Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IU Insight – from Hughes to Horses to Hutchens Book

Kevin Wilson is the all-business football coach for Indiana with a unique view of the world.

How unique?

Ah, there’s a tale to tell.

Conside the bruised back suffered by talented wide receiver Kofi Hughes during last Saturday’s tough-as-they-come loss to Michigan State. Hughes will probably be back in action for Saturday’s game against unbeaten Ohio State, but that’s not what made Wilson’s comments memorable.

Here’s how he explained Hughes’ injury:

“If he was a horse, they’d have shot him,” Wilson said.


“He’s lucky he’s not equestrian, because a greedy vet would’ve taken him out the other day. He would’ve been long gone. He’s got a bruise; he’s a little limited right now. We’ll see as it goes, but God bless him that God made him a man instead of an equestrian, because he would’ve been out.

“But he’s got a bruise. It’s a back deal, he got hit in the back on the deal, helmet to the back. It was actually by his shoulder. It looked like a kind of a glancing blow. I think he’ll be OK. He’s been a little limited the first two days, but he’ll need to get a good go (Wednesday), and get rolling Thursday and get in a rhythm.”

What does that mean?

We’ll use the answer a professor once used when explaining Shakespeare.

Or was that the song, Louie Louie?

It doesn’t matter. Bottom line -- it means whatever you want it to mean.


If IU is to upset Ohio State and get the Big Ten-rocking victory to put substance to all the we’re-getting-better talk, it has to stop superstar quarterback Braxton Miller.

He’s the Buckeyes’ slightly younger version of Michigan’s Denard Robinson, a dual-threat playmaker who impacts a game faster than you can say, “Thank God the real NFL refs are back!”

Miller ranks third in the Big Ten in rushing (763 yards, 8 TDs), third in pass efficiency (145.0, whatever that means), seventh in passing yardage (176.7 yards a game) and second in total offense (303.8 yards) behind Michigan’s Robinson (323.6).

Here’s what Wilson had to say about him:

“He’s the guy that makes it go. Because of his ability, he’s the best runner on the field, and he’s also a guy that can throw the thing. Very seldom do you find guys who really can throw that can run or guys that can really run that can throw.

“He’s a little bit more of a dynamic runner than a thrower, but he throws the ball well and you have to commit so many guys up there, a little bit like you’re playing Denard Robinson. Sometimes your guys can get their eyes off the target. You have to commit so many guys to the run, whether you’re shadowing or spying him or just canceling gaps putting people on him, as soon as somebody gets his eyes off the receiver, here comes the play-action pass and you really can get burned.”

The Hoosiers can’t afford to get burned. Not in this game. Ohio State just put 63 points on a much better Nebraska defense than what IU will bring to Memorial Stadium.

The odds don’t favor the Hoosiers, but then, did anyone expect them to jump ahead of the Spartans 17-0? They rocked a team once favored to reach the Big Ten title game with a hard-hitting approach that, if sustained, will lead to future success.

So we shall see.


If you bleed Cream ‘n Crimson basketball, you’ll want to get a copy of Rising From The Ashes, Indianapolis Star reporter Terry Hutchens’ detailed look at the Hoosiers’ return to glory.

Starting from Christian Watford’s shot heard round the basketball world (yes, the one that beat Kentucky last December), Hutchens writes about the struggles and triumphs of a tradition-rich program overcoming NCAA sanctions from the Kelvin Sampson era to return to elite status under coach Tom Crean.

Hutchens talked to coaches, players and fans. He included stories and columns by a number of journalists, including a column by, well, the writer of this blog.

Hutchens wrote about how IU ended up in such a mess and how Crean got the Hoosiers out of it.

The short answer -– work, will and want.

The longer answer – recruiting, recruiting and hard work.

Hutchens is an award-winning journalist who has written three other books -- one on the Indianapolis Colts, one on former Indiana football coach Terry Hoeppner and a Christian inspirational book he wrote with Jane Hoeppner, the widow of Terry.

The book is available at barnesandnoble.com now, and will soon be available at amazon.com, plus a number of book stores throughout the state.

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