Head Coach Dan Hawkins
GENERAL—“One of the things that is hard for me, is that by the time you get to Tuesday, last week’s game is so far removed from your consciousness. Obviously,
ON THIRD DOWN DEFENSE—“It’s always just a glitch here or there, you know it’s amazing you have nine or ten guys doing the right thing and a couple of guys out of whack. We did get four sacks, which in a given game is not bad, but overall we probably need to get more pressure. It was disappointing at times when we got them to run and we weren’t in lanes or weren’t in gaps and let that guy run around a little bit more then you would want and that is just the case of a little wrinkle here or there.”
ON HIS EXCITEMENT LEVEL AFTER THE GAME—“Obviously it was a little more on the up side—and down side last year—but usually it’s pretty even keel. I know immediately after the game people were going, ‘You weren’t really jumping up and down’ and I was saying ‘I kind of expected to win,’ but at the same time as I’m walking out there I’m going ‘Ok, it was a good start but we need to get better in these areas.’ I really think you need to think like that for the longevity, I was happy for our guys that we got a win, happy for our fans and all that but you really have to try to not sit around and gloat or sit around and brood because neither one is going to help you. A lot of that too is...you have all these fans sitting here and they’re going ‘Alright we have something to cheer about.’ So, that was a lot for them, it wasn’t so much for me, but it was a lot for them.
“I really didn’t want to get up there [on the podium]. I know I’m the head coach and all that, but I was good just having the players up there. I didn’t gain any yards or make any tackles, so it was kind of embarrassing for me a little bit.”
ON INCOMPLETION BEFORE THE GAME-TYING FIELD GOAL IN THE FOURTH QUARTER—“I talked to him [redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins] before the play, and it’s either wide open and you’re throwing a touchdown, or it’s covered and you’re throwing it into the stands. There is always a fine line there, and great players always feel like they can make plays. After it got tipped and 70,000 people went ‘uhhhh’ or at least half of them went ‘uhhhh’ you know Cody was out there giving me [it was so close to being a touchdown]. I do think there is a fine line out there between playing to win and not being afraid to fail. When you go back and look at it on tape, yeah if he does throw it an inch higher it’s a touchdown and it’s not a field goal. So you have to be careful with what you do with a player there. Sometimes it’s like a guy who breaks on a ball and he thinks he can pick it and the guy catches it and you think ‘what are you doing?’ I think you take a little salt out of that guy and I think Cody has a little bit of moxie and is a pretty accurate passer, so overtime you’re looking for experience there. I always tell guys in that situation that if you make it you’re right and if you don’t then you’re wrong and that is just the cold brutality of it.”
ON QB CODY HAWKINS’ PERFORMANCE—“Mixed I guess, I thought it was pretty clean, our offense was pretty clean for most of the first half; very, very efficient. You know that flea flicker that we threw, you would love to have that back, and it was one of those things where [Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mark] Helfrich was going ‘We’re doing pretty well on offense, we don’t have to try that’ and he looks to me saying ‘What do you think?’ and I’m saying ‘Run it, run it!’ To me, the mentality of us saying we’re going to do that, adds to it. Now, would you love to have him throw it away, and again he would tell you and Mark would tell you that is touchdown or second down, but again he’ll learn from that. He missed a few throws which is not typical of him, he’s a pretty accurate passer and he missed a few fairly easy throws, but I thought he showed great poise when we had to convert on three third downs on one of those drives and get going. I’d say he had a good start, but still there are plenty of things to learn from.
“I know all of this stuff becomes very fluffy, but I think that the great athletes and the great coaches and the great teams understand that there is a purpose and there is a big picture to the whole thing. I think with Cody having been around me, I think that way and his mom, if you’ve ever met her, is even more so then I am. The biggest fear is being afraid to throw it out there, so I think he really relished the whole moment, and I think he is used to it. Some kids are ooh and awing about the stadium and ooh and awing about the police escort and about the crowd and he’s saying I’ve seen this thing a bunch of times. It’s almost a Hoosiers thing, where everything is the same, and I had no doubt that he’d be fine in that arena and he was, he as fine. Again, as you look at a couple of those throws he did make, especially that throw to [redshirt freshman wide receiver] Scotty [McKnight], he got whacked and didn’t even know it was a touchdown until after.”
ON THE FIVE STARTING OFFENSIVE LINEMEN PLAYING EVERY SN