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updated: 10/23/2012 2:02 PM

Hoosiers say they are slowly getting better

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  • Indiana quarterback Cameron Coffman runs the ball against Navy Saturday during the second half in Annapolis, Md. Navy won 31-30.

    Indiana quarterback Cameron Coffman runs the ball against Navy Saturday during the second half in Annapolis, Md. Navy won 31-30.
    Associated Press

Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana keeps getting close.

A three-point loss to Ohio State. Last-possession losses to Michigan State and Navy. Coach Kevin Wilson knows that's not good enough. He says the Hoosiers (2-5, 0-3 Big Ten) must get over the hump and it boils down, sometimes, to a single play.

"We are in position where in our time we have went from having significant plays, to being able to win games, to now it's a play," Wilson said Tuesday.

"Players don't win and lose and coaches don't win and lose. We all win and lose," Wilson said. "And right now we are all collectively short. It's just where we are. We don't like it, we're not mad about it, we're not negative. We are going to keep pushing until we get there."

The Hoosiers' next opportunity to get over the hump will be at Illinois (2-5, 0-3) Saturday. Both teams are searching for their first Big Ten win. The Illini have lost their three conference games to Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan by a combined score of 111-21.

After starting the season 2-0, the Hoosiers have dropped five straight. Yet despite three consecutive losses by a combined eight points, the Hoosiers are somehow upbeat. Quarterback Cameron Coffman said the team knows they are close.

"I think we are very close but it's frustrating because we've been saying that for a while now," Coffman said. "We just got to keep working on it every day and it's going to happen. We can't just lose hope and we've got to keep coming to practice every day with a winning mentality and get better every day. We can't lose hope and start going back down to where we were."

Running back Stephen Houston agreed.

"It's just that one play whether it's on offense, defense or special teams," he said. "It comes down to one play. That's what we emphasize on. We want to be that person to make that play individually but with the team effort."

With Indiana trailing Navy 31-30 late and driving last Saturday, Coffman threw his second interception of the day to seal the loss. The sophomore quarterback realizes where some of the team's improvement needs to happen.

"We had a few miscommunications throughout the game and obviously a few there late," Coffman said. "To be honest, it doesn't really matter whose fault it was. We just got to get it cleaned up. The fact is we didn't get the job done."

Indiana's struggles this season have not included putting points on the scoreboard.

Coffman, since replacing starting quarterback Tre Roberson who broke his leg six games ago, has thrown for 1,320 yards while completing 63.6 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and three interceptions.

For the first time in school history, the Hoosiers have scored at least 24 points in seven straight games.

But the points don't always result in wins.

"Different games, we've done different things well as far as tempo or maybe one game we run it well or one game we'll pass it well," Coffman said. "We've just got to put it all together for 60 minutes and I think we'll be OK."

Houston has been one of the wheels that have made the Indiana offense roll, scoring in each game this season.

"I felt I've had a decent season," said Houston, who has seven rushing and two receiving touchdowns. "It could have been better but I'm just looking forward to trying to make my season better and it end it out on the right note."

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