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In his words: IU safety talks about win over Penn State

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For more on college sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

Beleaguered defense rises to challenge

Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 12:01 am

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana safety Greg Heban has heard all about the defensive struggles.

For one week, at least, he and the rest of the Hoosiers can hear about the achievements.

They held Penn State to a season-low 70 rushing yards, recorded a sack and made plays they hadn’t all season in Saturday’s 44-24 victory that ended 16 games of futility against the Nittany Lions.

Heban totaled five tackles and a pass break-up in the win, which improved IU’s record to 3-2, 1-0 in the Big Ten.

Because of a bye week, IU had extra time to prepare for the Nittany Lions (3-2, 0-1) as well as work on its own team.

Here are his thoughts:

What was the key to defensive success against the run?

"It started with our D-line. They did a great job getting pressure and dominating the line of scrimmage, which was one of the key points we focused on. It was our linebackers plugging up holes and fitting up gaps. We shut down the run game early. They resorted to passing after that.”

How important was the bye week in the improved defense?

“It was very important. We focused on communication. It started with the linebackers trying to get the line set, and then the guys in the secondary helping out the linebacker.”

How significant was this win?

“Coach (Kevin Wilson) talked about it was the first time we ever beat Penn State. We weren’t hyping it up as much as the media was. Coach talked about that we’re a good team, so we shouldn’t be too excited if we win. So in the locker room a lot of people were happy and excited, but we weren’t too excited because we were expecting this.We knew we were a good team. We knew they were a good team. It came down to who played the hardest.”