Indiana Daily Student

More of the same for IU ahead of Michigan

Head coach Kevin Wilson walks down the sideline as the Hoosiers make a play against Penn State during the second half on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Head coach Kevin Wilson walks down the sideline as the Hoosiers make a play against Penn State during the second half on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

IU takes on another ranked opponent Saturday when it goes on the road to face No. 4 Michigan. The Wolverines were upset by an unranked Iowa Hawkeyes squad last week, and thus both the Hoosiers and their hosts will enter the game off disappointing losses.

IU Coach Kevin Wilson took time to update the media Monday on the status of the Hoosier program and its efforts to notch that last victory to become bowl eligible for the second straight year.

Turnovers

IU turned the ball over five times in its 45-31 loss to Penn State.

Senior wide receiver Mitchell Paige fumbled the ball twice, a ball grazed an IU blocker on a punt and got picked up by a Nittany Lion player, freshman running back Devonte Williams and junior quarterback Richard Lagow muffed a handoff, and Lagow was stripped 
on a sack.

Penn State scored 14 points off turnovers and used a fumble return for a touchdown on the strip-stack of Lagow to put the game out of reach in the final moments of the fourth quarter.

“To me it’s coaching and that’s culture,” Wilson said. “And we’ve kind of addressed that again ... Our deal is if you fumble you don’t play. I don’t know what’s up with that but that’s how we play here. That’s our culture, and I take responsibility for those fumbles because I think we’ve gotten lax with that.”

The Hoosiers picked Nittany Lion quarterback Trace McSorley off twice but still left the game with a -3 mark in the turnover battle. Michigan enters the contest with a +8 margin on the season, good for third best in the Big Ten, while IU’s -6 margin is second to last in the 
conference.

Paige took his fumbles particularly hard and blamed himself for the loss while his teammates sung his praises and assured him that wasn’t the case. Wilson said it’s important players, like Paige, in key positions stay disciplined, don’t press and remain confident.

Motivation

Wilson said Iowa answered the call in its upset win against Michigan and when you take on a team of that caliber it’s a matter of determining what the team will point to inspire a winning performance.

“We talk about what do you hear and what’s your influences,” Wilson said. “What’s your motivating 
factors?”

The confidence that comes from that helped Iowa’s defense hold Michigan’s rabid rushing and passing attacks to just 98 and 103 yards, respectively.

Wilson has seen his defense exhibit that confidence with numerous forced three-and-outs against Maryland and a strong three quarters against Penn State, and skill players on offense make competitive one-on-one plays, but he wants more.

“They should have confidence,” Wilson said. “But they should also have a lot of fire because it wasn’t good enough.”

Penn State’s passing attack made up for a sluggish run game and allowed the Nittany Lions to complete a fourth-quarter comeback against the Hoosiers.

At points Wilson said the team felt they were playing better than Penn State, but mistakes got in the way. Against Michigan IU will need to play a fuller four quarters.

“We’re not going to need to play perfect this week to have a chance, you’re not going to,” Wilson said. “But we need to play well.”

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