T-Mill sort of scooped the headline from this post with the news that Austin Appleby is more than likely going to start in place of the injured David Blough. See more from coach below.
Initial thoughts on IU:
They had a good win last week. But our guys walk past that clock in our hallways every day, countdown clock. You look at it, now it's down to four days. To play a good football game at Ross State Stadium, for our seniors, and for our upcoming guys, this will be a huge game for us.
Sudfeld is playing well. He's obviously scoring a lot of points. He's throwing extremely well. Not a great runner, but can hurt you, if you don't watch where he is all of the time. But his rhythm is really good right now. He's just throwing it before the break, even before the guys get out of the break. He's got a good groove that he's in right now. We're going to have to disrupt him.
On the health of David Blough and who would be backup if Blough can't go.
He's still foggy. I saw him last night for 30 seconds, and he's probably doubtful for this week, but will be a day-to-day evaluation to make sure he's safe.
Who will be Austin Appleby's backup? We spent about 30 minutes talking about a lot of different scenarios last night. Obviously, Austin is going to start, and -- if Dave can't go. And one of the scenarios is if Austin loses his helmet early in the game, we put Aaron Banks in. We have a package of plays for him to run. If we come back and Austin gets hurt, and we're not sure if it's a long-term injury, in terms of quarters, plays, series, we'll buy some time with Aaron, but if Austin goes down early in the game, and the game is in the balance, and he's done for the game, we're going to play Elijah Sindelar.
We feel he gives us our best chance to win the game, and I brought Elijah in after we had our conversations as a staff. Actually, I brought him in prior to, because I -- we did it twice, actually. We met first -- I met with Elijah, and then we met again as a staff. I talked to Elijah about it, and he said, "Coach, I want to do anything to help us win the football game." So, he was more than willing to pull off his red shirt to win the game.
I'll just leave this here verbatim (he wouldn't say who the speaker was):
It's been 68 years since IU won the bucket three times in a row. Will you seen mention that with your guys the significance of the legend of the history of this series?
COACH HAZELL: We talk about the bucket all of the time. I probably won't tell them that. But what we talk about is nonstop. We'll have a meeting today at 2:15, bring a special speaker in, and well talk about significant things about the bucket, but that won't be one of the things I'll mention.
With Thanksgiving coming up what is coach thankful for?
I'm thankful for so much, but just the opportunity to be with our guys. That's always the main thing, for me, to be around some great people, and to work together, and hopefully accomplish a lot of things.
What would a win against IU mean for this program?
I think this is -- like I said earlier, it's a huge game for us as a program. Not only our seniors, but our guys coming back, but as a program, I think this is a gigantic, gigantic game for us. I think this will help springboard us into a great offseason, give us some energy, reinforcement, all of those things that you look for. I went back and watched our games from last year, it 16-16 with five minutes to go in that game. We were unable to finish that game, which was a little disappointing, but we're looking forward to this one.
I went out to a high school down in Indianapolis and one of the first things I saw was a t-shirt that had our game against IU last year. This was about a week after the game, and it was not a favorable t-shirt for us. And I shared that with our team. I said, this thing means more than just the people in this room. This means something to everybody in this state. So, it's a very significant, significant moment those three and a half hours on Saturday.
That's -- you know, I put up on the overhead, "Indiana Focus." That's all we are thinking about. Nothing in the past, whether it was recent past, or the long past, nothing of that matters. It's all about this game on Saturday.
Coach on IU running back Jordan Howard:
They are a different team when he's in the backfield. He's a very physical runner, runs extremely well, runs a lot of outside own. That's probably the number one play, outside zone. He has tremendous patience through the hole. Stays on course, stays on course, stays on course, puts his foot in the ground and gets up field. Very physical, great finisher with the ball in his hands. I mean, you see guys go backwards when he collisions.
Uniforms for Saturday:
They voted. I gave then a chance, the seniors, to vote, and I think it was like 9-9, or 6 or 8 -- something like that. Black. They want all black.
Notes on some seniors:
[Kugler] gets it. You know, he gets it because he's a coach's son. He knows what -- some of the things that have to be changed that you have to go through. He also knows the commitment to work and the commitment to the people in your locker room. So, he understands the whole gamut of things that go into a program and how to get the program moving.
[Watson] definitely played more consistently up front for us. I think he's been a quiet leader for us on that defensive line group, trying to keep those guys together. He's a guy that played a lot of snaps for us. You love having guys like Ryan Watson in the program because of all of those things that we mentioned.
You know, I know you love Danny Anthrop and his willingness to get back and all of those things. I think the thing with Danny right now, is you like having just a hair more healthy than what he is. And wonderful, wonderful, player, wonderful person, and I'm happy for his future success.
David Hedelin is a guy you love to have for one more year, because if he could make the jump from year one to year two, and two to three. He made so many strides in this year, just understanding the game so much more, how to play a little bit harder. The communication he has with his guards and things like -- he's played so much better this year, year two, than he did in year one.
So there you have it. Coach's final chance to talk to the press before the IU game. Let's hope there's a happy outcome on Saturday. Right now it's 3:08 and IU still sucks.