Nov. 3, 2007
Postgame comments from Indiana head coach Bill Lynch, quarterback Kellen Lewis, defensive end Jammie Kirlew and Ball State head coach Brady Hoke.
Indiana head coach Bill Lynch
"That was a good win for our football team. That is a happy locker room and you have to be happy for those kids. We have had three tough weeks against three pretty good opponents. We have talked about this as we went, we felt like we were getting better as went along. The score doesn't always show it, but particularly on defense. I think if you take the numbers away, that was a good offensive football team that we just played. We didn't give up the big play and kept fighting and battling. They really held us in there early in the game when the offense was slopping around a little bit. And then once the offense settled down it was a pretty good performance. I like the way our kicking game played itself out, our kick coverage was good, other than the fake field goal we gave up. I thought it was a good complete team win, which is what we needed. We came back home and got some momentum going again.
"I have a lot of respect for the team we just played. That is a good football team and they have a lot of success ahead of them. I really feel good about the victory."
On the defensive line dictating play today:
"That's what we knew we had to do, because (Ball State quarterback) Nate (Davis) is a very good thrower, and he is also very good at creating in the pocket. He is a hard guy to blitz because he gets rid of it so well and finds open guys, so we felt if we could get four-man pressure and keep pressuring them we would be fine. I'll watch the tape later, but I think our guys did a good job of staying in their rush lanes.
"I thought our coverage was good and we were rallying to the ball. We knew they were going to move the ball and gain yards - you are not going to stop that team. All in all, I thought our kids' effort was good. We came up with some turnovers there in the first half. When you score on defense, that is huge and it's something we haven't done for a few weeks. I liked the way the defense played the whole game."
On becoming bowl eligible with the win today:
"Who knows how this whole thing is going to play out, so I'm not really going to speak to that. I will say that we talked with the seniors and we talked to the team as of last night for the first time about how special it is to go be on a bowl team. Most of us as a staff have had that opportunity, either as player or as a coach. It is special and our guys haven't had a chance to experience that yet. That's why I am not going to address anything other than we are close enough to talk about how special that can be.
"One of the things that we had talked to the team about coming off the three losses was that we were entering the fourth quarter of the season. We felt like we won the first half and then we didn't play very well the third quarter (of the season). The fourth quarter came and good football teams win the fourth quarter. That was how we tried to approach it after the three losses and I thought our team responded pretty well."
On Ray Fisher's big game:
"He made some big plays today. It was nice to have him back. We talked about that all week. (James) Hardy made a lot of plays too. It was too bad for (Marcus) Thigpen, he had another long run called back, and that's two weeks in a row. But it is nice to see all those guys make plays because we are certainly going to need them here down the stretch."
On what coach Hoeppner would say after a win like this:
"I know exactly what he would say. He would be thrilled for these kids, but he would be looking forward to the next game too. He was the eternal optimist and would be really proud of these guys, but he wouldn't let it stop with getting the sixth win. We have taught our kids all year to not put limitations on themselves and that is strictly Hep."
Sophomore Quarterback Kellen Lewis
On big plays that kept the Hoosiers in the game:
"Ray (Fisher) made a catch and made a bunch of guys miss, and then (Christopher) Phillips made the interception. It was a big momentum swing, and then it was easier to get into a rhythm, and the defense was playing great. Your guys out there on the outside and your running backs are making them miss, so it is more of just getting the ball to the right person. You feel like you don't have to do as much."
On Ray Fisher:
"You throw him a two-yard bubble, which is probably a negative pass in the backfield and he turns it into 60 or 70 yards the other way. He does a great job of making people miss and he is hard to tackle in the open field. Obviously, when he is going across the middle of the field, he is carrying that same speed as when he is making people miss. I think some teams think that he can't run routes or he is just a little scat-back, but more and more every day Ray is developing into a really good receiver."
On how many games the team needs to win:
"We haven't really been focusing on how many games we're going to win but more on each and every week. The best we can be right now is 6-4. The best we can be next week is 7-4, so we're trying to go out and beat every team we compete against, but obviously when you look at the bowl picture, the more games we win the better the bowl we'll probably be in."
On the program's direction after getting the season's sixth win:
"I would say it is only half way. I wouldn't even say it is a sense of satisfaction because we look back at our season, and we should have been at six wins. Obviously, Penn State should have been our sixth win. If we beat Illinois and came out and played like we're supposed to, we would've got our sixth win against Minnesota. Is it a sense of satisfaction? I wouldn't say satisfaction. I feel like more relief getting that monkey off of your back because when you are not a bowl team and you're struggling, you get the fifth win and you lose three straight, people start to doubt you.
Sophomore Defensive End Jammie Kirlew
On the success the team had rushing the passer:
"We felt like they were a good team, and we felt like with any other team we should be able to get pressure. We knew that he likes to get rid of the ball quickly, so we knew that if we got the pressure we could get him to make some mistakes or just throw it away because he would do anything to get the ball out of his hands and not take the sack. That is unfortunate for us on the D-Line, but as long as he doesn't make a play and we help out our defense and our team, that is fine with us."
On the numerous hurries and near-sacks:
"As long as we just keep getting that pressure and they don't complete the pass, we are doing our job."
On thinking about Coach Hoeppner after the sixth win was sealed:
"I was pointing in the sky the whole time we were singing the song. It felt really good when they were singing the Terry Hoeppner song. It just made us feel good that we said we were going to do something and we are definitely taking every step we need to get there."
On needing another win:
"I feel like we have two games left and we need to win them both. We can. We have got our confidence back. We've got our feet under us. We can definitely win both of these game from here on out."
Head Coach Brady Hoke
"We didn't do a whole lot right and we got beat by a better football team today. We didn't block very well, fundamentals of football we weren't very good at. Blocking and tackling and when you don't have that we've got to go back and do those things better."
On protecting quarterback Nate Davis:
"They came after him pretty decent and some of it was just a four-man rush. We weren't stout enough and didn't do a good enough job."
On Indiana's big plays (screen pass):
"On the bubble they do a great job, we don't get off a block, a guy has a bad angle and the sad part about it we knew that was the play they were running and we just weren't in the right position. Honestly it wasn't the best defense to defend it in but they executed it and made a play."
On Ray Fisher:
"He didn't play a little bit in some of the games that we had. I forget which game he missed, he missed one of them but we knew Ray and we recruited Ray out of Glenville and he's a good football player. He's a guy that can make things happen with the ball in his hands."
On Kellen Lewis as a better passer than given credit:
"Yeah I think he is. I think if you compare him to Juice, the guy we played a week ago, I think he's a much better passer. We knew he had that part of the dual threat that he presents."