Oct. 4, 2010
Press Conference Video
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Monday to review last week's game against Michigan and look forward to this weekend's contest against Ohio State.
The following is a full transcript from the press conference.
Head Coach Bill Lynch
"It was a great football game. It really was. It was just a crazy game that defies the traditional thinking in terms of statistical analysis of a game. But I think it was a game with some really great players playing at a high level. I think when you really look at it, their guys made some good plays and our guys made some good plays.
"One of the things that we talk a lot about that generally holds is turnover margin. Obviously it was very big, it was a wash and both of them were deep in the red zone. In that sense they were very similar turnovers. We got a break and I'd say they got a break. That counts as a wash.
"Third down conversion is very big for us. We were very good in that situation. We did a good job in stopping them on third down.
"The third thing that we talk so much about is big plays. And it was one of those games where the big play battle overshadowed everything else. You can see on our board over there outside our locker room in the hallway. `Win the battle, win the war.' If we can win two of the three we'll win the game. We won third down conversions battle, tied the turnover margin and the big-play battle they won out on in the end. It was a very competitive game and like I said, I think there were great plays on both sides.
"We got through it in very good health and so we're on to Ohio State. Everybody is going to talk about [Terrelle] Pryor because he is such a good player, but it starts with their defense. They play great defense at Ohio State. Everything is tough to come by whether you are running or throwing it. They have a good team, well coached, great players, so that's the thing that jumps out at me when you watch Ohio State.
Obviously, Pryor is a great player like [Denard] Robinson, but different. In terms of the ability to beat you with his legs and his arms, and he is a good leader you can tell because his teammates really respond around him, plus he has a lot of good weapons with him. We are looking forward to the challenge, I know our players will. We will be ready to go at noon in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday."
On Pryor compared to Robinson:
"Size makes the biggest difference. He's a big man when he plays. He can really go. He had one against Illinois where he got outside and ran down the sideline for a big play. To relate it to basketball, there's that great point guard that you can't stop versus a big, overpowering guy that has the ball in his hands all the time. There are both great players but it's just different. He's a very good passer like Denard, and Denard proved it. But it's just the presence that's a difference. The scheme of their offense is a difference.
"Michigan is a true spread scheme that stretches you tremendously and that is why you get caught with one-on-one situations where a missed tackle or a guy out of position creates big plays. It's such a well-conceived offense. In a lot of ways Rich Rodriguez had a lot to do with the development of spread offense in America much like Urban Meyer and his ways. They totally understand that.
"Ohio State is a mixture. They run spread but they also run traditional football where they can play power football with you, but they have great flexibility within the offense because of Pryor and his ability to run and his ability to scramble. They have very good receivers and good backs so that is probably the biggest different rather than the individuals, the teams are different, although both are very effective."
On defensive mistakes:
"There are always reasons for it anytime you are exposed with big plays like that. Unfortunately if you play in the secondary you are the last guy seen in the play. The difference was I think eight plays or maybe nine. I think they had over 400 yards in eight or nine plays. Their other 37 they got about 135 yards. What we needed to do was cut those big plays in half. Give up a couple less. We knew going into it they were going to get some big plays on us. They are a great football team. I don't think you heard me during the week saying we were going to stop them. You are going to need an unbelievably good football team to stop that offense. That's what it came down to, and that's why it was a huge discrepancy in time of possession.
"A lot of it was credit to Michigan's kids. They got us in some one-on-one situations and they beat you quick, and the rest is our guys chasing them and they're very fast. They're correctable mistakes and things we'll learn from and move on.
"The other thing is that we have a lot of guys that are older but haven't played a lot on that side of the ball, and certainly haven't played anyone with that kind of speed on that side of the ball. That will make us better come this week."
On Michigan's first long TD run:
"We had a good, sound scheme. And they forced us in doing some things a bit different because of the offense and they can create those one-on-one situations. Even more so than that, if [Mitchell Evans] would have just missed him and made Denard go the other way that would have helped him. But the way he missed, his only help was the corner and the corner had a wideout blocking him. That's exactly what happened, I think, on six of the eight plays."
On the way the corners played:
"We've played a lot of football in four games. I thought they played well. They were matched up in some tough situations. We were right there on two of them. One the receiver went up and made a great catch on an underthrown ball. I watched ESPN highlights of the NFL yesterday and those plays happen. The other one you must make a tackle. And nobody knows that more than him. He wasn't all that out of position on the throw. Instead of a throw and a catch and a 17-yard gain, instead with the missed tackle it was a touchdown. I'm not going to sit here and critique based on a couple of plays. That's going to happen sometimes."
On Ohio State's defense:
"They're a great defense. They line up and they're sound. They have flexibility in their scheme. They are basically a four-down but they can get down in an odd front as well. They will bring pressure at times but they're not what you think of as a full-pressure defense. They play zone, they play man. The biggest thing is that they're one of those teams that physically they are very good up front. Their guys like [Cameron] Heyward and [Dexter] Larimore and the linebackers in there - they are good physical guys with great speed in the secondary. To me it's an Ohio State defense. They are very sound, well coached, good players and you have to beat them honestly. You can't trick them. That's one thing you know when you play Ohio State defense. We have to go out and execute very well."
On the difference in Ohio State from last year:
"Sitting here at noon on Monday, I think they're the same, well-coached good football team with excellent personnel. And they play with confidence, there's no question, that's why they're the No. 2 team in the country. Teams at that elite level play with a confidence about them, really, in all phases of the game. Those kind of teams, when you make a play against them, they look back like, `What happened?' Then they line up and go at it. There's no panic."
On having an extra lineman in for Darius Willis' first touchdown run:
"Yes, that's exactly what we did.
"I honestly am really proud of the way our offensive line's played. That particular play was something we hadn't shown and we gashed them on that one. The thing I'm proud of about our offensive line is that we threw the ball 64 times and gave up two sacks. One of them we got beat, and one of them was a communication breakdown in the way we were sliding the protection.
"When you throw it that many times - I'll take Ben [Chappell] over anybody, but he's not a running quarterback, they have a pretty good idea of where he's going to be - and to only get sacked twice, I thought they really battled. The one thing that's tough in the run game against [Michigan] is they're going to guess right in some of their stunts and blitzes. And we got them a couple times, the touchdown run in particular. We ended up getting a couple there in that last drive - they were putting pressure on us and getting some hits, so we were able to come back with some runs in that drive and I think that helped us."
On Darius Willis picking up blitzes:
"That's why Darius is such a good football player. He's not about his numbers or anything like that. He played over 70 plays as a tailback, and he pass blocked on probably 40 or more of them. He's a very smart football player, so he recognized the stunts. I thought overall he played very well."
On the offense's ability to make plays when they have to be made:
"The third down part of it is something we've really spent a lot of time on. We were last in the Big Ten in third-down conversion offense a year ago, and we were a pretty decent offensive football team, but we were dead last. So that's been a real point of emphasis of ours throughout the offseason. We weren't really good in the first game, but now we're leading the Big Ten in conversions. Now it's a completely different test this week at Ohio State, but I think it's a point of emphasis where we've worked very hard in that area. We compete just about every day in practice. Our defense is much improved on third downs - [Michigan] didn't get those plays on third downs, we played pretty well on third downs against Michigan. But on offense, there's no question that Ben and Darius and the receivers have a lot to do with it."
On Tandon Doss' remarkable numbers almost being expected:
"He's a very good football player, and I think more and more people are going to find that out as we go. And then you add in the all-purpose yards, kick returns, punt returns, running the ball out of the backfield, running the ball on the jet sweep, and he's as tough as they come. He got the edge a couple of times and he was downhill - you don't find a lot of receivers that way. But unfortunately, when you see a player like that every day in practice, it becomes an expectation of ours and we sometimes take his numbers for granted."
On the receiving corps' ability to spread the completions around:
"I think it goes back to they all respect one another and they also know that they're all going to get a chance to touch the ball. I've said this before to this group, but the leader of that group is Terrance Turner. I think his unselfishness and his work ethic and pride, and all those things carry over. I think Tandon [Doss] and Damarlo [Belcher] and Duwyce [Wilson], they all take pride in blocking and helping each other out because they know they're going to get a chance to touch the ball. Every group starts with leadership and Terrance is that guy."
On Donnell Jones playing nickel back:
"I'll give you a little background. Going into the season we thought that against the good spread teams when we needed more speed on the field, that he would be a nickel guy for us, that outside linebacker, nickel position. It changed a little bit when Chris Adkins got hurt. We felt we had three pretty good football players in [Mitchell] Evans, Chris and Donnell, because we had consciously made the decision to move Donnell inside from corner because he's 225 pounds now.
"Then once Adkins got hurt, we felt like from an experience standpoint we felt we were better with Donnell at safety. But getting ready for Michigan with their speed on the field, and knowing what we were going to have to do, that's why we made that decision. So you'll see him playing both throughout the rest of the season."
On how much they will use the nickel back against Ohio State:
"Well, we're still deciding what we're going to do. That's why Ohio State's tough, they're going to play both. We're not far enough into the game plan to decide what we're going to do."
On how far Adkins is from coming back:
"He's gaining on it, he's off crutches now. He's in a boot and he's able to do stuff in the pool. Brian Lund, our trainer, had a report on that. I haven't asked, `When can he be back?' because I think sometimes when you do that you put pressure on the kid and you don't want to let him back before he's ready. But I think it's a good sign that he's off crutches."
On moving Lenyatta Kiles and Lawrence Barnett back to cornerback:
"That's too far down the road, because with the injury Chris had, we're very hopeful to get him back, but to know when that is, that's too far down the road.
On whether it is hard for him, as a coach who likes to run the ball, to watch his team pass so often:
"No. It's a good question. It's a couple things. One, [Ben] is so smart with the ball and he's thrown the ball a lot and has only thrown one interception the whole year. And he's only been sacked twice, so he gets rid of the ball and doesn't create a lot of negative plays. And the offensive line has been pass protecting so well, that makes you feel good.
"And I just know that there's going to be some games down the road here where the running game's going to be big for us because of how people play. I don't know when that is, but each week you prepare for what you think your opponent's going to do. But you never really know what they think about us. When you get into the game, you find out how they're going to play us. We probably have a better idea with Ohio State because they've been doing it so long, and they're sound and have seen every offense from coast to coast, they're not going to trick something up on us. But there are going to be some games down the road that people do decide to try to do something different trying to stop something we do, and we have to be ready to do the other thing."
On whether he is worried about the players being let down after losing a game they were really looking forward to:
"I'm not worried about that at all. Our guys are looking forward to playing in the Big Ten. We've got a room full of guys from Ohio that are going to meet at 3:00 this afternoon, do you think they're not looking forward to the Buckeyes? We've got a bunch of guys looking forward to playing Illinois because they're from Illinois, we've got guys who remember the Iowa game and Northwestern game from last year. I really believe that our guys have bought in to what we preach. It's boring talk, but take it one at a time, trust the process and get prepared and everything else will take care of itself. They've been good about that since we started making changes a couple years ago, so I'm not worried about that."
On injuries from Saturday:
"Nothing major. After a game like that you're going to have some guys banged up, slowed a little bit this week. I didn't see anything on the injury report that looks like anybody who'd be out."
On Chappell being sore:
"Oh, yeah. He was the last guy to leave on Saturday night. When I left he was sitting in that tub. But he's a big guy and he loves doing it, so he'll be ready to go."
On Lenyatta Kiles' first start:
"I think once he got into the flow of the game, he played pretty well. He had a couple moments early on, like a lot of them. We talk about that once you get into the Big Ten, the intensity of the game is different, the speed of the game is different, and the speed of Michigan is different. We can't simulate the speed of Michigan, I don't think many in the country can. So obviously, it's going to be a little bit faster when you get into a game like that."
On comparisons between the defensive schemes for Pryor and Robinson:
"Not really because of the offenses they run. Michigan is a true spread team. Against Bowling Green, they brought in the next quarterback and the next quarterback and kept rolling. So that's their system, and Denard Robinson is the perfect guy for that system.
"Ohio State - Coach Tressel has been doing this a long time and has won a bunch of games. They're going to be big and physical, they're going to be able to run the ball. They always have balance in their passing game. You have to start out defending the system, defending the personnel on the field, defending the formations before you even decide how you're going to stop a guy. And with quarterbacks, it's different because he's got all those weapons around him. It's different if you're playing one great wide receiver and you might double-cover him. You have to defend the whole thing with Ohio State and he's the trigger guy. He winds up making a lot of plays because he's the trigger guy."
On whether this year is different from last year in terms of bouncing back:
"No. That's why I thought we made great strides as a team last year, because we bounced back from every one of those tough losses. We had a bad outing at Virginia, but other than that we bounced back from tough losses to Northwestern and Iowa and Michigan. With the guys we have on this team I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried about Ohio State than about our guys not bouncing back"
Senior safety Mitchell Evans
On playing Ohio State this weekend:
"I'm from a town that is only a little over an hour from Columbus. I grew up watching the team every weekend. So it's exciting for me and it's exciting for the rest of the team to play there. We didn't get to play them the first two years that I played, so I think everyone is excited. "
On defending Ohio State's Pryor versus Denard Robinson of Michigan:
"He's a different player and their offense is different. It's a whole different team. They have great runners and great athletes but they are different. Pryor definitely has the ability to run but I think he is more of a passer. And then you look at Denard and he can also do both but he runs a lot more screens and plays like that. But ability wise, I think they are both on the same level. "
On fourth quarter plays against Michigan:
"I just wanted to get up there and help stop the run at the line of scrimmage. I think I came up a little too fast and got my base a little too wide and I lost my leverage. That's one of the biggest fundamental things that the coaches teach us day after day and I got away from it. You know, one person does one thing wrong and they score a touchdown. "
How the team will react to the loss against Michigan:
"I think we need to just come out and play and finish. I was talking to Tyler yesterday and I was pretty bummed and he said look at it this way, `We lost by a touchdown in the last minute of the game to a great team.' I think that as a team we have to play better and I believe an attitude like that will help bring the team together. Having the veteran players out there, like our offense is the same guys we had last year, I think that will help us out.
Discussing Michigan's speed on Saturday:
"Ya, their speed caught us off guard at the beginning and I think we got used to it later in the game. That's when we started getting the stops at the end of the game. We couldn't take advantage of them offensively but their defense was probably doing the same too. We came up with a stop when we needed to, and they came up with a stop they needed at the end of the game. It's definitely a jump, especially when you are playing again a guy who is a Heisman frontrunner, and lose like that. It definitely caught us off guard and now we have to prepare for the next game this week.
On the psychological effect of a tough game:
"Our offense and our defense stepped it up big at the end of the game. Our offense just kept flooring it, picking up the defense pretty much. I noticed a big turn around with our sidelines, they were a lot more into the game. Even the guys that were hurt on the sideline were coming to talk to me about what I was seeing out there. It is good to see that the guys who aren't even out there are paying attention and supporting the team. They helped by giving me a heads up for a play. That's the kind of stuff that we love and that's a good sign for our future."
On the home crowd at the Michigan game:
"I remember, that last drive of the game it got pretty loud. I couldn't hear anything, even the calls that were going on. That's what you love to see and I don't think I have ever seen anything like that here at Indiana. It was a great feeling to be out there playing and representing this university and I loved it."
On competing with Ohio State:
"You look at a team like that and there are so many good players on their team. They are ranked number two in the nation for a reason and when you play a team like that you have to play as a team and go out and play with no regrets. Go out there, play hard, and have fun. I think that is the only way you can compete with teams like that and hopefully we catch them off guard."
On playing Ohio State's offense:
"They can get you in a tight formation and run the ball right at you or they can spread you out with all the athletes they have with Pryor in the backfield. That is going to be hard to stop. Like I said, we are going to play as a team and I think that if we get people finding the ball and create turnovers, I think we have a chance to beat them."
On Pryor's size:
"Yeah, he is definitely a big guy and I don't think we have faced a quarterback like that before, at least I haven't. I think he has gotten even bigger than he was last year. We look at him on film and on TV but its definitely a challenge we are looking forward to. Only one team gets to play the number two team in the nation this weekend. "
On watching Tandon Doss run the Wildcat:
"I was hoping for the best. It's funny because I was joking around about it earlier this week about when we had the touchdown on that option last year and I asked him if they were going to bring it back and he said, `I don't know, we will see.' I was like, `You can't even tell me what options we have!' I was happy for him and I hope it works out. "
Senior quarterback Ben Chappell
On preparing for the Ohio State game:
"We will watch the 10 plays plus 10 from yesterday because that kind of puts you in the right mindset, seeing all the big plays that they got. They are pretty good. I think they are very sound, you don't see them flustered very often. You always see them lined up in the right spot so it is going to be a challenge, but we are excited."
Comparing last year's Ohio State team to this year's:
"I think that they are pretty similar, really. I think they lost a couple seniors in the secondary, but they got #7 back and they have both of their corners back so those guys are experienced. The linebackers and defensive line are experienced as well. They have a lot of good players on their defense and they had a lot of good players last year and they got them back. So they are pretty similar and both very good."
On Ohio State's running game:
"I think they are the type of defense that feels they can stop a run using their basic stuff. I am pretty sure that they are going to run what they run, I don't know if they will have any wrinkles for us or not. We are going to watch and prepare for what they have shown so far and try to make our game plan."
On learning from the Illinois vs. Ohio State game:
"I think that Illinois played a great game and had a good game plan going in. So we will watch that and learn what they did and obviously put our own touches on it."
On Indiana's receivers during the Michigan game:
"I thought Michigan was pretty physical with Ted [Bolser] but I thought he responded well and made a great catch and was close to making another so I thought he did really well. And Tandon [Doss] gets the ball a lot so he has to be able to be able to respond to that, but I think he did a great job.
"I'm very impressed. You know, it is fun to throw to those guys and we are going to continue to keep working and doing what we do."
On the mood in the locker room after the Michigan game compared to last year:
"I think that initially, everyone was more more down than last year. I think that last year, we were more like, "Oh yeah, we played with them, we played so great," but I think this year I think everyone was a little more down. I think as leaders, the seniors and the older guys, try to pick everyone up because it is just one game for our football team so we have to be able to move on. Obviously, it is hard for us to lose at the last second like that but in the end it is football and it is a game so we have to be able to move on to the next one or we won't be prepared. So we let it sink in for a couple days, or 12 hours, and then we have to move on."
On playing Ohio State:
"Ohio State has a great defense and it will be a challenge for us. I am sure they will be ready to stop our passing game and anxious to stop our offense. Hopefully they are looking at it as a challenge too. Basically it is going to come down to what it always comes down to, turnovers, big plays, and conversion of downs. That's what we need to focus on and do our job as an offense."
On Indiana's improving offensive line:
"Ohio State's defensive line is great. They have some really good pass rushers. I think our offensive line has improved every week and we are going to continue to get better. As far as the offense goes, the offense goes as the offensive line goes, there is no question about that. "
On Indiana's ability to convert on downs:
"It has been big for us. I think that when we haven't converted its been because of a wild situation. Saturday was the first time we didn't convert on a third and one or two and that hurt. You can tell how important it is because we are used to converting in those situations and we didn't there in the third quarter and that hurt. So overall, I think it has been a positive for us and we need to continue to do that."
On what makes Tandon Doss such a special receiver:
"I think his hands, and the way he goes out of his way to catch the ball. Obviously, what he does after he catches the ball is pretty special too. The way he runs with it after the catch, runs good routes, he is aggressive with the ball, he is really an all around good guy."
On when Tandon was down and hurt:
"I was pretty worried there, for a second but then I heard it was cramps, so I knew he would be alright."
On running the Wildcat:
"That is kind of a wrinkle that we have and we need to evolve with that and work on that package. Its something that gets the ball into one of our best player's hands so it was productive for us and we need to continue to get better at it.
On possibly preparing Tandon Doss to be a passing threat in the Wildcat:
"Yeah that would be nice. He has a really good arm. He told me he played quarterback in high school for a game."