Head Coach Bill Lynch's Weekly Press Conference

    Go Hoosiers! Quarterback Ben Chappell joined Coach Lynch at the head coach's weekly press conference.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Quarterback Ben Chappell joined Coach Lynch at the head coach's weekly press conference.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Sept. 29, 2009

    Press Conference Audio: Coach Lynch | Chappell | Middleton
    Press Conference Video

    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:

    Opening Statement:
    "I would like to start out with the awards from last week that we went over with our players last night. The scout team players of the week for the Michigan game on defense were Lawrence Barnett and Brandon McGhee. On offense it was Charlie Chapman and Andrew Pimentel. On special teams it was Lee Rose. I thought all those kids on the scout team did a great job of getting us prepared for Michigan.

    "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:
    "I like the mood because they were upset. They didn't go up there for any moral victories and didn't leave with any moral victories. I think that is one of the things you have to guard against is people telling what a great effort they put out. That is not why we went. We have to get to the point where our great efforts are the norm. That is the expectation. Performance is what we are after and we didn't play well enough to win the football game.

    "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:
    "We were close on a lot of them. One series, that may have been after Sliger's interception, we moved to about the three-yard line. I thought we had the package where Mitchell was at quarterback and we had prepared in the exact same position of the field. It was close, Mitchell was trying to get Doss coming across and on his last play, he may have been able to flip it to Dedmond. That is football. To me we had pretty good execution on, but they played pretty good defense.

    "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:
    "In the past, we felt like maybe we couldn't run it in. I think we are running the ball well enough where we can run it in, but we didn't on Saturday. At some point you can give Michigan credit as well, or we might have missed a block or something. I think we have the ability to run it and throw it. We have the ability to get in different formations and personnel groups. I think from a tactical standpoint we have it, but we have to execute down in the red zone. I don't sit here and say we are limited here and that keeps us from scoring touchdowns."

    On learning from his team after one Big Ten game:
    "I think the players are willing to get better. I do think each week we have gotten better and I expect that again this week. I have been saying it since last spring. This is going to be a good football team. We have to prove on the field on Saturday. I can talk about it all I want, but we have to prove it each and every Saturday. I am not surprised about that at all, because we have been saying we are a good football team. I am pleased with the way our attitude shows `We didn't play well enough to win, so let's get better' instead of saying, `that is as good as we can do' or `we got robbed.' I didn't hear any bit of that or sense it. That is the positive I believe."

    On how to simulate Pryor in practice:
    "It is difficult. Dusty Kiel and Connor Creevey have been our scout team quarterbacks. They have done a great job each week and they will. You just have to simulate the plays. We have to be so sound in what we do defensively.

    "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:
    "I said this to the staff the other day. I coached against Daunte Culpepper twice when he was in college. Daunte Culpepper has that kind of size and mobility that Prior has. As Daunte got further into the NFL, he wasn't quite the runner, but in college he was a load. Just watching Prior on film reminds me of Culpepper. I can personally say I have coached against Culpepper."

    On Ray Fisher fielding punts:
    "Part of that is on me. Some of those worries out on the field and some of those punts have been difficult to catch. I probably, in my approach with him and with Coach Springer's and Coach Billy Lynch's coaching, the number one goal is to have possession at the end of a play. When in doubt, get away from the ball. The defense has worked too hard and we feel good about our offense so let's get the ball back and we will move. When in doubt, don't do something crazy and try to be a hero.

    "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:
    "I think in college football offenses have changed amongst different aspects of their attack. Maybe, there are teams are just true triple option football. But for most games, teams run a lot of different plays. We run a lot of different stuff. The pistol is more of a formation than an offense we run. The quarterback is catching the snap, but what we do is pretty multiple.

    "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:
    "They will just bring another one in and they have great players everywhere. They have had great players for a long time. I am sure the back-up will be a great player as well."

    On Darius Johnson's injury:
    "It's unfortunate because he was really playing well. It was a practice injury, which you hate to have, but you have to practice hard. He was providing great depth at defensive end in particular in pass rush situations and he is a very good special teams player. I don't know how long, but he will be out for a while."

    On Donnell Jones' injury:
    "Each kid is a different situation. Every day is a little bit different such as it depends on how sore they are on Sunday (the day after versus Monday). Donnell Jones is one of those guys we will go day by day with, but he is playing well to so we certainly would like to get him back in. Muscle injuries vary with each kid and ankles are probably are more predictable. I am getting a little out of my element here. I just know with hamstrings it is day-to-day."

    On Cody Faulkner:
    "He has practiced pretty well the past two weeks. I told him the other day to keep going because we are going to need him. We're one game into the Big Ten and week in and week out is a physical battle. It would be great to get him back and I would say he is getting pretty close to the point where we can throw him into a game. He is a little sore after full-contact days, but still makes it through the week so I am anxious to see him practice today and tomorrow. "

    On using mostly Darius Willis rather than a rotation against Michigan:
    "We think Darius has a great future as a back. We felt like there was going to be a point where he had a breakout game. Instead of looking at me like I was crazy in saying how good he was, we knew it was there and he came out big on Saturday. With that being said, Demetrius McCray is a good running back. He gives us some options and is very good in the passing game. Trea Burgess is a big and powerful guy who gives us some options. He is an excellent special teams player. There is a place for them all.

    "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:
    "I hope he doesn't get any attention, to tell you the truth, let him lay low. He is a great football player. He has a little bit of what Mitchell Evans has. There is a lot of things he can do including catching, running, and special teams. He is a good football player. We saw that in high school because he was one of those guys who played everywhere. When we recruited him, we saw him as a wide receiver and that's why we play him. We have seen him do a lot of things on the football field during his career."


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