No matter what you do, you do things you're trying to keep the defense off guard with play calling, formations, where you're attacking them. The same thing with tempo. You don't want to be very, very slow. You don't want to be very, very fast. If you're doing something all the time you're consistent, and the more consistent you are with what you're doing, the defense can kind of hone in. So you kind of pick your spots.
"But we'll continue to use tempo. We'll continue to spread it around. What we've tried to do, yeah, I was trying to help the defense, but really to help the offense we've tried to work on the running game and to be a little bit more physical, and not just for short yardage when it's 3rd and 1 or goal line, to just have some balance and toughness, to incorporate play action passing, whether you're intermediate, deep, moving the pocket, you name it. We've worked a lot on the running game.''
Wilson spoke specifically about each of the positions on the depth chart.
"All three of those guys are very, very good. They're all a little bit different. That being said, you've got to say do we need to play more than one. Maybe we do because maybe they can do different things for us. At the same time we're still kind of evaluating, because no one has been the guy and no one has been horrible. Again, Tre can make some plays with his feet a little bit better than the other two guys. But when he's in, it's not going to be a wildcat offense. We'll throw our deep and intermediate and read our defense and throw our hots and adjust protections, and he's going to play quarterback.
"And when those other guys are playing, if Cam is in, if Nate is in, it's not going to be a throw-a-thon where it's pass, pass, pass. If it's a play that we need to incorporate the quarterback as a part of the run, we're going to do that. So again, even though we have a two deep, I don't know how many times you're really going to say so and so is really the starter because I think on both sides of the ball you're going to see pushing 44 guys, whether it be two or three tailbacks; five or six or seven receivers; two or three tight ends; seven or eight O linemen; eight, pushing 10, D line men; probably six, seven linebackers. On the back end, probably six, seven in the secondary. So you're going to see some guys playing.
"One, we've got a little bit better team, we've got a little bit more depth, we've got a lot of competition. We've got some unproven guys. Practice has been great. We've got to prove it out here when the scoreboard lights are on, the scoreboard is playing, and who's going to make those tackles and make those shots and make those blocks and score those points and make those kicks when it's for real. So again, at quarterback we'll see how it plays out. Not being coy, not hiding anything from Indiana State.''
The Running Backs
"Good camp by all of the guys. Laray Smith basically had a welt on his back or a blood thing that had to be drained, and he's got he couldn't practice a couple days. He's got a wound so it doesn't get infected. So he's full go. As a young guy he's showed a lot of ability with speed, but again, missing a couple days. It's young guys with the ball, so we'll see where he is. But I'd expect him you didn't see him a lot if you were looking last night, but it's because he's got basically a wound, a cut that had to be drained, so we don't get it's not a major deal, and I think he'll be full tilt here tomorrow afternoon rolling, but yesterday with infection and temperature and sweating and whatnot, he wasn't able to go. So again, I don't have an issue there with Laray. You're going to see four tailbacks here with D'Angelo, and of course Tevin and Stephen, the two main guys and both doing really, really well. We talked about Mike Replogle playing some at fullback with Matt Zakrzewski. We're doing a run period every day; that'll be a part of our offense.''
The Tight Ends
"Bolser, Corsaro, really playing better than they've ever played. Danny Friend, very, very talented freshman, big guy, can catch it, can block, for a young man. You'll see all three of those cats, whether it be together, individually, special teams.''
"We have seven or eight. Cornett getting a little in the mix on special teams and getting into receiver seven or eight, which you want to see. Mitchell Paige, a young walk on, second year guy receiver seven, eight getting in the mix. It's a quick little kid, it's awesome. But the main guys will be Wynn, Roundtree, Rick Jones at the slot, three good players there. Outside, Cody and Duwyce, Stoner and Kofi Hughes. So you'll see the bulk of those seven guys with Cornett and Mitch Paige.''
The Offensive Line
"Offensive line, you lose Feeney at guard, but we've still got again, I think we'll be pretty solid with Bernard Taylor, who has starts, Collin Rahrig, who has starts, Jake Reed, who we think is doing as well as anyone. David Kaminsky, Jacob Bailey have came on strong. Ralston Evans has played guard and tackle. Coming off his knee injury during two a days. We have to monitor some of his workload so his knee doesn't swell. He's probably our most effort lineman we've got, and we've actually worked Pete Bachman into the mix to be an extra tackle guard with Dimitric Camiel, Jason Spriggs, a great player. So we're not great at offensive line, but there's a lot of depth and a lot of strength, and it's young, not a senior, losing a good player with Big Dan up there, but got some depth and got a great line coach and not only Greg with Ryan Stanchek does a good job, so I think we'll play rock solid up there.''
The Defensive Line
"Defensively you're going to see a bunch of D linemen, whether it be the old guys like Richardson, and you've see Alex Todd, Rayner, or Phillips. Mangieri has had a tremendous camp. Zack Shaw has had a really good preseason, Ralph Green you hadn't seen some in practice, really good preseason. You got Latham and Kenney, the two young guys. So you're going to see Jordan Heiderman, as well, eight, nine, ten of those guys. There's not much separation. I don't know if anybody right now is legitimate upper level Big Ten, but the twos are as good as the ones and we need those guys. And Coach Fabris and Coach Patton are coaching effort, those kids are learning how to play hard, and I actually think we're going to get better D line play. No disrespect to a couple really good D linemen, but we'll see how it goes. You'll see a bunch of those guys."
The Linebackers"Cooper has been solid. You see T.J. Simmons in the spring, going to be a really good freshman player. Lost Hoobler outside, Funderburk was very good in the spring. Little Hardin has come on, much like Mangieri, his best preseason sticking out and making plays. You'll see some young guys out there Griffen Dahlstrom, as well. But you'll see some young guys, whether it be Clyde Newton, Marcus Oliver, TJ Simmons, you'll see those young freshmen in the mix playing defense."
The Defensive Backs
"On the back end, Antonio Allen came in, he's fighting neck to neck with Heban and Murphy at the safety. You'll see those three guys mainly. Dawson Fletcher is the fourth, but you should see some of Antonio Allen. And Heban and Murphy are two of our veteran players. On the outside Tim Bennett has been our best at corner. You'll see him at one spot, probably another spot, it'll probably be a combination of whether it be Mullen, Michael Hunter, Ryan Thompson, Brian Williams. That's kind of it there."
Toth and Campos very competitive but inconsistently competitive, show kicks of being good, then the next day I'm off and the next guy is good. So need that punter to be a little bit more consistent. We've got leg there, needs to be better. Our kicker has a chance to be a quality player, and I think we've got some good return guys."
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