IU football is riding high off its upset win at home over then-No. 17 Michigan State. After the win, the Hoosiers received three votes in both the AP Top 25 poll and the Coaches Poll, and they watched the Spartans fall out of the Top 25.
IU (3-1, 1-0) hits the road next weekend to face No. 2 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0), and IU Coach Kevin Wilson took time Monday to update the team’s status ahead of Ohio State.
Wilson named junior linebacker Tegray Scales IU’s defensive player of the game for his 13-tackle performance against MSU and recognized both junior quarterback Richard Lagow and senior wide receiver Ricky Jones on offense.
Wilson acknowledged Lagow had impressive stats in earlier contests, but said Lagow’s game against MSU was his best yet.
On special teams, Wilson honored former quarterback Chris Covington, who Wilson said is more confident now after having switched to linebacker and gotten healthy.
“He showed up very, very well on kick cover,” Wilson said. “He was on three of our teams. He played his best game at linebacker as well, really growing into the defensive mindset.”
“Dance with who you’ve got,” Wilson said.
IU was without senior offensive linemen Dan Feeney and Dimitric Camiel again, and while it’s unclear when Feeney will recover from his concussion, Wilson indicated Camiel’s status is more dire.
“Dimitric is out for a while with a back deal,” Wilson said. “It might cost him the rest of the season.”
Camiel underwent surgery recently to correct a bulging disc in his back.
Sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Robinson and freshman running back Cole Gest were also unavailable for the Hoosiers. Robinson is recovering from a concussion and Gest is dealing with an ankle injury suffered during the game against Wake Forest.
Wilson said this is the time of the year where several guys are hurt and the team is working hard to get them back on the field. He stressed the importance of not just one man stepping up, but everyone doing so to ensure the squad continues to be successful.
“They’re awfully good, always are,” Wilson said.
OSU boasts an impressive stat line heading into the their matchup with IU. OSU leads the Big Ten in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense, total defense, rush offense, pass efficiency, pass defense efficiency and interceptions, and are highly ranked in other stats.
“We were looking for a statistical advantage and we noticed that their punter wasn’t very good,” Wilson said. “And then we noticed that he only had 11 punts. He’s not registered. He would be first in the NCAA.”
OSU’s punter, Cameron Johnston, averages less than three punts per game. Wilson joked he doesn’t understand why great punters would choose to attend OSU because they are seldom used.
Wilson also touched on the high amount of speed Ohio State has on both sides of the ball, as well as OSU Coach Urban Meyer’s ability to take such a large group of talented players and get them to play as a team.
Perhaps the best on Meyer’s squad is his starting quarterback, Wilson said.
“J.T. Barrett is one of the absolute best players in college football,” he said.