Head Coach Bill Lynch's Weekly Press Conference
Oct. 6, 2009Press Conference Video
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Ohio State and to look forward to Saturday's road game at Virginia. Coach Lynch was joined by junior linebacker Tyler Replogle and sophomore offensive lineman Justin Pagán. Below is a partial transcript:Coach Bill Lynch Press Conference - October 6, 2009
"Our Scout Team Players of the Week were Jeff Sanders and Ted Bolser on offense, Jamie Lukaszewski and Kevin Bush on defense, and Nick Zachery on special teams. Our captains for the Virginia game will be Terrance Turner, Bryan Payton, Matt Mayberry, and Tyler Replogle. Those four will be our team captains this week.
"I do want to talk about a community service event our football program is involved with. I have talked about this in the past. There are two groups our team has adopted. They are the Boys & Girls Club here in Bloomington and Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. On Oct. 27, there is going to be a Gridiron at Grazie's for the Boys and Girls Club. It is, again, on Oct. 27 and will run from 3:45 p.m. to 10:45.
"One hundred percent of ticket sales and tips are going to go to supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington. Jeff Baldwin and his staff do a tremendous job. The tickets must be purchased in advance at www.bgcbloomington.org or calling 812-332-5311. There are varying ticket prices based on regular seating and VIP seating. There are children's menus as well.
"Our staff, my wife and I are going to be there for the most of the evening after we get done with practice. We will be saying hello, shaking hands, and really encouraging the event. It is a great fundraiser for an organization that I think the players wanted to adopt because so many players grew up in communities where the Boys & Girls Club had a real impact on their background and gave them the opportunity to be Big Ten football players. I certainly want to support that event and put a good word out for it.
"Now to the Ohio State game. Probably the biggest thing, looking back at the game, was we didn't play very well in the first quarter. That set the precedent for the rest of the game. We had started the first four games very well. We had scored first and had good drives. We didn't start the game well by giving up a drive and a score. Then, we went three-and-out where we had a couple of opportunities to get a first down in that first series and didn't. We punted and Ohio State came down and made it 10-0. So, we were behind the 8-ball.
"One of the things we knew by playing Ohio State is we didn't have to take the early lead, but certainly wanted it to be even through the first quarter and try to get our feet underneath us. I think sometimes your kids can get so excited for a game that they don't play as well as they are capable of. I think that was a part of the bad start. Maybe our players were too emotional and did not get their feet underneath them.
"Then we put together a really nice drive and scored. We were playing fairly even and they came back and had a nice drive. We had another drive going and then an interception late in the first half where they made it 24-7 and made it difficult. I was really proud of our team in how they battled back and played well the second half, particularly defensively. They played the run and pass better, put pressure on [Terrelle] Pryor, and got a couple turnovers so I was proud of them the way they played the second half.
"I think overall, particularly early, we missed some really fundamental run picks. When I say that, in the running game, everyone has a gap. You have to make sure you are in the right spot and we didn't have the right fits on some of their bigger runs early in the game. They had some 15- and 20-yard gains that were uncharacteristic of us, but we got them straightened out as we went through the game.
"I think at times we did not tackle as well. You can say they were some awfully good players that were difficult to tackle, including Pryor, but that is really not an excuse. Fundamentally, we were not as good and did not tackle as well as we needed to on defense. The positive is we kept battling and in the second half, we really competed. I think that was key.
"Offensively, we just didn't sustain our blocks as well as we have the last couple of weeks. I think that Ohio State is a very good run defense and there is no question about that, but I just didn't think we properly sustained our blocks. As a result, we were not able to run the ball as well. Going into the game, if you get in a situation where you are behind and have to throw the ball against Ohio State, that is where their pass rush really takes over. It does not always show itself in sacks, but it shows on hits to the quarterbacks, quarterbacks rushing, quarterbacks throwing out of rhythm, sometimes quarterbacks throwing high, and turnovers. It goes back to the first quarter and not keeping it even early and giving ourselves a great opportunity.
"On special teams, there were a lot of positives. I thought our kickoff returns continued to be very good. We created some field position with great kickoff returns. We had some good blocking and Ray Fisher is certainly a good returner. Where we let ourselves down was in the punt game. We are not flipping field position the way we can and are capable of in the punt game. There were some times after great kickoff returns, even if we don't get a first down, we have a chance to punt them down inside the 15. We didn't do that. We never made Ohio State play the long field.
"On the other side, Ohio State punted the ball efficiently and sometimes it is not always distance. We had to take over from the 5 and then 10, for example. That's what good football teams do and that is what Ohio State is. They play the game the way it is supposed to be played and you have to beat them. They will not beat themselves.
"With that being said, we learn from the game. We certainly had a great practice yesterday and good meetings. Moving on to Virginia, Virginia is a team I think is really coming on. They are well coached and coach [Al] Groh has great experience and success at all the different levels. Virginia's win against North Carolina was impressive because North Carolina is a top-25 team. They went into Chapel Hill and held North Carolina to three points and really played hard. That is one aspect I saw is that they played with great enthusiasm.
"TCU is a great football team again and have not lost many football games in the last few years. The Southern Mississippi game was on the road and was a shootout. So, sometimes records are deceiving, but I think the football team we are going to see is the football team we saw on tape versus North Carolina.
"Defensively, they are a 3-4 defense, which we have played some this year, but this defense is a little different than ones we have played. They are very sound and have a great secondary. I think they are eighth in the nation in pass defense and sixth in the nation in third-down conversion defense. They are a tough team to throw against and convert against. They offer a great nickel package, so we have to stay ahead of the chains.
"They are aggressive in their kicking game and it will be a good challenge on the road, but certainly our guys are looking forward to the game. I like the look of our guys. They went through practice yesterday without hanging their heads. They know we have to work and get better and we didn't make that kind of improvement last week so we have to do it this week before we go on the road."
On Virginia's defense:
On Virginia's offense:
On punting problems during the Ohio State game:
On playing Virginia, a team Indiana hasn't played before:
On Ben Chappell calling audibles at the line of scrimmage:
On Ben Chappell handling the blitz so far this season:
"Ohio State brought a couple blitzes where Ben threw and incompletion, which he has been pretty good at. For the most part, through the year, he has done well handling the blitz. Ben made some poor throws on Saturday that he would love to have back. He is a competitor and anybody who has played quarterback lining up against a great defense, knows it is a hard position to play against a great defense. It is easy to say he should have done one thing or another. There is nobody I have better confidence in to bounce back and make those plays as we go along."
On the loss to a good team like Ohio State hurting less than other losses:
"It's really good our guys were hurting after the game and thought, `we can play better than that.' I think you really have to get your program where all you care about is yourself. You play to your best ability, prepare as best you can, and control what you can versus making excuses about the other team. From the time the game was over, I was the first one to give credit to Ohio State. We played a very good football team. I certainly think you need to get to the point where you don't look and say that was a loss because of so and so. Instead, you say you didn't play very well and execute the things we needed to do in order to win."
On scoring that last touchdown and changing the mentality on the loss:
On running game not performing as well against Ohio State:
On reasons the the running game didn't get going:
On traveling to Virginia:
On Darius Willis' injury status:
On running backs as pass blockers:
On positives taken almost midway through the season:
On differences in Virginia at the beginning of the season (losing to William and Mary) versus their win against North Carolina:
On Tandon Doss and making one-handed catches:
"The one in the game on Saturday, he could not have gotten his second hand up. He had one in practice last week, where he came off the practice field and Joe Palcic and Billy Lynch said you have to watch this catch Tandon had on tape. I turned on the film and thought, `Wow!' He is a pretty talented player. He is doing it over again and he keeps making those catches over and over again. He is one of those players who the more he plays, the more confidence he has. He can make all of those plays."
On the illegal substitution penalties in the Ohio State game:
"We will get that communication fixed. My responsibility at that point in the game would be to call a timeout. Later on, the penalty was a technicality. We had one play where we had six offensive linemen on the field. By design, we put Andrew McDonald on and took a wide receiver off. We run subs in a lot and we show what personnel groups are on. Your tackles are not all in tune to making those subs. McDonald was a little slow leaving the field and the officials deemed we had 12 men on the field. I will take the responsibility for that because we were running a unique formation and our guy did not get off the field fast enough. That is why some penalties make me really upset and others do not. The plays were unique situations."
On the linebacker play against Ohio State:
"[Matt] Mayberry is our inside guy and Matt has to get the defense lined up. He has to recognize formations and fronts so he has some responsibility. He is playing like a senior and is playing his best football. He played fast. Tyler Replogle has played excellent. He is as high-energy as anyone we have on the team and makes plays sideline to sideline. Justin Carrington has played quite a bit and comes in during our nickel package. The flexibility all of our linebackers have really is important. Those four guys are all starting linebackers for us."
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