Sept. 27, 2010
Press Conference Video
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Monday to discuss last week's victory over Akron and look forward to this week's contest against Michigan. He was joined by fifth-year senior quarterback Ben Chappell and senior wide reciever Terrance Turner.
The following is a transcript of Coach Lynch's press conference.
"It was a good win Saturday. As I mentioned after the game, it is great heading into conference play 3-0 which was obviously a goal when we got started. I thought that we had some good performances.
"On offense, Ben continues to play well. I thought Terrance Turner had a personal best with catches, yards, but he made some big plays. Dwuyce certainly made some big plays. Teddy Bolser continues to make touchdown catches. I thought Tandon Doss played a really really good football game. And I say that because he didn't have the numbers and sometimes with receivers it's all about numbers, but the way he played, the way he blocked down field was about as good as I have seen him play. I really mean that. I thought James Brewer played very well at tackle. We've come to expect that, but I certainly would like to mention it.
"On defense, we had some good performances there as well. I thought the guys up front were very solid. I thought Mentzer played particularly well. Someone in the press conference after the game mentioned his name and you can't tell on the field after watching it. He played solid throughout.
"I thought our special teams again were solid. Our kickoff return team I thought really did a nice job because they gave us a lot of alternative kicks and sometimes just fielding them are important. I thought Griffen Dahlstrom
made a great play on one that I think was miskicked. I think the kid hit the tee. Griffen was alert enough to run up and fair catch it, which gave us great field position. Those are sometimes the ones that hit the ground and you lose the ball.
"I thought overall it was a good performance. As we get ready for Michigan, everything has to be racheted up because it is a team on a roll. I had an opportunity to watch all four of their games and they really have improved each week. Denard Robinson is scary good. Then the way the other two kids came in and played it shows the depth that they have. And I think it's probably a real credit to Coach Rodriguez and his staff that they have a group of guys that have really bought in to what they are doing offensively and they have more and more personnel that fits what they are doing offensively, and they execute it so well. When you can bring three different quarterbacks in and your third quarterback is 100 percent throwing as well as being able to run the offense it shows you how well coached they are and where they are at. They have some very good players and run extremely well and play with great energy on defense. It's going to be a real challenge because they give us a different look than what we have played against the first three weeks in terms of defenseve schemes. We have our work cut out for us, but I know our guys are pretty excited about it. It's great to be playing at home again as we open the Big Ten season."
On Tandon Doss opening things up for other receivers
"What I saw him doing is blocking downfield and running routes hard. Sometimes when the ball is not coming to a guy, sometimes he doesn't run with the same intensity from start to finish and I thought he did. Sometimes doing the little things like blocking down field is something a lot of wide receivers don't get recognition for. But I thought he did a really good job there. And he is also such a smart player. He can play any of our spots and if you get a guy dinged up for a play or two he can jump in and play someplace else. That's very valuable to an offensive team that plays as many formations as we do."
On pressuring Denard Robinson while containing his running ability:
"That's the challenge, it really is, particularly as well as they are throwing the ball right now. They are second nationally as a running offense and he is first just after playing a quarter on Saturday. They obviously run the ball well and want to run the ball well, but they are throwing it so well. Forcier comes in and he is a perfect 12-for-12. They have great receivers and a good scheme. They are very well coached and are now in their third year in a system. It's like anything when you change systems like that, it takes a while and they have it rolling right now.
"That's the challenge with what you do. Everybody is going to have an opinion on how you stop that guy but we have watched four games and every team has a different approach and nobody has stopped him yet. We have to play our football. I think that's the biggest thing. We have to stay within the confines of our system and what we have practiced since we started spring practice.
"All of a sudden in one game because you are playing a great player and a great offensive team you try to change everything and generally that doesn't work. We have a lot of confidence in what we're doing. I think the message that I am going to give to our players is the same one that they have been hearing. We have to worry about ourselves and we have to improve. We have to get better this week from last week. We have to trust in what we're doing and they we have to play and execute better than we have the first three games."
Having Kellen Lewis in your system that does the same kinds of things, does that help preparations?
"A little bit. When you have one of those guys in your system, you know what kind of problems they create for the defense. Their system is a little bit different than what we were running at the time. One of the unique things with Denard is that in so many situations, he's the lead runner. The tailback or the other back is really the blocking back. And that is what makes it difficult because the quarterback in many cases is the unaccounted for guy. And now you have to account for him as well as everybody else like a group of receivers that can really get down the field in a hurry. That's why it is very difficult to defend their offense. Sure, I think if you've had experience being around a guy like that every day it probably makes you a little anxious because you know how much trouble it can give you."
On defending UM spread-option
"The biggest thing is that you have to be very gap-sound. If you get a guy out of a gap they will gash you. They will gash you with the quarterback or the running back. And they are a combination of one back and two back. They run a lot of two back with a lead blocker. You have to be very gap sound and account for everyone. With the quarterback being such a runner, that challenges you defensively."
On missed tackles:
"I think in a game like this, it is very important that we go back and work on fundamentals. So often, history tells me that when you get into creating new schemes in a week, and you play poorly because you are thinking too much instead of just playing. That's why you must trust the system, and it goes back to great fundamental play. Obviously, we must ratchet up the intensity and execute better than we have must be also must trust our system. Both sides of the ball must tackle better and block better. That's the number one thing that we have to do because if we don't block very well, they run well on defense and they'll get to the ball. Those are two things this afternoon in practice that we will spend a great deal of time on."
On the health of the team:
"I think we came out of it in good shape. I don't see that being an issue."
On guys being in the right spot on the tape:
"Quite a bit. Once again it's fundamental things. Sometimes we were trying to make the big hit instead of just having a good fundamental position and keeping your head up and feet moving, don't dive and don't go for the knock out. Sometimes you just need to make a good, fundamental tackle. It wasn't effort. I'd be concerned if it wasn't running to the ball. We are really going back to fundamentals because against a team like Michigan you will pay dearly."
On players determination after last year's Michigan game:
"We are processed driven and it's the next game, so we will approach it the same way we approached the first three. We are going to have a great week of preparation and go play hard and trust what we do. We are going to be competitive and I feel that way. Everyone else will make this game big enough and our players understand that. It's the first of eight conference games in what is an amazing conference. We have six in the top 20 out of the Big Ten and we play five of the six. It's the first conference game and they're all important. The one we have in front of us is always the most important and that will be the approach we're going to be taking. I'm sure our players expect that when they come in here this afternoon."
On the Hoosiers avoiding turnovers:
"It has a huge impact. You know, its interesting, it was written that the Colts, when they didn't have any turnovers, won 26 games in a row. That's pretty remarkable. That streak can take you a lot of places. As good as we have been, I think that in this game, it will be very big. Obviously, us defending their offense is going to be huge and that's going to be what everyone is watching. Turnovers, the kicking game and field position will also be big. If you go back and look at the games last year, those were the plays that were the most impactful when it was all said and done. We have been good about turnovers, and our kicking game has been sound. We have had a few penalties. We had the pre-snap penalty that we aligned wrong and the others were judgment calls, but nothing that we can't deal with."
On the running game for the Michigan game:
"I think as much as anything it is just getting a good balance. They have very good pass rushers and they have a blitzing type scheme where they can bring people from a lot of different directions. If we don't run the ball with some efficiency, then its going to put a lot of pressure on Ben in terms of staying in the pocket. So that as much as anything is why the running game is so important. We have to do what we do on offense as well. If we get out of rhythm and try and change what we do because we are concerned about their offense, then that doesn't play to our strength. We have to have confidence in what we are doing. It will be a never-ending challenge to create balance in our offense. I think that any offense that is pretty good on one phase needs to work on balance. You know, if you are pretty good running team, you know you are going to need to pass the ball. It's the same thing, we are a pretty good passing team right now, but it's a constant battle to get that balance so that you can run the ball effectively."
On keeping his team on an even keel this week:
"I think in this business you know your team and each day you get a sense of where they're at. They're doing the same thing in Ann Arbor that we're doing here. The key is to have everybody ready to go at 3:30 on Saturday. You don't play at 3:30 on Tuesday, you play at 3:30 on Saturday. I do think there's a maturity to this team that will certainly help that, starting with Ben and Tyler and a lot of other guys that have played a lot of football."
On Michigan having outscored its opponents 56-10 in the first quarter:
"Did you have to bring that up? I was reading that this morning, myself.
"They're explosive. I think when you have an explosive team that has success early in the game they are going to come into the game with confidence that they're going to do it again. Confidence is a big part of any sport. On offense in football, if you believe you're going to go down the field and score, there's a good chance you're going to do that. So we have to match their intensity and the speed of the game early, that's important."
On why the Hoosiers are performing so well in the third quarter:
"It would be a better answer if I knew the answer to the question, so to speak. You guys used to ask me that last year, `Why don't you make better halftime adjustments and what's wrong with the third quarter?'
"I didn't have an answer for you then, I don't have an answer why we're doing better this year. We're doing the same things. It's the same staff talking in the same way to the same guys. Some of it is execution - so far we've executed pretty well on offense and defensively we've been pretty solid - we can look at yards and stats and say `They shouldn't have had this,' but for the most part we've been pretty solid.
"I would say if there's one thing we need to do from a defensive standpoint - we've got to create some turnovers. We haven't created a turnover the last two weeks. While we haven't turned it over, we need to create turnovers on the other side. That will be something we'll work on during the week as well."
On how to get better at creating turnovers:
"We're going to play as fast as we can and run to the ball. I think that's what creates turnovers. If we spend all our time trying to hold a guy up and the next guy punches the ball out, Denard will be gone. We better tackle him. The first guy there better try to get him to the ground. So we just have to fly to the ball - I've always thought that was the way to get turnovers. If you've got 11 guys hustling to the ball and that ball gets knocked out, you're going to be the guy falling on it. That's going to be important to us."
On whether the defense has been plain the first three games:
"I think it's pretty close to what we are. Some games we'll blitz more than others, if we see something. We played more of the 3-4 Saturday than we had the first two weeks. I'd say we're about where we thought we'd be.
"We're a little different than we were a year ago. We were a sellout blitz team, where we played zero-coverage behind it, where there was no help. We were sending as many as we could and still have each receiver accounted for, so it was a little more of a high-risk blitz than we're running right now."
On handling Michigan's blitzing defense:
"I think we have to have a good week of preparation. We have to have good concentration and awareness of where they are. And then we have to do a good job once the game gets started of seeing what they're plan is against us. They have to decide how they're going to stop us just like we have to decide how we're going to stop them and then we get a feel for what they're doing in the game.
"They play a 3-3-stack or a 3-5-stack which is something really that is similar to what Rich ran when he was at West Virginia. With all those linebackers they can come from a lot of different angles. We've seen a lot as we've gone through the first three weeks. As much as anything, having a good week of preparation, being aware and communicating about where everybody's lined up."
On what he needs to see from Chappell on Saturday:
"Ben needs to play like he's been playing. It's the same deal. I don't think you can ever ask one guy to be more than what he is. And if he plays the same way he's been playing, that's pretty darn good. He has to prepare the same way he has the first three weeks - I think that's why he's played so well, because he's so well-prepared going into the game and knowing exactly what the defense is doing and what we need to do against it. He needs to do the same thing on Saturday.
"I've always felt like if you tell someone, `You've got to have a career game' or `You've got to have your best game ever,' that's not fair to any one individual. Everyone's just got to have a good week of preparation and we've got to play well collectively as a team."
On how to keep his team from overpursuing while running so hard on defense:
"You just work at it every day. That's why we videotape every play in practice, review it and show it to the players the next day, correct mistakes. It's an ongoing thing. That's why when I stand here and say we've got to get better this week, we've got to improve as a team. It's all those little things. If you play 70 snaps and you play really well on 64 of them but you have six breakdowns, that's not good enough.
"That goes back as I talk to our guys - last year it was 12 plays in the course of a whole season, one a game. It's a neverending battle to keep getting better.
"I go back to the Colts because they're pretty good role models in this business, but I think they interviewed Freeney after the Giants game, and he said, `We're going to go watch tape and get better, we've got to improve.' How do you get better than that? `You can always get better.' That was his line. He makes a bunch of money playing this game but is aware enough that you can always get better.
"So that's kind of where we area as a team. Especially because we've only played three games and have a bunch of them ahead of us."
On what he wants the team's defensive identity to be:
"I would say, without question, that I would like people to watch us play defense and opposing teams say, `Boy, they really play hard. They play hard every snap, they've got 11 guys running to the ball.' I think on defense if you can develop that identity and play that way consistently day in and day out, you're going to be successful."
On starting 3-0 again and the importance of finishing:
"Those 12 plays didn't come in the first three games last year. It came from this point on. Finishing, I use that term all the time, but I think Saturday was a good example. We've got to finish the tackle. We got guys at the point of attack, but we didn't finish the tackle. We've got to finish the block. We had people in the right spot and we had a seam and one guy comes off his block and it's a 3-yard gain, and everybody says, `What's wrong with the run game?' We've got to finish what we do.
"I'll say this as a real positive, though. We weren't finishing the game the other night. After the fourth down play, we challenged the guys, `Let's finish this game. This is what we're talking about.' We didn't give it back. We got down to the 2-yard line and took a knee. That was finishing the game. We made plays we had to make, it's not going to go down in the record books or anything, but it's a lesson to learn, that's what finishing is all about. Duwyce finished a couple plays that you have to make, and if you don't you can lose games like that. That's the approach we're taking."
On whether some offensive players were upset that he didn't let them finish the last drive by scoring:
"I didn't ask them. Because that's what we're going to do, and if we get another chance we're going to do it again."
On whether the team seems to be growing in confidence:
"This team has been an easy team to coach, in that they come to work every day. When they come in here at 3:00, they'll be locked in and they'll hear what I have to say and be ready to watch tape, see the mistakes and get on with Michigan. That's all you can ask for out of a team. They haven't been a team - it can even be talented teams - but it's like pulling teeth at practice to get them going. This team hasn't been that way.
"That's why I'm confident they understand that the level of play and intensity has to go up. But I don't think it's something I have to sit in here and lecture about. The young guys up there aren't going to understand - they're going to find out when they're standing on the sideline and the first snap in a Big Ten game, and they're going to go, `This is different than what we've been watching.' But that's why it's fun, that's why they came here to play Big Ten football, because it's a different speed."
Senior wide receiver Terrance Turner
On being more focused after the close call with Michigan last year:
"Not necessarily more focused, just more in tune with what we have to do. The last couple games, the competition hasn't been as good as it is in the Big Ten. It's sort of a different season when you go into Big Ten play. So we're more in tune with what we have to do and the things that have to get corrected, and hopefully things will turn out like they did the last few games."
On what he remembers from last year's Michigan game:
"A lot of the plays that Coach Lynch speaks of were from that game, so it goes to show you that a couple plays here and there, the game might have been the other way around. It just goes to show you that we can beat this team if we correct the things we spoke about, the little things that we have to key on. If we get those fixed, we have a legitimate chance to beat this team. We'll just work on that this week, the things that weren't good last week, we need to get fixed."
On the opportunity of having a top-20 team coming in:
"It's significant, just the fact that it's our first Big Ten game. It's a top-20 team. It's going to be a tough battle. It's a home game for us, so we like to think we have an advantage with our fans backing us. It's always a good game when you start Big Ten play because that game can carry you a long way into the season."
On the team seeing a bigger test:
"Those games meant a lot. We weren't playing high school teams, they wanted to win just as much as us and we battled to win those games. The competition's a step up because it's a Big Ten game, Michigan has a lot of history and tradition. They're going to come in here ready to win the game. This game is comparable to the last three games, both teams want to come in and win and, may the best team win."
On the difference between the team's 3-0 starts:
"I try not to think about past years because those years don't equate to us winning more games, losing more games - it has no effect on this year. It can go both ways. If you want to look back, it goes to show you that no matter how you start, it's all about how you finish. Coach talks about finishing, finishing. He likes to break the season up into quarters - that was our first quarter. Hopefully we'll have a good second quarter and then third and fourth we can finish. Those seasons don't tell you a lot about what can be done and what can't be done - it's all about where you go from that 3-0 start."
On whether there's a different confidence level for the team this year:
"I would say that. Last year, we went through games early on that weren't definite wins. The Western Michigan game, we needed a fumble recovery to win. There's a different confidence about this team. We have the players to make plays and we have the players to win games, not only in the non-conference, but in the Big Ten also. We're excited and we're hungry to get going in Big Ten play to see what kind of team we really are."
On whether last year's game takes away intimidation from playing Michigan:
"We're not intimidated by any team. You could look back last year, and say we had a chance to win that game, but I think a lot of players - we had a good chance to win that game and who's to say we shouldn't have won that game. It's not a different confidence, any team we play we think we can beat the team. We never go into a game saying, `I hope we win.' If you're a competitor you want to win every game you play. We have more and more players with that same attitude. Hopefully this weekend we go to 4-0."
On the difference in Michigan defensively:
"I haven't seen too much of the film, but I saw the last game and the previous game before that. They have a lot of younger guys on defense, I know that. They play a 3-3-5, trying to get more athletes on the field, more guys who can move in space. It will be a little different because they're not a traditional defense, a 4-3 or a 3-4, which is a little bit out of the ordinary. They're a good defense, they have a lot of athletes on the field."
On what he said to Ben after a career day last weekend:
"I didn't say anything. Ben knows with me or any of the other receivers or tight ends, we all can make plays. There's always a situation where it's one-on-one with a guy and it all comes down to if you want to make the play or not. He knows we have the athletes to make plays and it tends to work out."
On Michigan's big play ability:
"As players, we know that big plays are going to happen. Any game you play is not going to be completely one-sided. There's always going to be a couple plays here and there by both teams. So we have to understand that it's going to happen, but it's all about how we react to it, how we respond. We just have to react to it well and move on from there."
Senior quarterback Ben Chappell
On Terrance Turner:
"I think he has gotten better. I think he has improved every year. It comes from the hard work he puts in. He was here every day in the summer. We were throwing passes together, and I think just him catching balls was just a matter of the way the defense played us. I think that might be what you see this season, a different guy every week, because I think as an offense we're going to take what the defense gives us. He played great too. He made plays."
On the Big Ten opener:
"I think it is different. This is the Big Ten. This is conference play now. It is a time that everyone will have to step it up a notch. You say that all the games are the same, but I think there is a little bit of an edge when you start Big Ten play. I think we have enough leadership on this team that everyone will realize what it is all about throughout this week of preparation and we'll be ready to go."
On whether the Hoosiers have something to prove:
"I think the three teams we've played so far have been good teams. I think we always have something to prove. I think there will always be somebody questioning what we do. We're not to worried about that. We're going to take it a game at a time and let our performance speak for itself."
On last year's game:
"I remember it was a crazy game, up and down. That is what I'm expecting this year. Obviously they're a great football team with some great athletes that are going to make plays on offense and defense. I think my message to the team this week is going to be every possession matters. Really, every play matters. I think it is going to be one of those games where we might go up 21-0 or go down 21-0 and then comeback with four scores in a row. I think with both offenses high-powered, that is the way it is going to be, so we've got to be ready for that mentally and physically."
On having to score a lot of points:
"We're not worried about a certain number. It might be 7-0, you have no idea. I think that is why we have to go into this game and really take it one possession at a time because I think it going to be back and forth. It always comes down to three or four plays though, so we've got to be ready to make those plays."
On his impressions of Michigan on film:
"I watched quite a lot of film yesterday, and I've tried to get somewhat comfortable with them. They are similar to last year defensively. I think they're better. I think they had a lot of young guys last year and they were getting used to that system under Coach Robinson. So, now they've had a year in it and they're moving around a lot. I think their players are better. They've got two older linebackers and they don't have (Brandon) Graham, he was obviously a great player last year, but I think they've got some great players, some heady guys in the secondary. They're a good team."
On blitz packages he might see:
"I think that is going to be a big focus this week. I think they'll stay gap-sound, so our protections are still going to hold, but we've got to get in the film room a lot and get comfortable with those calls. It is just a matter of trying to decipher what they're trying to disguise."
On the significance of the game:
"I think it is a huge game for us. It is the Big Ten opener, but it was a big game for us last year too. We played them up there, so maybe that was even bigger. Playing them here, maybe we have a little bit of an advantage at home. It is going to be a big game for us and we're just excited."
On confidence from last year's game:
"I think it is positive. We talked about it all preseason that we were close in a lot of games but we didn't make the plays that needed to be made. So, I guess you can take out of it as much as you want. I'm not going to take much out of it just because we played a close game with them and lost. Last year they beat us, and we're focused on this year because they are a different team and we'll bring something different."
On Denard Robinson:
"He is a great football player and a great athlete. I have watched. We had a couple of night games and the bye week, so I've been able to sit around and watch. He has done great. The offense obviously fits him perfectly. He has done a great job of managing it and being productive, obviously."
On Ted Bolser:
"He has been playing great, and I know he will continue to play great. He is a great player and I'm just happy that he is on my team."
On the team's confidence level:
"I think we just have fun out there. I think from the preseason, that is something we've kind of conveyed to the team. I love this team and I have a lot of fun practicing and playing with them. I think that is something that breeds confidence. The more we can continue to have fun playing the game, I think the better we will be."
On playing in big games:
"We play in the Big Ten and this is why. Teams like Michigan at home. Just go out there and have fun with the guys."