Nov. 13, 2007
Press Conference Video | Photo Gallery
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -Head coach Bill Lynch met with the media on Tuesday, Nov. 13, for his weekly press conference in preparation for the Hoosiers' contest against Purdue on Saturday, Nov. 17. He was joined by senior captains Tracy Porter and Josiah Sears.
Indiana head coach Bill Lynch
"This is a big week for us. Obviously, any time you get into a rivalry week, we are excited and ready to practice. We got together with the team on Sunday and then yesterday was their day off, but we will get started at practice here shortly.
"We are playing a really good football team in Purdue, and I say that because they are very very good on both sides of the ball. Their kicker is very good and they have great return guys, so it is a real challenge for us that way. So we will have a good week of preparation and be ready to go on Saturday."
On what to do to motivate the team this week:
On making sure the players don't get too anxious going into the game:
"In my experience in weeks like this, that takes care of itself. I think the biggest thing is that you have to get prepared to play well. It is one thing to play hard in a rivalry game like this and a game that means a lot to so many people. That is what fun about it. It means a great deal to our football players and staff. But it means a lot to people associated with both universities. Not only former players and coaches, but all the fans and alumns, high schools and businesses throughout the state, they all want to have bragging rights next week. The kids know that, so there is a lot for these kids to play for. Every goal that we had at the start of the season is out there in front of them, so motivation is not the problem. The biggest thing that you have to do is play well on Saturday, so that's what the preparation is all about."
"I think you have to guard against that every week. I don't think that this week is any different than any other, in terms of that. I just think that both teams are going to play hard and it's going to be an intense football game because these games always are. Regardless of the outcome, there is great intensity to it. And this year there is a lot riding on it for both teams, so that makes that much better and fun to get prepared for."
On whether he has to calm players down because they get too excited for a game like this:
"Each team is a little different and each situation is different, but I am not concerned about that. Our biggest concern is making sure that they understand the plan and what they have to do so they are ready to play their best football at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday."
On Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter:
"I think he is really good. They have done a tremendous job of replacing great quarterbacks with great quarterbacks, and he is certainly one of those guys. He is a very accurate passer and has a strong arm and can beat you with the deep ball. He has done this against us in the past, but he can also beat you running the ball too. He can get some big plays in the running game. They do a really good job with what they do with their option play."
On the players reaction to the throwback helmets and jerseys that the team will wear on Saturday:
"They haven't seen them yet. They knew we were going to do it. They are going to be excited and ready to go."
On improving the pass defense:
"I don't know what it is statistically, but obviously this team is right up there with Northwestern in terms of pass offense. They're both really good. It is a combination of things. You've got to put pressure on the quarterback and get him out of his rhythm and you've got to do a good job in coverage. You also know going into it that they've played eleven games and Northwestern had played ten, they're pretty good at what they do. You don't just all of a sudden show up and shut them out. It is a pretty good football team, and they do it pretty well. We have to do a better job. I'm not concerned with completion percentage. We've got to get them off of the field. Northwestern was 70% on third down conversions. That is what we've got to do, we've got to get them off of the field. It is a combination of a lot of things. It starts with pressure and goes to coverage, and then at some point we're playing against some pretty good passing teams that have done it against everybody all year. I say going into it, you've got to control it, and you've got to do a great job against it, but we're certainly aware of all those things."
On whether the players have started talking more about getting to bowl:
"I think obviously that is something that became awfully big a week ago. That is not something that all of a sudden is this week. I think when we got to the sixth, and looking at the landscape of college football and how many wins it takes and all that. I don't think there is any question are kids knew what was at stake last week, but it is all still at stake this week, so that was the beauty of the game Saturday, that we're still playing for all of those same goals and everything is still out in front of us."
On what it will take to get a bowl game:
"None of us have a crystal ball and can see exactly what will happen. All I know is we've got one big football game left, and that is all that we can control. At this point, as we're talking on Tuesday we can control how we get prepared and how we go about our work, and then how we play on Saturday. Everything else, we don't have control over that. I do like the fact that we're going into the last football game, that we're playing for a lot, in a game that it isn't hard to get our guys excited to play."
On the senior class:
"These guys have been through a lot, and that is why I've got a lot of respect for them. There are sixteen of them, and all of them have had different journeys through their careers. Some of them are fourth year seniors and some of them are fifth year. They've been through three different head coaches and obviously a lot of adversity and sadness, and they've watched a lot of life lessons go before them. For those sixteen guys, I've sure got a lot of respect for them and how they've come out of it and the attitude they've taken."
On what he would say to fans about coming to the game:
"Come on out and watch us. We're going to have some fun on Saturday. We're playing for a lot. We've won more games than this program has won since 1994. We're not going to hang our head, we're going to get cranked up and go play. We're playing a good football team, and we're playing them at home and we're playing for a lot, so nobody sitting here is down or hanging their head, and our football team is not going to hang their heads. Hope they'll come in and watch us play."
On whether this is the biggest Bucket game he has been a part of:
"The one I was in in 1993 we won, and that got us an eighth win and a certain bowl. In 1994 we won it, got to 6-5 and didn't get a bowl bid that year. Last year we had the chance to get a sixth win, that probably would've got us a bowl game the way things played out. I've been in a few big ones. This is the biggest yet, the one this week, with a group of guys that I've got a lot of respect for with all they've been through."
On what he has been holding back on offense for this game:
"Touchdowns, man. We've been just teasing everybody, acting like we were going to try to score touchdowns. No, each week is a new plan, and we're going to do the best we can. I mean, they're a good defensive football team. They're good up front, good pass rushers. They've got good speed on the back end. Each game goes a little bit different. We've got to control the ball a little more to keep our defense off the field. On the other side, the defense has got to get some stops so we can get back on the field. If you go back, Saturday was a pretty good football game. We were 44 seconds away from going on the road and winning a game against a team that had a lot to play for as well. That is over. Purdue is here now, so we'll make the adjustments that we need to on both sides of the ball and the kicking game. They've got a kicking game that scares you a little bit really."
On Dorien Bryant:
"He is a great player. He is the kickoff/punt return guy too. You get him out in the open field, he is fast, and he is a really good receiver. He has great speed and he gets open. He has had great career there. I know how much they think of him and what he has done there. Not only catching the ball on offense, but as a return man as well."
On wearing retro jerseys to honor former Hoosier teams:
"I like it. Shoot man, I was a kid rooting for the Hoosiers back then. I remember that. I remember watching (Harold) Mauro play. I think it is great. I think it is great that you're having a reunion of guys that accomplished something to so great forty years ago, and he number of guys that are coming back. They've been really loyal Indiana guys through the years. It is all part of it won't be hard to get our guys ready to go this week."
On what the defense will work on in practice to help get off the field:
"You just do what you do, and try to get better at it. You get to the twelfth week of the season and if you try to completely change your defense, you're not going to do it very well. I think our defense has played pretty well. We played a team in Northwestern that had scored a lot of points, was leading the conference in total offense, we were playing up there and we gave up 24 points. One of the scores was offensively we gave up a touchdown. We've just got to get better, and we've got to score more points too. This is a group that it isn't one side of the ball or the other. We got to get her cranked up and play a good football game on Saturday. There aren't any secrets. It isn't like we're going to do this and that will make the difference."
Senior Cornerback Tracy Porter
On how to keep the team motivated for this week's game:
"It is IU-Purdue. Honestly there is nothing that you have to do, if you know the history of IU and Purdue. Pretty much, the only ones who don't know much about it are the freshmen, but everybody else pretty much knows the history. That rivalry speaks for itself."
On wearing retro jerseys to honor past Indiana teams:
"I think it is an honor that they would allow us to wear those retro jerseys that the Rose Bowl team wore in their days. It is something that not many freshmen know about, but the coaches as well as Harold (Mauro) who played on that Rose Bowl team, they've done a great job of educating us as well as the freshmen during team meetings on the history of that team and what they accomplished. We're definitely not going to go out and put on a bad performance while wearing those uniforms. We want to honor those guys right, and the best way we know how is to go out and get this bucket."
On how to slow down Purdue's passing game:
"I mean if you want to put it simply, we just can't let them catch the ball. It requires us going in and watching even more film. Watching extra film on the tendencies the receivers like to have, that the quarterbacks like to have, where they're breaking their routes off, where they line up on the field and what routes they like to run, so it is going to require more effort in watching film and more effort in practice. To get the scout team guys to align in the same position that their receivers do and have the same tendencies that their quarterbacks do so we have a feel for it. I think we're going to be fine in that category. We have faith in each other. We have faith in our front seven, and our front seven have faith in the secondary. If the secondary just stays on top and not give up the big plays, there is no team, no matter if it is the number 1 team in the nation or the number 119 team in the nation, is going to drive down the field by completing five yard plays all the way down. They're going to have to go for the big play at one point in time. As long as we continue to eliminate those and not let them get those big plays, we know we're going to be successful on defense."
On whether it has been a long four years:
"For me, I think it has gone by quickly, but it has also been difficult at the same time because we've gone through three new head coaches and learned two new philosophies. Going through three different head coaches, it can be difficult, and it can make the season and your time here seem longer that it already has, but I think it has been a pretty quick four years for me."
On what has kept the team together this year:
"On top of the players, I think Coach Lynch as well as the other coaches, they had a huge task at hand. Following the death of our leader, they had to still come in and prepare us for the season and prepare us for camp. They had to give the motivational speeches that coaches do, so he has had a tough job, and I think that people have to take that into consideration. You can't just look at what happens on Saturday, a call that he may miss or may do. That is why we as a football team, we understand that this is a family and not to worry about what people say on the outside because we know what we do week in and week out and day in and day out. We know why the coaches make certain calls, why the coaches do what they do, and why we play the way we play. The fans and everyone else, they only see the finished product. He has had a pretty rough time, but he has also had some good times. That is just life that is just football."
On playing Purdue again with Bowl implications:
"When it slipped away we didn't execute on the plays that we needed to last year. We played a tough game through three quarters, but we know it is a four quarter game. We sort of let a few things slip away from us in the fourth quarter last season. Seeing how hard that we played, we knew that if we could take care of this or did that right or did this a little bit more, we would've beat that team and we would've been on our way to a bowl game. I think that game myself as well as the rest of the team added motivation to work hard over the summer, to work hard in the film room, and to get to the point we are now. If we beat Purdue, we go to a bowl game, so we definitely have that in mind. I definitely have that in mind. We definitely don't want to have that salty feeling that we had last season walking off of the field."
On having just one game left:
"That is the whole reason why you play the game to be put in certain situations. This is the situation that we're put in. We're going to go out, we have that in mind that it is one at a time. This is our last regular season game before we push to make that bowl, so it is going to be tough competition, but we're going to make the best of it."
Senior Fullback Josiah Sears
On how to keep the team motivated for this week's game:
"Just have fun. It is not going to take a whole lot. We're playing Purdue."
On the freshmen playing in there first Bucket game:
"They're going to find out. They'll see what it is like. The guys that are going to play, we'll share that with them. The guys that aren't going to play will find out exactly what it is like on Saturday and will learn what it means to play for IU against Purdue. That is all it is going to take is one time."
On what the game means to him:
"For me personally, I'm from Indiana, and I've grown up an Indiana fan, and I've grown up a not-Purdue fan, my whole life. I don't like to use the word hate, but I'm not a fan of that school, and I'll tell my teammates prior to the game, but they're going to get the absolute best game I've ever played in my life. There is no doubt in my mind that I'll play as hard as I can and leave it all out on the field because there is nothing left."
On the possibility of getting too excited for the game:
"Obviously, there is an opportunity to, when you get really pumped up for a game, come back down, and you can be subpar and subnormal and not at your best playing ability, but I don't think that is happen. I don't think it is possible. It has never happened before. I've been pretty fired up for the Purdue game in the past, and I personally have done alright."
On wearing retro jerseys to honor past Indiana teams:
"Personally, they're really nice, and I'm going to see if I can keep mine after the game. I don't know. Probably not."
On how the senior class will be remembered:
"Personally, I think the word I've heard is legacy. I don't worry about legacy because if you worry about that you're worried about the future and how you're going to be thought of in the future, and that doesn't really get you anywhere. I think you just waste time doing that. We have to worry doing everything we can this week, play as hard as we can, and play our best football against Purdue on Saturday. That is my goal, and that is what I'm going to do. I've watched every game they've played all season, and I'm going to watch every snap they've played, so I know exactly what they're going to do when they line up in a certain formation. That is all I can do. I'm going to encourage my teammates will do that, and I know Tracy (Porter) will do the same thing."
On whether it has been a long four years:
"I guess it just depends on what I'm thinking about because if I'm thinking about winter conditioning or something like that, it seems like those were really long, but thinking about games and getting the chance to play, that seems shorter and it seems like it flew by. I know especially this season. I was talking to another senior the other day and I was like, `I can't believe we're in the twelfth week of the season already.' It has flown. You always hear seniors talk about that in season's past, and you never think that will ever happen, but here we sit before the twelfth game of our senior year. It has flown by."
On the bus-ride home after the Nortwestern game:
"It was about eight hours. It was rough. All you had to do was sit there in the dark and silence and think about what you could've done differently and what play. `Why didn't we do this? Why didn't I make that play? Why didn't I make that tackle?' It was a long ride, but Coach Lynch did a great job on Sunday of saying we've got to scrap this and we can't blow. We had our chance, and we let it slip by. Now we've got to play Purdue. That is where we're at now."
On Coach Lynch:
"I think the biggest thing he has done is just to help our focus with his motto of `One play at a time and one game at a time.' We're doing our best to focus on one at a time. I think we've done a pretty good job of that this season. We haven't been looking ahead to this game or the next game after we were playing somebody. We haven't always performed to our potential, obviously, but we're playing hard, I think, every game, and doing the best we can to execute the game plan that we have. I think that has just helped our focus and helped everyone know that the task at hand is the most important. It is a pretty big task this week. I mean, we're playing Purdue, and that is a big deal. It does have some extra motivation."
On whether the program is better than when he arrived:
"Obviously we want to play in a bowl game, and there is no question that that is something that needs to happen for this school and this program because it hasn't happened for a long time. There is no question that we have to win the game on Saturday to make that happen. I think that is going to be our focus just like every week. We do have to win, but I do think the program is in a better place overall than when we found it. There are good people here. Guys you can count on and guys you can trust. I think that is the most important thing."
On whether he would like to start all over:
"I like to play football and I don't want to stop playing football, but that reality comes to everyone at some point in their life. Obviously it would be fun to start over in Junior High and do it all again. Or third grade, I think that is when I started. He (Tracy Porter) only started when he was a junior in high school, so that wasn't very long ago."