Sept. 23, 2008
Press Conference Video
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head football coach Bill Lynch met with the media on Tuesday, Sept. 23, for his weekly press conference in preparation for the Hoosiers' game against Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 27.
Head Coach Bill Lynch
"Well we got back at it yesterday and I thought we had a really good practice. I thought our kids bounced back from a tough loss. Knowing that the Big Ten season is here, and certainly our guys have a tremendous amount of respect for Michigan State. Not only what they've seen on tape this year, but certainly our game with them last year where they got after us pretty good. So we're anxious to get after it today when we're in full pads and really get in to the gameplan.
"Injury-wise, Nick Polk won't play this week after injuring his knee. We certainly look forward to getting him back here before too long. And Christopher Philips unfortunately it doesn't look like he'll be back with his knee injury. Austin Thomas is progressing. I think you guys that come to practice will have as good an idea as we do as we go through the week. He's not going to practice today but he's more active. He can do more things, so we just kind of have to wait and see there. Roger Saffold will practice. He's on the same plan that he's been on. Other than that I think we're in pretty good shape. So really, where we got nicked up a little bit was in the secondary."
On how the loss might affect the team:
On what the tapes showed him:
"That's one of the things that we don't concern ourselves with. We've got to get better. You certainly go home on Saturday night, get up on Sunday, throw the tape on and you start analyzing what you did and how you played and where you've got to get better and adjustments you have to make. And then you work non-stop. If you worry about all those kind of things, you're not doing your job, in terms of getting your football team better. Certainly, it was a great atmosphere and a good opportunity. We got beat and that's all part of it. So we're working to get better and know that we have an awful good team coming in on Saturday."
"Ball State is a very good football team on both sides of the ball. But I don't think we played well enough. And I say that in a lot of fundamental things, including execution on both sides of the ball. Those are things that are very, very correctable. I think when you struggle is when you put on the tape and you watch and you go, `we don't have this or we don't have that and this is a real problem.' But we didn't play well enough. Then you've got to get into why we didn't play well enough and those are other issues. I just think that defensively, we didn't do some fundamental things. Tackle, contain the quarterback, stay in coverage when the quarterback's scrambling and play red zone defense. Offensively, it's a game of execution as well. We didn't block, we didn't make the throws and catches we needed to, we didn't convert on a field goal opportunity. Different things like that, that if we had done those things before then you'd know that's a real problem. But those are things that we've executed to this point. So we've got to get better in those areas and keep working at it. There are nine football games left against nine good football teams. We've played three, so there's a lot of football ahead of us and I think we're going to work on that improvement starting today."
On the injury to Ball State WR Dante Love:
"Well, you know that's a tough situation. And it really is. All of us really hate to see that happen to a young guy. You know, he's a great kid. I know how much my son, who played with him, really thought the world of him and did when he played with him. So, without really knowing him myself, there was a little bit of an attachment there. But his spirits were great and he's certainly handling it well. But it is certainly a difficult part of the whole profession. And I think as an athlete, to see somebody get hurt like that, it's tough."
On being able to talk to Love:
"When I was there he was certainly tired, because it was Sunday afternoon, but very aware. His mother was there, his girlfriend was there. And I talked to the Ball State people quite a bit since and I talked to Brady [Hoke] this morning. So things, I think, are positive for the situation."
On Love's attitude about his situation:
"I think he's fine. Certainly he's a young guy too, and I think it would affect any of us. But I think he's a mature guy and also knows that it's an unfortunate thing that happened. But I think he's handling it well and certainly dealing with it with him as we go. I think it affects both teams, in all honesty. I think anytime you're in a situation like that and you're on the field, it's going affect all that. Cause everybody's a competitior and (you) hate to see it."
On Michigan State RB Javon Ringer:
"Ringer's really good. But I'll tell you what, their scheme is good. This is a completely different kind of team. Ball State stretches you because of the threat of the pass and the play action pass. What they did is a different kind of scheme. Michigan State will really pound you, and they do it as well as anybody in the country that I've seen with that style of offense. It's a great offense. I think we all wish we could run it in a lot of ways, because its ball control, you keep the ball away from the opponent and shorten the game. And they've got the horses to do it, starting with the guys up front. They're very, very well coached up front. They're very physical and then (Ringer) is a great back behind it. He's also the kind of back that's durable enough to carry the ball 40 times and he's done it week after week. So what you have to do to defend this is different, scheme-wise, than what you've got to do to defend Ball State. I mean, not only turn on the tape from this year, but turn on the tape from last year. We didn't do well on keeping it when we got it but we didn't see it very often."
On possibly giving his running backs that many carries:
"The biggest thing is our offense is so different than theirs. Our running backs and what we do with our running backs is different. I'm sure each one of them would like to play more and get more carries. But this is one where it's just running. It's kind of the traditional, old offense where you used to see tailbacks carry the ball 35, 40 times a game. It's kind of a pound away, pound away, pound away offense. And in a lot of ways, the back doesn't take a lot of pounding cause the big guys up front kind of pave the way. I'm sure he's sore after the games because to carry the ball that many times is tough, but he does a great job taking care of it. A year ago they rotated him because they had [Jehuu Caulcrick] that was a real, change of pace. At this point this year, we've seen mainly Ringer."