Head Coach Bill Lynch's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 8, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss his team's season-opening 19-13 win over Eastern Kentucky and to look forward to this weekend's contest against Western Michigan. Associate Director of Football Operations Mark Deal also stopped by to discuss this weekend's reunion celebrating the 125th year of Indiana Football.
Below is a partial transcript from today's press conference:
Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch
"We moved on from our first game and yesterday in practice we addressed some of the mistakes that we made. Today we will be full into Western Michigan, which is a very good football team. Even though they are not from our conference, we know a lot about them. Bill Cubit is a very good football coach and I've known him a long time and competed against him for a long time, and he's always had a really good football team. He has done a tremendous job at Western Michigan in a very competitive league.
"The first guy that jumps out at you is (Tim) Hiller, their quarterback. The Mid-American Conference has had a tremendous run of successful quarterbacks over the last 15 years, not only at the collegiate level but that have gone on to be successful in the NFL. Hiller is kind of the next guy in that lineup. He's 6'5 and probably 235 pounds and has played a long time. He was the MAC Freshman Player of the Year in 2005 so that goes back a few years. With all the great ones that have gone through that league, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Fry, Nate Davis, he could leave having all the records. So that's the kind of player we have coming in here this week.
"They have a huge offensive line. I think their smallest guy is 300 pounds. And that's what they will use against you. They will pound away at you with the run and they do a great job of the play-action pass as well as the quick passing game.
"Defensively, I think they are very good as well. They lost some quality guys from a year ago but it seems like they have reloaded, particularly in the secondary. They've had quite a few over the last three or four years that have gone on to be drafted into the NFL. They ran into a hornet's nest with Michigan on Saturday. I don't think anyone wanted to go up to Ann Arbor and play that opening weekend against them. Once the game kind of settled down after they got down 21-0, it kind of became an even game from then on. We are going to get their best shot and certainly we are expecting a very good football team coming in. We have to improve from the mistakes and the things we did in game one and that will be our emphasis in practice this week.
"From an injury standpoint, we made it through last week with minimal problems and we are starting to get some more guys back. To what extent I'm not sure yet because we haven't practiced yet today. With the injury report, it is certainly a positive one.
"It's an interesting week, in that it is the 125th anniversary of football here at Indiana that we will be talking about and celebrating throughout the season, but this week in particular, with the reunion that will take place.
"One other thing that I mentioned Thursday night and I feel like I need to mention it again, and that was the tremendous student turnout that we had and the real interest in Indiana football that we have on campus. I went to speak to three classes yesterday on campus and the number of students in those classes that said they were at the game on Thursday night was big. And more importantly, that said they had a good time and plan to come back on Saturday, I think that is a positive. I'm going to speak at McNutt tonight for the "Chalk Talk" with Jeremy Gray as we talk to students and try to have a presence on campus throughout the week. I think we are developing a relationship with them that I think is really important as we move our football program forward. I really do appreciate that and thank the students again for their support and look forward to it again on Saturday.
On whether he feels better about the win last week after having more time to look at it
"Here's what happened in the game and I feel we were fortunate. We lost the turnover battle, 3-1. Generally when you lose 3-1 in an opening football game it is going to beat you. That has a lot to do with some of the upsets that happened around the country. On the two interceptions, generally, those were poor decisions on Ben's part and I feel really good that those will be corrected. I'm not saying that he won't throw another interception this year because that's part of the game. The one fumble that we had in the red zone, that is something we practice a lot and we will get that corrected as well. The illegal procedure penalties, I think we had four, and they were all while the defense was stemming and shifting. Our defense does not stem and shift so we had not practiced against it and they kind of caught us a little bit with that but we'll fix that. I'm not worried about that.
"I do think that our third down percentage was much improved and that has been a point of emphasis. Our red zone offense is a point of emphasis and we can't turn the ball over down there.
"On defense, we gave up some big plays and they are very correctable. We got out of a gap on a run, and we had a lack of containment on a quarterback run, we didn't stay with our man in a blitz situation...those are all correctable. Now, we have to get them corrected, because it's not "oh, we don't have an answer for that."
"I know it's cliché, and you heard some of our players talk about that, but you have to make great improvements from game one to game two. That's the goal we have this week, that we make that kind of improvement, in particular in the areas where we had shortcomings on Thursday night.
On the running game last week:
"The second part of it was with our running backs. There were some seams in there that we didn't hit. That was collectively with all of them playing.
"The other thing is that we were getting the ball to the unblocked guy quite a few times and the unblocked guy was making the tackle. When they have them all at the line of scrimmage, the unblocked guy is at the line of scrimmage. That is something, from a scheme standpoint, that we have to maybe not be quite as stubborn at times. But it also helped be able to get some shots off at our wide receivers at times."
On whether the scout team will be simulating that same movement this week:
"When you go into an opener against a team that you have never played before, and you are just going off tape from the previous season, you are never quite sure what you are going to get. And that is typical of other teams across the country this first weekend. We feel a lot more familiar with Western Michigan and what they are going to do, but they are very good at it. You don't expect a team to come in and "junk it up" when they have won and won a lot the last couple years.
"The other side is that they are preparing for a defense that they are used to practicing against during the preseason. That's where the balance has to come in because you can't put all of your energy is to fixing things from the first week if it doesn't tie into what you need to do in week two."
On what has kept the team from scoring points in the second half recently:
"Then we got into the fourth quarter and took over on the seven and on the three and gained a lot of yards but didn't score any points and we killed the clock. We played pretty good offense, we just didn't score any points as a result of where we took over. I went back and looked at it at halftime, where we were statistically, it was really just the third quarter that hurt us. That's why I talk about consistency because you can't have three bad drives in a row."
On whether the running game contributes to that:
On the last time Indiana played at Western Michigan two years ago:
"The biggest thing with them, they have balance in their offense. You have to be aware of Hiller and his ability to throw. They do a good job of protecting him and they do a great job with their quick passes. They like to run a lot double moves, they like to run a lot of the hitch-and-go or the slant-and-go routes. We have to stay awake in the secondary, but the more pressure you can put on a quarterback the more it will help as the game goes on. You have to do it with a mixture of pressure from the front four or whether you want to send more than that after them. But with a good quarterback back there, he can do a good job of picking you apart by reading coverages and things like that."
On the kicking game this week and whether Mitch Ewald will be available:
On the Mid-American Conference being perceived as an inferior conference to the Big Ten:
"I know Ball State fell off a little bit at the end of last year, but no one in the country wanted to play Ball State. And when Miami (Ohio) had Roethlisburger and Central Michigan has had some teams. It is probably more a stereotype that doesn't really hold up."
On the status of the freshmen and using their redshirts:
"Duwyce [Wilson] is probably in the same situation as he was last week. The key with Duwyce is that he is good enough to play. The problem is getting him enough snaps because of the depth we have at wide receiver. You go through the first five and with us playing more tight ends, we would not want to throw him out there if he is only going to get three or four snaps per game. And he wouldn't be a featured guy on special teams, so that's where it would be a little bit tougher. But we have all been through this, and it could happen during the week in practice or in the first quarter of the game and some guys go down and now he's forced into action. It's not a case of whether he's ready, it's what is fair to him in terms of getting enough playing time."
Check back soon