Bill Lynch Weekly Press Conference

    Go Hoosiers! Head football coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss this week's opponent, the Ball State Cardinals.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head football coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss this week's opponent, the Ball State Cardinals.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Sept. 16, 2008

    Bill Lynch met with the media on Tuesday, Sept. 16, for his weekly press conference in preparation for the Hoosiers' game against Ball State on Saturday, Sept. 20.

    Opening Statement:
    "Well, it's good to be back getting ready for a game. The off week was good, and I think it was productive for us. We got some guys a chance to heal up a little bit. And we certainly got a chance to work some young guys some more. We tried to keep keep as regular a routine as we could last week and give them the weekend off and then started back up with our normal routine on Monday. So we are anxious to go out and practice and get ready for what is a really, really good Ball State football team.

    "They are offensively very good and their numbers hold up. Their quarterback is outstanding; they have really good receivers and different kinds of receivers. [Dante] Love is a speed guy and [Darius] Hill is a big, rangy guy that does a lot of things. Their offensive line is experienced and playing very well and I really like their running back, [MiQuale] Lewis, who didn't play against us last year. I know him from Fort Wayne and certainly watched him a lot in high school. But he's playing very, very well. He's a tough back, so they're a load. Defensively, they're very active. They've got good speed, good scheme and are well coached. Their punter is outstanding. They haven't had to use him a whole lot, but he's a big-time punter. So it's a really good football team that I know is coming in here with some confidence. But it's good for us to get back and play again. Two games then a bye week is a little bit tough really, cause you kind of get in a routine then you gotta break it so, it's nice to be back getting ready."

    On whether he feels comfortable playing Ball State since the teams have played each ther the past two seasons:
    "I think so. When you've played them three years in a row, this will be the third year, you certainly have some familiarity and your players do. I think that's important. That's one of the things that's a challenge with non-conference games if you don't really know the opponent or the players. You know you can watch tape but it's just different when you're seeing them for the third year in a row. And I think our players have great respect for them because of games we've had the last couple years."



    On Dante Love:
    "Well, you just have to be aware of where he is on the field and I think they do an outstanding job of moving around and getting the ball in his hands. It's an age-old thing of trying to get the ball to your playmakers in a position where they can make plays. They've done a great job with him, but you've got to be a pretty talented guy to line up in all those spots and be productive. He's really fast but he's strong too. He breaks tackles, runs hard, he's a good player.

    On the 1996 Ball State team:
    "That team was a great defensive team. That team was a really good defensive team, really in all spots. It was good up front, had great linebackers, good secondary. And we had a punter who's still punting, Brad Maynard, who was the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, which is an amazing thing to think that a punter was the conference player of the year voted on by the coaches. That's how good he was. It was a team that played really good defense and he could punt you out of problems and so we played a short field and the offense kind of played from there. That was a good football team."

    On the similarity between that team and this year's Ball State team:

    "Oh yeah, this is a really good football team. They're a much different offensive team. This offensive team can score in a hurry, score anywhere on the field, where that team played defense, punted the ball and was pretty conservative on offense. So it's a much different team but this is a really, really good football team."

    On who needed the week off to recover from injuries:
    "The offensive linemen. [Rodger] Saffold, and I shouldn't say it's not that they wouldn't have kept playing, but it was just good for them to be able to take some time. But, Saffold, we kind of rested him some. [Pete] Saxon, we rested him some, [Mike] Stark, we rested him some. Deonte Mack on the D-line, we rested him. We rested [Andrew] Means quite a bit. His wasn't major, but he had dislocated a finger and that's always kind of painful. He played through it with Murray State. And he had a little bit of a leg bruise that it was we felt, in his best interest. So those are the guys that play a lot of football that got a chance to heal up a little bit. They all practiced yesterday and are ready to go. The one guy that we've got that is kind of questionable is Austin Thomas. He hurt his lower leg at practice last week, so if you're out at practice the next couple of days, he won't be going much."

    On stopping the run:
    "Well, I think that's a premise of our defense going into the whole offseason and spring and summer, that we have to be better against the run. Now, we did a good job against their run last year. They're running the ball better though. Knowing them like I do, their two tackles and their center are fourth-year guys that are really good football players. They played early and they have gotten better and better and better and they're men. I like their guards, too. Their tight ends have played a lot, they're an experienced group and Lewis is a difference maker as a back. He got hurt, I think he broke his leg or something before we played them last year, he had a leg injury. We know a lot about him, we've got a lot of Fort Wayne guys so they know how good of a player he is so there's respect there.

    "Where they get you is they have so much balance on offense. You know, the numbers that Davis puts up are incredible really, I mean statistically. But when they can run it as well as they do it really puts you in a bind. So, the challenge is, we've got to do a good job against the run which is something we want to do each and every week. If you just look at the numbers, the passing numbers are so big you don't think about the running. But the running game is certainly, and the numbers show it, much improved."

    On whether he enjoys playing Ball State:

    With my relationship with David Elson and some of the coaches [at Western Kentucky], that was a tough game. And it's a lot that way with this, I mean starting with Brady [Hoke], who's a very good friend, and a guy I have a ton of respect for. I have two sons that played there and we basically raised the family there. And the grandkids live there and they're all Ball State fans. So it's hard, that part of it. But, with that being said, it's a great game. It's a great in-state game. I think there's a lot of interest in it. I'm sure there's a whole lot of workplaces around the state where there's Ball State alums and IU alums and a little bit of bragging rights, and all that's part of it. So, I think from an interest standpoint, it's very good. But it is hard when you're coaching a game. It's not nearly as difficult when a few years ago my son was playing in it, I didn't like that at all. But I think, most coaches will tell you when you're playing people you've got good respect for and friends that it's always a little bit tougher."


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