While working on a Nick Stoner story that’s slated to run in Thursday’s Herald-Times, I got a chance to chat with the senior receiver’s mother, Fawn, over the phone on Tuesday afternoon.
I wanted to chat with her and get a gauge of what kind of guy Nick is outside of football. What kind of man has Nick Stoner grown up to be?
Stoner said it was fine if I called her, and supplied me with her number after Tuesday’s practice.
“She’s a good talker,” he said.
She sure is.
Fawn Stoner told me a great story about Nick, his one-time obsession with Justin Bieber and a carboard cutout of the Canadian pop star that he used to scare his parents around the family home.
Take it away, Fawn:
“Nick is funny,” she said. “He’s a prankster. He likes to prank his mom. He doesn’t talk about Justin Bieber as much as he used to, but he used to be obsessed with Justin. A couple years ago he thought God got he and Justin Bieber mixed up. He thought he should be the singer and Justin Bieber should have (Nick’s) dance moves. He had a Justin Bieber cutout he brought home at Christmas and it became quite a thing. I found it inside my laundry room one time and screamed. Another time I thought there was a man in my bathroom. He’d put it at the top of the stairs and one time my husband came home late at night … He loves to laugh, loves to have fun. He’s said before that he thinks he’s Peter Pan. He doesn’t want to grow up.”
The best play of Bobby Richardson’s afternoon at Bowling Green was his last one.
That’s when Richardson bowled over the center of the Falcons’ special teams unit and blocked the extra point on BG’s final touchdown of Saturday’s 45-42 Indiana loss. Kevin Wilson said this week that Richardson’s play on the extra point was arguably Indiana’s best of the game.
A few more of those instances may have been the difference between the win and the loss.
“If you have a chance to look at it, watch Bobby Richardson play the PAT field goal after they scored,” Wilson said. “Because if we had played like that the whole game, I don’t think we would have played 113 snaps. I know we’ve got a great group of guys. There’s no quit in them. We have to pull it out. That’s our job as leaders, not telling them what to do, but putting them in the right places, getting them to do it and we’ll get a great challenge this week, and we expect them to play a lot better.”
Indiana’s coaching staff is preaching aggression this week. They’re asking players to stop overthinking and start flying around more to make plays.
Defensive line coach Larry McDaniel said Richardson is one of the guys who gets the message. And, with a Hoosier defense ripe with youth, that’s the way it has to be.
“He’s gotta understand it more than the younger guys,” McDaniel said. “Football is a finite game. There’s gonna be a time when it ends for you. Hopefully for Bobby, he can go ahead and get to the next level. But he’s gotta be the bell cow when it comes to effort, accountability and doing things right. Anytime you build a program, which is coach Wilson has done here, you never want the children to have to lead the masses. There’s gotta be one of those things that, because of where we are in the tenure of coach Wilson, our seniors have got to be the guys that take the bull by the horns and say, ‘Look, put it on my back. Follow me. I’m gonna show you guys how to get this thing done. He’s been able to do things this year.”
For nearly 10 minutes each Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Wilson joins the Big Ten Coaches Teleconference and speaks with local and national media members regarding football in Bloomington, in the Big Ten or across the nation.
This week, Wilson touched on Missouri, Tevin Coleman and Nick Stoner and the Indiana defense. As far as the latter, Wilson said he’s expecting a different approach Saturday in Columbia.
“We need to be relentless,” Wilson said. “Play harder, play more physical, play with more energy, play with our hair on fire and play harder and do it this week and back it up in the weeks to come.”
Below, you’ll find the full transcript from Wilson’s time on the call (Questions, paraphrased for brevity, are in italics):
Are the top Big Ten players on par with those in other conferences?
“Don’t know if I can compare every other conference. I think, in this league, the best players within this league are on par. I think maybe certain teams and programs, whether those programs would be in other conferences, there’s more depth and more guys. But you can look at the guys that are drafted, playing on Sundays (and) you’ve got guys from all over the country. I think the best players in this league are some of the best players in the country and we’re gonna see some really good players Saturday vs. the SEC and against Missouri out of their league. But I think we’ll take a couple solid players on our end down to play against them.”
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BTN released its men’s basketball television schedule on Tuesday, and Indiana is set to appear 17 times on the network.
You’ll also be able to catch the Hoosiers three times on BTN Plus. The remaining games will be picked up by ESPN and CBS.
Here’s the breakdown:
BIG TEN NETWORK
14, Mississippi Valley State, 7 p.m.
17, Texas Southern, 6 p.m.
20, SMU, 8 p.m.
22, Lamar, 8 p.m.
28, UNC-Greensboro, 9 p.m.
6, Savannah State, 7:30 p.m.
13, Grand Canyon, 5 p.m.
31, at Nebraska, TBA
5, at Michigan State,7 p.m.
13, Penn State, 7 p.m.
18, at Illinois,1 p.m.
28, at Purdue, 9 p.m.
31, Rutgers, 3:15 p.m.
11, at Maryland, 9 p.m.
15, Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
22, at Rutgers,TBA
25, at Northwestern, 7 p.m.
6, Northwood (Exhibition), 7 p.m.
10,Indianapolis, (Exhibition), 7 p.m.
22, New Orleans, 7 p.m.
There aren’t any major changes to report on this week’s IU depth chart. The same starters from Saturday’s game at Bowling Green are listed as the No. 1s here. One thing to note is Tegray Scales moving into the backup spot behind T.J. Simmons at middle linebacker. Kyle Kennedy was the listed backup last week.
Of course — and as always — Kevin Wilson does not treat this list as gospel. Alas, here’s how it all shakes out (starters in bold):
LT: Jason Spriggs, Dimitric Camiel
LG: David Kaminsky, Bernard Taylor
C: Collin Rahrig, Jake Reed
RG: Dan Feeney, Jacob Bailey
RT: Ralston Evans, Peyton Eckert
WR: Shane Wynn, Ricky Jones, Dominique Booth
WR: Nick Stoner, Simmie Cobbs
WR: J-Shun Harris, Isaiah Roundtree
QB: Nate Sudfeld, Nate Boudreau or Zander Diamont
RB: Tevin Coleman, D’Angelo Roberts
TE: Michael Cooper or Jordan Fuchs
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1. HOOSIERS HQ
IU football coach Kevin Wilson says the Hoosiers must be on the attack going forward, Mike writes.
2. IT’S INDIANA
A.J. Guyton’s letter to Bobby Knight simply brings up what has become a weary question for the Indiana fanbase, Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star writes.
The advanced box score says Indiana played well enough to win at Bowling Green, Billy at puntjohnpunt.com writes.
Indiana vs. Louisville ranks among the top non-conference basketball games for Big Ten teams, Jordan Littman of Inside the Hall writes.
A Q-and-A with freshman guard Robert Johnson, via iuhoosiers.com.
A Q-and-A with rehabbing IU baseball pitcher Kyle Hart, who wants to be a spokesman for Skyline Chili, from Evan Hoopfer of the Indiana Daily Student.
Missouri is expected to have its top two running backs healthy for Saturday’s game against the Hoosiers, Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes.
3. ONE FOR THE ROAD
Since we’re talking about attack, here’s the Old 97′s with “Murder (Or a Heart Attack).”
Indiana offensive coordinator Kevin Johns said he expects his unit to score every time it has the ball.
So, Johns didn’t especially like what he saw when he returned to the film room on Sunday and watched five Indiana drives stall without points inside the Bowling Green 35-yard line.
That the Hoosiers still managed to score 42 points and lose on the road to a Mid-American Conference program was moot to Johns, who said his offense needed to do more with the given opportunities.
“I don’t care if our defense doesn’t stop them, we need to score,” Johns said. “To me, where I sat on Saturday, that was inexcusable to have the ball where we did — we had a great interception by Nick Mangieri (at the BG 25), went four plays, got stopped and couldn’t even get a first down. That’s inexcusable. Our guys on offense know that. We have very high standards for ourselves and we know that’s not good enough.”
Despite coming away without points on a handful of occasions in Falcon territory, it was one of the better efforts Indiana has seen from quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who completed 31 of 41 passes and finished 16 yards shy of his career high with 347.
More than anything, Johns appreciated how decisive Sudfeld was within the game plan and said it was telling factor for just how in control Sudfeld turned out to be.
“You could see that on some of the velocity of the throws that he made,” Johns said. “(He) was very efficient with the ball.”
For his part, Sudfeld said there was no added burden placed on the offense due to the defense’s inability to get enough stops.
For a program that averaged 38.4 points per game last season — including 53.4 ppg in victories — Saturday’s 42-point effort wasn’t up to par.
“I really feel like if we score every drive, we’re gonna win the game,” Sudfeld said. “That’s what we expect to do. We don’t expect to bog down or anything like that. 42 points isn’t enough for our standard. Last year, we were putting up more, I feel like. We need to just keep coming. The defense gave us a nice stop — Mangieri gave us a nice interception and we didn’t score that next drive, so that’s on us. They gave us opportunities. It’s never just one drive or one play, it’s the culmination of the game. Looking back on the film, we saw opportunities where we could have put it away more. I wouldn’t say it’s a burden at all.”