Sept. 2, 2008
Press Conference Video
Head coach Bill Lynch met with the media on Tuesday, Sept. 2, for his weekly press conference in preparation for the Hoosiers' game against Murray State on Saturday, Sept. 6. He was joined by junior wide reciever Andrew Means and senior linebacker Geno Johnson.
Indiana head coach Bill Lynch
"It was a good win on Saturday and obviously in your opener you are always concerned going into it because you have a lot of guys who have some experience, but there are also a lot of guys playing in their first collegiate football game. It's a long time between the last time you played.
"I was very happy with the intensity of the way our guys started. I thought the defense set the tempo and played very well. Our number one goal was that we had to play the run well and we did that early. Kellen's (Lewis) long run got us a little momentum. But I thought we controlled the momentum throughout the whole first half, offensively and defensively.
"One thing that we have to work on and get better at is that we didn't come out in the second half with the same intensity. I think they controlled the tempo in the third quarter and that is something that we certainly have to work on. I thought overall the defense, holding them to 63 yards rushing on 31 attempts, that's a pretty good day. I thought overall the defense did a nice job in the red zone a couple times, forcing field goals. The offense scored enough points. But we certainly have some things to work on.
"There are things you can point out and work off of now that we've played a game. Up until you've played a game, you are just working off of practice tape and what happened in practice. Everybody in America goes through the same thing, but now we have something to work off of.
"There are areas where we have to improve and things that we've got to do better, as we get ready to play Murray State on Saturday. Murray had a big win, they played Thursday night and we've got the tape. They really exploded in the second half. Their quarterback (Jeff Ehrardt) got hurt and they put the backup (Nico Yantko) in and he really played well. He is really athletic and threw the ball well and they put up a bunch of points late in the game."
On the third quarter of Saturday's game:
"If you go back and really analyze that, we had a three-and-out and we had two three-and-outs in the game - the first series of each half. That's a point of emphasis; you really don't want to do that. The other three-and-out was a result of taking over on the 1-yard line and we didn't get it out. If you think about it, we had the one turnover of the game, so that set the field position. We got the ball back on the very next play at the one and didn't get it out and then we didn't get a good punt out so field position had something to do with it. Whether that's mental or physical, I don't know, but it just felt like we didn't have the same intensity like we did at the start of the game. The situations dictate that a little bit.
"Then we did get a nice drive late in the third quarter that ended in (Damarlo) Belcher's touchdown catch. We kind of regained it a little bit, but I'd say that `s something we need to work on a little bit.
"One thing in addition to that, in the fourth quarter when we were trying to use clock, that's one thing that was different. The 40-second clock probably affected us more there than on the other side when we were worried about it running down too fast. That thing is running for a long time and you are used to breaking a huddle and there may be 17 seconds on the clock and using down to the last seconds. This time we were standing at the line of scrimmage with 38 seconds to go, so we've got to practice that a little bit. But if you are on the other side of the ball, on defense, trying to get the ball back by using your timeouts or trying to get a stop in that situation, it seemed it affected us more there than when we were on offense."
On whether the no-huddle allowed the team to control the tempo:
"In the first half, and really up until the fourth quarter or the point where we needed to slow it down. That's something we will practice much more this week. Throughout camp, we had always worked at the up-end with the idea that we could always slow it down. Well if you don't practice it, then it's a little more challenging, but that's something we will work on this week. I do think we got more plays in as a result of the tempo that we played at in the first half."
Junior wide receiver Andrew Means
On Kellen Lewis:
"I think it is like he never missed a beat. You could never tell he missed all of spring practice. He was here all summer working out. He picked up the offense really well and he looked just like his old self from last season, making those long plays with his feet. He looked good passing the ball. He looked smooth out there. There are always some things that he has to fix, but he looked good overall."
On the no-huddle offense:
"I couldn't even imagine going back and huddling. Just running play after play after play keeps the defense on its heels the whole game, and I just love it. You get so many more plays in in a game. Looking back at huddling makes you think why would you ever huddle. I like it a lot."
On the receiving corps as a whole:
"I think this group of receivers is lightyears ahead of the group that I came in with. We obviously had a bunch of talent when I came in as a freshman, but this group is so much further ahead mentally, physically, route-running and catching the ball. I definitely think the sky is the limit with this whole group. We're just so deep, six or seven deep with receivers. We can all do good things; we can all do different things. That helps out on the field, and I definitely think this is going to be a good year for this group."
Senior linebacker Geno Johnson
On Murray State:
"We took a look at Murray State Monday night and a little bit on Sunday. Offensively, they do a lot of things as far as bursting out of formations, and they'll line up in one formation and then turn to a different formation. I think that is the amazing thing about their offense. They are fast. Those are the things that I've caught so far."
On the defense playing faster in 2008:
"We practiced like that all camp. Coach Lynch has prepared us for that. Watching the film from Saturday's game, I think we are a totally different defense from what we were a year or two years ago. We are a lot faster. Everybody runs to the ball. I just feel like everyone is putting in that effort that we need to become one of the top defenses in the country."
On how the defense has improved:
"I think it is just leadership all around. You have guys like me, Christopher Phillips, Will Patterson, Austin Thomas and Ryan Marando, who during the summer, get into guys in the weight room and out training. They carried it over into camp and now into the season."