Head Coach Bill Lynch's Weekly Press Conference

    Go Hoosiers! Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Northwestern and to look forward to Saturday's game at Iowa. Coach Lynch was joined by senior Rodger Saffold and junior Tyler Replogle.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Northwestern and to look forward to Saturday's game at Iowa. Coach Lynch was joined by senior Rodger Saffold and junior Tyler Replogle.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 27, 2009

    Coach Lynch Audio | Saffold Audio | Replogle Audio
    Press Conference Video

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Northwestern and to look forward to Saturday's game at Iowa. Coach Lynch was joined by senior Rodger Saffold and junior Tyler Replogle.

    A partial transcript is below.

    Coach Bill Lynch Press Conference-October 27, 2009

    Opening Statement:
    "Let me give you the award winners for the Northwestern game. Our One Play Warriors included Ray Fisher, who had an outstanding day on special teams, Trea Burgess, Justin Carrington, Matt Ernest, and Collin Taylor. These are guys who have really been important to us the last few weeks and played really well on Saturday. Our Scout Team Players of the Week included Colin Rodkey and David Blackwell on offense, Kevin Bush and Jamie Lukaszewski on defense, and Kyle Dietrick was our special team's Player of the Week.



    "I mentioned Jamie Lukaszewski last night on the radio show and Justin Carrington went out of his way to complement Jamie. Here is a kid who was Scout Team Player of the week meaning he did anything asked of him and he is also on our kickoff team. I think he had the first three tackles on kickoffs. Jamie is a great kid who is great to have in our program. Our captains for the Iowa game are Roger Saffold, Austin Thomas, Jamie Kirlew, and Matt Mayberry.

    "We have a tremendous challenge and a bigger opportunity on Saturday against Iowa. We spent a lot of time talking about this opportunity with our team yesterday. Depending on what poll you look at, we have an opportunity going into the ninth week of the season to play the number four team in the country.

    "Iowa is an undefeated Big Ten team and we get to play them in a great football environment. Our guys are here because they love Indiana University, but also because they wanted to play Big Ten football. They wanted to play in Big Ten, big-time games. That is what this opportunity is about on Saturday.

    "Iowa is a really good football team. They are a complete football team, which is typical of Iowa football because they are so well coached on both sides of the ball. They do not beat themselves and are leading the conference in turnover margin. They are physical, which we have to be prepared for.

    "I think any really good football team gets outstanding play from their quarterback and I think Stanzi is really playing well this season. He started playing well the middle of last season and has been outstanding so far this year.

    "Defensively, they keep reloading. Iowa has players who fit their schemes. They are very difficult to run against, as they always have been. They are difficult to score against, as they get a lot of interceptions, tackle and they pursue.

    "Special teams-wise, Iowa is always very sound. We know what we are getting into and are looking forward to it. Fortunately, a lot of our kids were on the trip to Kinnick Stadium in 2007, so they know the environment we face. The passion for football in Iowa is great to be a part of. It is a credit to everyone who is a part of their program, but Coach Ferentz is an outstanding coach with a great staff who deserve the record they have right now."

    On defensive adjustments made during the second half of the Northwestern game:
    "I thought the defense did a very good job. First, Northwestern was hurting us the first half by bunching three wideouts in their no-back set into the boundary and two wide to the field, which we call a dry route. A dry route is where number two comes inside and the outside guy follows. Northwestern repeatedly hit their outside receiver the first half. The play was a catch and run or a catch and tackle. We went to a man-under with a deep safety coverage that helped in the second half.

    "The other adjustment we made was in our two-deep zone. They were picking us underneath because we were running our middle linebacker deep to protect the middle of the field, which is typical of cover-two zone. We started spying one of our down guys. On the interception Mayberry got, the spying contributed to the interception. We had a cover four where we made an adjustment that set up Austin Thomas' interception. Then the interception Polk had was just really good coverage on his part.

    "We came out the third quarter and the bad play was the punt where we gave up two points. Otherwise, I thought we played outstanding. Then in the fourth quarter, we gave up two long drives. Those are the plays that really hurt us because they converted some third down plays and a fourth-and-three.

    "It was interesting because during the fourth quarter of the game, from the 10-minute mark on, there were two possessions really. We had one and Northwestern had one. We talk about how you have to make plays or football is a game of inches. We had a fourth-and-three and ran a base route and didn't convert. We turned the ball over and Northwestern got a fourth-and-three and ran the exact same route and converted. They executed and we didn't. I thought we played better in the second half, but just didn't make the stops during the fourth quarter. Getting three turnovers in the second half is great defense."

    On how much input he (Coach Lynch) has on offensive play calling:
    "I have the final say on play-calling. I don't second-guess one call that was made during the Northwestern game. I have been a play-caller a long time. I think our staff does a tremendous job. A week ago I was hearing how unbelievable the play calling and fancy the offense was. Then we play a really good defense and we get stopped.

    "Matt Canada does a tremendous job as well as the whole offensive staff. The point is people do not realize how hard our staff works. We are no different than any football staff here in America. With the technology nowadays, you get the tapes and break everything down. We make a lot of decisions ahead of time in terms of what we are going to do such as on down and distance and field position.

    "Another example is what kind of personnel grouping we are going to have on the field. You have options during each situation and don't settle on running a run play in every situation. In play calling, you do not pull a play out of the air. "You have all of the factors calculated as best you can on Saturday, but I don't care what level of football it is. Look at the NFL. They have play calling sheets as wide as their shoulders with different highlights and so forth. You are going to make a lot better decisions on Tuesday or Wednesday in the staff room then in a 30-second period.

    "Now, it's my decision if we are going to go for it on fourth down or any of those situations. Obviously, because it affects both offense and defense, I am going to make the decision. I am ultimately the one and take full responsibility. The Northwestern game was a tough loss. We came back and looked at and broke down the film, talked about the things we did well and not so well, and moved on to Iowa."

    On other plays considered in the fourth down and one situation during the Northwestern game:
    "There were about three. You can run or pass is what it comes down to. What happened is when we got down there we ran power for our second touchdown. We ran a quarterback sneak for the first touchdown. Then, we were down around the 14 and ran a power for about seven yards. Then, we were first and goal from the seven and ran a power that got us down to the two. Then, we ran another power in which Northwestern ran a good stunt that knocked us back to the five. We then ran a pass on third-and-goal, which we feel we have had a lot of success with. Unfortunately, we only got to the one. We had two or three different options on going for it on fourth-and-one. The play that was called was the play we thought gave us the best chance to score a touchdown in that situation. We had a run or a play-action pass, but the details are not important at this point."

    On the Northwestern loss being a harder game to put in the past and move on from:
    "I don't think so. Here is my feeling about this idea. I disagree with the idea because at Virginia, it was difficult to put behind because we didn't give them our best shot. When you go on the road or at home, you have to play your best. Against Virginia, we felt like we didn't give the Cavaliers our best shot and that is not Indiana football.

    "The Northwestern game was on of those crazy games that we have all been a part of where there are so many plays. We played hard. Anybody who says we became soft, conservative, or don't know how to play with the lead is wrong. That isn't true at all. We played hard the entire game.

    "The biggest thing when you look at losing a lead is that football is a long afternoon. We played for three hours and fifteen minutes and we got our 28 points too quickly. It isn't very often we have such a big lead, but when they had the two big drives in the second quarter to make the score 28-17, that changed the game. No one who goes to a game and sees the score 28-17 thinks the game is over. That is where you have to put the game in perspective.

    "We are absolutely disappointed. There are so many plays from half way through the second quarter and on in which we didn't execute as well as Northwestern did. Northwestern is a good football team, though. I don't follow the lines all of the time, but I read the USA Today and when we got on the bus, I think we were five and a half point underdogs. We played a good football team, and were beat the last play of the game basically. When you compare the feeling to a game like Virginia, it isn't even close.

    "We didn't play as well as we could have Saturday, but in terms of effort, we gave great effort. We prepared well and the kids were excited to play, but we didn't make enough plays. Like I said before, it is the difference of fourth-and-three both ways. It wasn't second-and-two, it was getting knocked back to third-and-five.

    "If you are looking at key plays during the game, it was probably the touchdown pass they threw at the end of the second quarter. If you want to talk about leads, 28-10 is a lot different than 28-17 at half. That is what Northwestern does well. They convert and (Mike) Kafka is a tough guy to play against because he is a very accurate thrower and has great escape capability. Kafka is different than other guys we have played against because he knows when to stand in the pocket and when it is time to go."

    On how his players have reacted after the Northwestern game:
    "The feeling was the way I had hoped. The players were really disappointed. It hurt and we had a long bus ride home from Northwestern. The feeling of disappointment is because our players care. In terms of our meetings yesterday and practice, I feel good about this week. We are going to have a great week and be excited with this opportunity at Iowa."

    On player reactions to a loss he (Coach Lynch) does not like to see:
    "I do not want guys hanging their heads or feeling sorry for themselves. I do not want them moping around. There are too many people in this world who are negative and I do not want to see our guys being negative. They know how fortunate they are because they are Big Ten football players who get to play undefeated Iowa on national television. That is the attitude we are going to take and the attitude I see in our players."

    On Adrian Burks being listed as the #1 at one cornerback slot:
    "It is a long way between now and Saturday. We are going to have competition throughout the week at the cornerback position. Adrian is competitive and deserves an opportunity. He is finally healthy as he has battled some injuries in his time here at IU. We are going to make the cornerback position competitive this week."

    On Darius Willis not being on the injury list this week:
    "Darius came out of the Northwestern game better. He hasn't done much on Mondays [since he was hurt], but he did everything yesterday. I think Darius worked through his injury. I think it is really hard to be a tailback in this league and he does so much for us. He is a really good pass blocker. He has a big, square body and is a smart football player who pass blocks very well."

    On whether the punt block was attributed to Chris Hagerup taking too long:
    "The timing was perfect. We start in practice with punting everyday. I am not sure since August that we haven't punted and we time every one. Hagerup's timing was good, but we just didn't block. We made a breakdown similar to the fourth-and-three play. Northwestern's look was probably the look we gave our defense on day two in August. We block it normally every day, but we didn't block on the punt on Saturday. So Chris takes the hit for the block, but it really wasn't his fault. It is almost like a breakdown in pass protection. There are critical times in a game where you have to execute and that is where we didn't win the game. The blocked punt is just one of those many plays in a game like that."

    On the benefit of having a team with many players experiencing previous success at Iowa going into Saturday's matchup:
    "I think it helps a lot. I don't think there is any question the experience helps. Our fourth-year kids have played twice against them and won twice against them. Our players have great respect for Iowa. Iowa came in and absolutely got after us last year. Our team remembers playing in that game as well. It's not like Indiana has not won in Iowa in a long time. Our kids have gone to Iowa, had success, and know the environment they face come Saturday. That factor is a positive for us."

    On Iowa leading the Big Ten in takeaways:
    "Really sound defense is leading to turnovers for Iowa. They have always been really good against the run. They play a little different kind of scheme and have had a great run defense. They are really active up front. They had great tackles inside last year in (Mitch) King and their other player, but their defensive ends this year are really active. One of them blocked a punt against Penn State, picked it up, and ran it for a score. That play changed that entire game.

    "Iowa's ends harass the quarterback and sometimes that is more important than a sack itself because a sack may be a seven-yard loss, but harassing may lead to an interception or bad throw. Iowa is a big zone-defense team with great athletes. I think if you really look at their defense, I always feel like you have a better chance of getting interceptions playing zone than playing man-to-man. In zone, your eyes are on the quarterback and you can see the ball come out. In man-to-man, your eyes are focused on the receiver. Iowa takes advantage of their opportunities to make the interceptions. Many teams do not take advantage."

    On Mitch Ewald's redshirt status:
    "Something would really have to change or else we are going to redshirt Mitch. Really, at this point, Edward Wright-Baker is the only possible non-redshirt unless something crazy happens. Nick's production has been good on kickoffs, field goals and extra points. Mitch did not really have a chance to compete early because he picked up an injury for a while. Nick took advantage of the opportunity and has done well with it."

    On the injury status' of Will Patterson and Donnell Jones:
    "I am hopeful. Donnell has an elbow-hinge brace and Will has a club on. They are going to be practicing, but a lot of it depends on how they get through a contact practice with their apparatuses on. You always have to take into consideration who you are playing, the level and intensity, and the speed the football game is going to bring because you cannot put kids out on the field who are not ready to play because it is unfair to them."

    On what the points of emphasis will be this week:
    "Buckle up baby, because here comes Iowa! That is a point of emphasis we give our kids because that is the kind of football game it is going to be. There is no question we have to keep working on third downs. I think we have been better in turnovers, which has always been a point of emphasis. Saturday was a crazy game. Sometimes you have all the statistics that are really meaningful. Offensively, we did not have a penalty or turnover. That is pretty good improvement. Defensively, we had three turnovers and we didn't win the football game. There are three things from a team standpoint that are very important. I think the last couple of years, the teams who have played for the national championship have been in the top two in turnover margin."


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