Head Coach Bill Lynch's Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 29, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Michigan and to look forward to Saturday's home game against Ohio State. Coach Lynch was joined by junior quarterback Ben Chappell and senior defensive end Greg Middleton.
The following is a partial transcript from this week's press conference:
"Of our One Play Warriors, our special teams guys, two entered the club full time. Mitchell Evans entered a week ago and based on four games, Brandon Bugg and Collin Taylor are full time members. One Play Warriors for the week were Brandon Bugg, Collin Taylor, Ray Fisher, Nick Freeland, and Bryan Payton. They all had outstanding performances.
"The captains for the Ohio State game, selected yesterday, are Jammie Kirlew, Ben Chappell, Will Patterson, and Roger Saffold. Those four will be our captains going into this week. Now with that, going into this week, it is a great opportunity for this football team and this football program. I say that to everyone because we have to fill this house and we need to start with the Hoosiers. This is a football team that is getting better week by week, and we have the opportunity to play a great football team in Ohio State. I know the pre-sale tickets have gone well.
"As we go through the week, we are going to urge students to completely sell out their portion of the stadium as well as the rest of the stadium. I think it's a showcase game for us in terms of the new stadium and the experience we have been selling. We certainly appreciate those who came to our first two games, but this is an opportunity to really show and be on a national televised network in the Big Ten Network. It should be a great evening for football in Bloomington.
"Ohio State is obviously a great football team. I think the first thing from a statistical standpoint you look at is their defense. They have shut out their last two opponents and effectively stopped USC. USC had one drive at the end of the game, while the other one was a one-yard play after an interception return. Then they had a drive at the end of the half that resulted in a field goal, but other than that Ohio State really played great. They are just so sound in what they do defensively so that is the first thing that jumps out at you.
"Offensively, [Terrelle] Pryor jumps out at you. He is a tremendous athlete of physical size that you are not used to seeing at quarterback with his kind of mobility. They have balance, in that they can run right at you with their good backs, strong offensive line, and good tight end. They have good skill on the outside, but Pryor is that extra dimension. If you let him go running the ball, he can beat you and he is a good passer.
"Ohio State has just an outstanding team as usual with very solid special teams play. It is a typical Coach Tressel team that do not beat themselves. You are going to have to beat Ohio State, so it is a challenge for us, but I know we had a great practice yesterday. We are looking forward to Tuesday and Wednesday here where we can really put everything in and get ready to start with. Like I said, it is not only a challenge, but a great opportunity for not only the football team, but the football program here at Indiana."
On the mood of the team after the Michigan game ended the way it did:
"There were so many opportunities we had as you go back through the game if we just would have executed. Michigan did not have anything to do with it. The environment did not have anything to do with it. It was a matter of whether our offense, defense, or special teams executed a play including being fundamental and finishing a play. If we would have done that, we would have been in a better situation in the fourth quarter.
"So that was the mood of the team. That is the mood they carried home and that is the mood they had yesterday. They are not buying into the idea that it was a one-hit wonder and had a great effort. We have to have a great effort every week. I think the biggest thing is we preach to them all the time is you have to control the controllables and take that same kind of energy, work ethic, and passion for the game every time. That is when you get better when you eliminate those mistakes or fundamental execution problems in practice then it is going to show up on Saturday. That is the goal of this week. If we continue to get better as a football team, we will be ready to go on Saturday night."
On finishing drives during the Michigan game:
"The next one was a play again we practiced in the same area and threw the ball just a little wide of Doss. The third one was in and out of Turner's hands and Mitchell Evans dived for it but missed. We had three plays there we have to execute better.
"Is it a major problem? No. We just have to make those plays not only at Michigan, but also in Big Ten football. We have to make those plays when presented the opportunity. So you can go back over and realize there were a lot of them, but do we second-guess? No. We went up there with a great game plan and went all out. I think there were 195 plays in that football game, so second-guessing any of them is crazy. You just have to execute when you get the chance, but we will continue to work at it. We had the same problem earlier and were better at Akron, but not as good at Michigan. We left with points, so that was good, but in Big Ten play, you don't want to keep trading sevens for threes because it does catch up with you by the end of the game."
On using the running backs near the goal line:
On learning from his team after one Big Ten game:
On how to simulate Pryor in practice:
"We have to do a great job of stopping the run first of all. You can't let Ohio State come in here and run the ball all over you, but you have to be sound in how you execute because with Pryor at quarterback, he is part of the running game. If you just sell out, he may run a quarterback draw, pop out the other end, or run an option.
"He is a very difficult guy to simulate as well in the passing game. We have to be sound and disciplined in what we do. I think the fundamentals in defense are so important. We have to get off blocks and have to tackle because they are going to block you. They don't try to disguise things and they are going to block you. They have great skill players who can make you miss. It sounds really simple, but I think when you play a team like that, those are the things we are going to talk about in here a week from now, whether we executed those or not."
On who Pryor reminds him of:
On Ray Fisher fielding punts:
"We have two or three of them this year that have bounced against us and sometimes through the course of a season, one of those balls bounces the other way in the end zone. There were two in particular on Saturday we probably needed to go get. We always reflect on the ones he didn't catch versus the ones he did catch. I told Ray in practice yesterday we are going to be a little more aggressive. That was me being a little bit too conservative and coaching him up to not take too many chances.
"One of the things that is different in the punt return game nowadays is everyone runs a spread punt where you have three or four gunners. So you have more guys in the face of guys catching punts and is the same reason our coverage has been pretty good. There are more bodies flying around when you are trying to move through the traffic to make fair catches too."
On playing straight spread more against Michigan and changing formations on offense:
"Ohio State is pretty multiple. Michigan is a lot more multiple than you think. There were times in the fourth quarter when they lined up unbalanced I-formation and ran power right at us. That is a long way from the spread. A lot of professional football is the same way. If you practice it enough, you can become efficient with it. It is not what you do formation-wise or backfield-wise, but if you overload your offensive line with blocking schemes, that is where you get in trouble. The reps of the offensive line are so important because there are so many defenses."
On Ohio state missing safety Kurt Coleman:
On Darius Johnson's injury:
On Donnell Jones' injury:
On Cody Faulkner:
On using mostly Darius Willis rather than a rotation against Michigan:
"We won't decide until the end of the week about the number of carries and sometimes the flow of the game takes over and you have to go with the flow. I think any coach would tell you that. They don't monitor the number of carries like they do pitches in baseball, for example. We will see how the game is going and how we hold up physically."
On whether Tandon Doss deserves more attention:
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