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Monday, March 4
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Kevin Wilson's first year ends Saturday

IU vs South Caronlina State

While IU’s underclassmen may have several more seasons to fight for redemption from a 2011 season that will not end in a bowl game.

For the team’s seniors, they have one game.

In addition to the traditional trappings that come with IU’s annual contest against Purdue, Saturday’s game will mark the end for 20 players—the end of their careers and the end of the first season under the Kevin Wilson regime.

“It's senior week and to me, senior week is always a big week,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “We are very fortunate here to not only play at home for the last game, but play a quality rival. Not everyone gets that opportunity to have a great rival game, so we are trying to embrace that challenge. There is some great motivation to wrap up our season on a high note and send the seniors out with a very positive week.”

In addition to the team’s 15 seniors currently on the roster who will have  exhausted their eligibility after Saturday, five juniors will graduate and not return to the team next season despite a remaining season of eligibility, including quarterback Adam Follett, wide receiver Connor Creevey, guard Marc Damisch, linebacker Greg Svarczkopf and punter Adam Pines.

Wilson stressed that senior week is, in fact, an entire week of final experiences and more than just the game on Saturday.

“Our goal as coaches is to make this week as great a week as it could be for those guys,” Wilson said. “They've earned the right being here for four or five years. We've had some shortcomings, but the effort and the time and the commitment that those guys have made has been astronomical. They have busted their tail for us in a great way and our job as coaches is to give this team a chance to win every game, especially here this last week, and especially when
you're playing a great rival like Purdue.”

Knowing that it will be his final college football game, senior left tackle Andrew McDonald views it as both a transition to the next generation of Hoosiers and a last hurrah for his class.

“The season hasn’t really gone the way we wanted, but (this game) kind of adds closure to the year and the freshman and underclassmen can have a stick in the ground and start building for next year,” McDonald said. “As for us as seniors, it’s our fifth year and it’s our last game and it’s kind of a build-up, our whole career, up to this. It’s pretty big.”

Fifth-year seniors enter Saturday with a 2-2 record against the Boilermakers during their time at IU, including a 34-31 road win last season. Senior wide receiver Dre Muhammad said it is important for the seniors to win the Old Oaken Bucket once again.

“I, as well as the rest of the seniors, want to leave it here for the rest of the people coming in and playing and the underclassmen,” Muhammad said. “It’s huge for us to win our last Bucket Game.”

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