Nov. 8, 2010
All-Access Video | Press Conference Podcast
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Monday to discuss last weekend's game against Iowa and look forward to this weekend's contest at Wisconsin. He was joined by senior quarterback Ben Chappell.
Head Coach Bill Lynch
"Ben Chappell has just been nominated or has been named a finalist for the Wuerffel Tropy, which is a pretty prestigious award. His honors continue to grow. I'm proud of him and happy for him because he certainly deserves it.
"Also, an academic award: [Adam and Tyler] Replogle and Chappell made [ESPN the Magazine's Academic All-District first] team and will go on for national honors as well. I like pointing those things out because they are certainly well deserved.
"Great football game on Saturday. We came up a play short and in watching it, it really was. Two teams really played hard and well. Very few turnovers, the kicking game was very good on both sides, and both defenses really played hard. Both played well in the red zone, which is a trademark of Iowa football and certainly something we are getting better at.
"You get done with it, turn on Wisconsin and then you have another Iowa coming right down the road at you. They are little bit different in that they truly try to impose their will on you with their running game. Iowa runs the ball very well and certainly [pass the ball] with [Ricky] Stanzi throwing the ball and the receivers they have. Whereas, Wisconsin gives you different formations and different personnel groups. They are a really good running football team and of course defensively they are very good. And deserving of being ranked fifth and being the first team after the four undefeated teams.
"It's a great atmosphere going to Madison. There are a lot of great atmosphere's in college football and certainly in the Big Ten, and I think Madison is one of them. We are looking forward to it. We'll have a good week of practice and get ready to go at 11 a.m. Madison time on Saturday."
On the old-fashioned running approach:
"That's going back a lot of years. They still score a ton of points. When you think of old time Big Ten football, you think of a lot of 17-10, 14-10, Ohio State and Michigan battles but [Wisconsin] has great skill to go with it. [Scott] Tolzien is another one of those older quarterbacks. There are a lot of older quarterbacks this year like Stanzi, and certainly Ben, where he fits in their offense perfectly. He throws the ball, he can run around in play-action pass and create that way. But in terms of running the football, they have a tremendous offensive line and a great scheme, and they do a really good job formationing you. What I mean by that is that they will play with two tight ends, two wides, a back, and they will get in an unbalanced look and shift in motion and you are constantly having to make adjustments. That's a little different than the old throwback football that was one formation, I-formation play after play after play. They give you plenty of looks and they do it in the running game more than most teams do. "
"I think that is sort of typical of football this time of year. I think every team in America has two, three or four guys that are banged up and you stand here on Monday and you quite honestly don't know [where they stand]. You're not holding anything back; you just don't know how they are going to respond and how their ankles, shoulders or concussions you don't really know until about Thursday whether or not a guy can go. And I'm sure that's the way they are with their guys. "
On the size of Wisconsin's offensive line:
"They have done that for a long time. A trademark of when Barry Alvarez was there in the 90s and all the way to the current time. They do a great job of recruiting them and a great job developing them. They also have great backs to go with it and I think that kind of goes hand and hand. If you are going to run the football like that, premier backs want to go to those schools because they know they are going to get to carry the ball a lot and run behind that huge offensive line. When you think of the very elite teams in America, that is something you think about. Iowa you think about great defense. Wisconsin, you think of a big offensive line where they can really run the football, so they've done a tremendous job with it."
On Wisconsin's running backs:
"He is very good. That's the thing about them. Each guy is unique but they are all very talented. Most of all they are hard to tackle. They get behind the line and they all have good feet. It's a pretty impressive group."
On regrouping after a hard loss:
"It's hard. I'd be misleading if I said it's not a problem. Sure it's hard. But I think it goes to the character of the kids that we have in the program. I think that's what is very important and certainly something that we have worked hard to develop here. We have talked about different things, but the leadership we have developed, and I think it starts with the seniors but it works all the way down the classes, and I think they do a great job helping each other out. Just reading some of their quotes after the game, it wasn't a prompted response by me or anyone else before they went and talked you guys after the game. I think that's how they sincerely feel about it and I think that's a big part of it. And also I think they know how close we are. We have been a play away quite a bit. We've been a series away quite a bit. You keep knocking on the door and that's the approach we are taking, and we certainly will do again this week. I really don't have any doubts about how they will practice and prepare to go play."
On getting on the winning side of close games:
"If I had the answer we'd fix it. We are close, but we have to keep banging away at it. We have to keep believing, keep working and keep preparing. There isn't magic to it. It's not like we can pick up the phone, call somebody and if we do this then all of a sudden that will get it done. Or if we play somebody different that will get it done. Or if we call different plays or different defenses. I've seen it through the years. Once you get it, then it sticks. There is a confidence that goes with that. The thing that you ask of your team is to give you great effort, prepare and compete the way that they have and I can't ask for any more than that. It's coming and it will, we just have to keep pounding away at it."
On being competitive:
"I think it's more than just Iowa. If you go back over the last couple of years, we have had the lead or been within a score [in the fourth quarter] for most of our Big Ten football games. Now the two Ohio State games we weren't competitive. In Illinois we weren't from a score standpoint because of the turnovers, we never gave ourselves a chance. For the most part we have been in there and very competitive into the fourth quarter. Sometimes you have to congratulate the other guys. This is a great conference we are competing in and I haven't been in this league for 35 years, but I have been around it and in the middle of it, and it has always been good but it's very good right now. We have three or four in the top 20 between Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa. And then Northwestern and Penn State are right there. Illinois and Michigan are right there. It's a very good league right now so sometimes you have to give them credit. I think in terms of what we are doing. We are doing the right things. In terms of how we prepare and the things we are teaching, I think the staff has put together great game plans and the team has done all they can to execute them, but they're a few plays off. The difference in the game Saturday was big plays. They had more big plays than we did. And we went into it knowing Iowa is very difficult to get big plays on and we didn't get any. They got their big one in the fourth quarter and then we had to drive it down the field. The last play wouldn't have been a big play in terms of over the top, but it would have made a difference in the game. That was the difference. It wasn't turnovers, it wasn't the kicking game, it wasn't third-down conversations. It really came down to they had big plays in the passing game and the running game."
On Iowa's loss compared to other close losses:
"There are a lot of plays in a football game, but that was the last one. That's the one everyone remembers, but there were several through the course of the game. I think we are trained in that mode that we look at all the different plays and it generally comes down to four or five, but that's the one everyone remembers."
On injuries to Tandon Doss and Andrew McDonald:
"Not sure right now. They aren't going to practice and we will know a little more each day. We are working toward getting [Max] Dedmond back, which would be good, and we are working to get Chris Adkins back. Chris dressed Saturday, but he really wasn't at the speed to play so we are hoping to gain a couple. With Tandon and Andrew we will just see how they are."
On preparing for John Clay:
"No, we don't have anybody that can simulate him in practice. It's a little bit like trying to simulate Denard Robinson. That is the tough part of it. You can give them all the looks you want but to try and simulate the back, that's what is very difficult and that's what makes him very unique. From a defensive standpoint, you have to do a very good job at recognizing formations and making sure that you have all the fits on the defense and the secondary fits against the run game, but you still have to play the pass and the play action, which they do a great job at. To simulate that is very difficult and something that guys will get a feel for it in the first quarter. Fortunately we have quite a few guys that played against him last year, but that is the tough part of it."
On seniors done playing at home:
"We certainly aren't going to address that. From the time they come in this afternoon, our total focus will be to review what we did well in the Iowa game and move on to Wisconsin. I think our guys understand to look at the last three games, the last quarter of the season so to speak. Playing in Madison is a great environment and kids love playing in great environments. And that's why they play in the Big Ten to play at places like that. Then there will be a sense of anticipation of playing at FedExField because that's totally new to everybody. And then the last one that takes care of itself. We would love to play every game at home, but it isn't something we will spend a lot of time on."
On Wisconsin pressuring IU :
"They will blitz a little bit more. [J.J.] Watt is a very good defensive end. He is one of the premier guys like [Adrian] Clayborn, like [Ryan] Kerrigan that we will play down the road. There are certain guys that are high energy pass rushers and Watt is one of those guys. They will blitz more than Iowa in terms of in their package and we have seen that over the course of the nine games we have on them. But they don't have to. They can put pressure with those front four. Now you have to be prepared for the blitzes, but we will find out once we get there what exactly their plan is. They are the fifth-ranked team in the country and it's not a fluke. They have been very good for the last few years and they have the whole package."
On who will start at punter:
"Either [Chris] Hagerup or [Adam] Pines. They are going to compete during the week and really Adam did a nice job in his first time [vs. Iowa]. They have been competing over the last couple of weeks in practice and had equal reps with ones and twos especially with [long snapper Jeff] Sanders. That is the biggest thing for a punter or place-kicker, to work with the number one long snapper to make sure you have the right get-off speed. They will compete and it could be that they both punt. We're not afraid for either one to punt right now after Adam went out and did it in a game situation."
Senior Quarterback Ben Chappell
On the Iowa game:
"Obviously with the help of playing a really good football team in Iowa, and I feel like we really executed our game plan pretty well. You know obviously (if we make a couple plays). The defense played really well, we gave up some yards, but we played really good defense in the red zone, which we have talked about that all year. I thought offensively, obviously we were going against a great football team, a great defensive football team, and the game plan going into the game, I thought we really executed it. We had a couple three and outs, penalties, and stuff like that, that hurt us, but other than those two or three possessions, we really moved the ball on them pretty effectively."
On the offensive line against Iowa's front four:
"They played great. We had some stuff in the game plan to help them out and mixed up blocking schemes, and I thought they fought hard and they played really well."
On the blocking of the offensive line and running backs:
"I think they are, they really are [playing better]. They did a great job on cutting [Adrian] Clayborn and the other end the whole game, and got them pretty frustrated. That was the game plan and they executed, which is a lot easier said than done, but the backs did a really good job."
On what he does to help the guys bounce back from close games:
"It's never easy, but it's basically the only option we have. The game is over and we can't sulk. We've got to play a great football team on Saturday at their place, so we've got to move on. We've just got to move on and get ready for this weekend."
On what kind of problems Wisconsin presents that are different from other opponents:
"I think their presence on the line of scrimmage, obviously offensively and defensively. Their defensive line is really good, they play really hard, and then their offensive line is really good too. But from an offensive perspective, their defense does a really good job of mixing up coverage, and I think their secondary is good. They have lost a couple guys on defense to injuries, but I think they've got depth."
On last year success against Wisconsin:
"I think we played really well against them last year, offensively. That's a positive that we have to take out of it, and really just prepare everyday this week and just continue do the things that we have talked about all year."
On preparing for Wisconsin:
"I think we can definitely go back and watch last year's film. [We can] see how they played us, and I think they have been pretty consistent. They have had a game plan for us the last two or three years of how they have played us, so obviously we want to watch a little bit from their prior game too, but we want to try and get a feel of what they are going to try to do to us. You know again they are a great football program and a great team, so they are going to do what they do."