Oct. 28, 2008
Press Conference Audio | Press Conference Video
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday in advance of Saturday's contest against Central Michigan. Kickoff is set for noon EDT on Saturday, Nov. 1, and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Mark Neely (play-by-play), Chris Martin (analyst), Glen Mason (analyst) and Anthony Herron (sideline) on the call. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.
Here's a transcript some of Coach Lynch's press conference today:
"We had a good win against Northwestern. It was a game that we needed to get back on track and I really liked the way our guys played. They played with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and really we did the things we had to. We had to win the turnover margin. That was something that in the games that we had lost previous to that we hadn't taken care of the ball and we hadn't knocked it loose and I thought our guys did a really good job of that. We knew we were going to need to limit their big plays; we were able to do that. They drove the ball on us so we didn't give up big plays and on the other side we thought we needed to get some hits for touchdowns and we were able to do that.
"So it was one of those games where our kids bought into what we needed to do and again their energy and the way they played, I really liked that. Guys had to step up because we had some injuries throughout, and as in any football game we had some adversity and we handled the adversity and kept on playing so I was proud of that.
"It leads us to what is a really, really good football team in Central Michigan. I've said this, the Mid-American Conference and obviously Ball State is, I don't know where they're ranked now but deservedly so in the Top 20. You look at Tulsa. You look at Boise. You look at all of those teams they're some really, really fine football teams that aren't from the traditional conferences and Central Michigan is the same kind of team.
"The success they've had over the last couple of years is remarkable and Butch Jones their coach has done a great job of maintaining it. They're on a four-game winning streak. They've got a great quarterback who I believe has been the offensive player of the year in that league for a couple of years, a wide receiver that I believe is leading the nation in punt returns and has caught 20 balls in the last two weeks. They don't give up many yards on defense. It's a good football team we're playing so we've got to have the same kind of preparation as we had last week, same kind of focus and we look forward to what should be a really good football game on Saturday."
"You know, I don't know as I sit here on Tuesday. I know Roger Saffold isn't going to be able to play and that's a blow because Roger, he battled through some injuries earlier in the year and was finally getting healthy enough that he was practicing throughout the week, was playing very well the last two weeks, playing very well and know he's out. So that's a blow. Austin Thomas, he's not going to play that's a blow and he's the same deal. You really feel for those two kids because they have battled through injuries and have played, and were playing very well and now all of the sudden they can't play and you really do feel bad for them. Brian Zematis, he's done, he's going to have surgery I believe tomorrow or here in the near future. I feel bad for him he as our second tight end was playing very well. And other than that, we'll kind of see as we go through the week with Reiter and Brewer.
"Kellen (Lewis) practiced the entire practice yesterday, which was the first time he's done that so that's encouraging. We get Cody Faulkner back, we get Andrew McDonald back that we had missed last Saturday so that's a positive. We're moving forward. Means is going to practice today. He practiced some yesterday, we'll kind of feel him out with it but we don't want to do anything dumb early in the week with him, re-aggravating it, but he is going to be out there practicing today."
On Central Michigan's success coming from quarterback Dan LeFevour:
"I think that has a lot to do with it. I think when you have a great quarterback who takes care of the ball that goes a long way toward winning football games. He's a big, physical guy and he's played a lot now so you know he doesn't throw interceptions and he takes care of it and he runs the ball a lot.
"But I think it's obviously a point of emphasis in their whole program that they're taking care of the ball and I think they're tied with Florida and maybe somebody else in the fewest turnovers in the country, so that's very impressive. We went into last week's game when Northwestern had been on the plus side of the turnover margin and it had been a reason for their success and we talk about that all the time with our football team and not only do we have to take care of it but we've got to knock it loose so we did a much better job last week and we're going to have to do the same thing this week."
On Austin Thomas being out for the year:
"I would say so. As we speak I think he's getting an MRI. He didn't get an MRI yesterday just because he couldn't get it in and so that will determine it for sure, I can't say definitely right now but it's probably looking that way."
On Ben Chappell being hurt:
"Yeah he really was, to the point where part of what happened in there after the game, we had so many guys hurt. And some needed x-rays and some needed looking at and some needed different things and Ben was beat up. He was one of the all of the above and so we just kind of had to move on without him with the (postgame) press conference. But he was out practicing yesterday and you know Ben, he's got a smile on his face and just shakes it off, but it was a physical football game. And really if you look back at it he's been through two physical football games in a row with Illinois and Northwestern."
On the delay of game penalties
"When we were getting booed I was booing too because it's unacceptable. And it was a combination of things and I never really got a straight answer. It was one of those things where they better finally get it straightened out and they did. I couldn't hear. They both kind of, they weren't pointing fingers but they were kind of double-talking so hopefully that won't happen again cause you're right. I'm not going to make any excuses for it, I'm not going to say who was at fault but they know it, we all know it, we can't have that happen. Not the eighth game of the season, the way it happened. But they were strange, that's a good way to put it. And unacceptable is another way."
On third down conversions
"That's still something we have to address and the biggest thing with us is just getting better third-down situations. We've been in too many third-and-longs. And that's the biggest thing you have to do and Northwestern was in third-and-mediums, third-and-shorts and that's why they were good. Northwestern though is a very, very good football team and I liked the way our defense played because they bought into that they were going to gain some yards but we were going to stop them enough and we weren't going to let them score touchdowns and get big plays. You know, you look back at it and we gave up big plays against Iowa. We gave up big plays against Illinois that took us out of a position to compete in the fourth quarter so that was the goal (against Northwestern), don't give up many big plays, keep us in the game and then the offense had to score enough points and that's what happened."