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 Penn State and to look forward to Saturday's Old Oaken Bucket game against Purdue.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Penn State and to look forward to Saturday's Old Oaken Bucket game against Purdue.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 17, 2009

    Glass Audio | Lynch Audio | Chappell Audio | Saffold Audio | Kirlew Audio | Payton Audio

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head coach Bill Lynch met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss last week's game against Penn State and to look forward to Saturday's Old Oaken Bucket game against Purdue. Coach Lynch was joined by Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass, seniors Rodger Saffold, Jammie Kirlew and Bryan Payton and junior Ben Chappell.

    Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass

    Opening Statement:
    "I am really excited to announce today we have now sold over 40,000 tickets for the Bucket Game, including 10,000 student tickets, which I am really proud of. With both sales figures, we are now averaging over 40,000 tickets sold for all of our home games and averaging over 10,000 students at all six home games. That is the first time we have sold this many tickets in 17 years. The last time we did this was in 1992, which I think shows a great deal of momentum with our program not only for what is going on the field, but also what we are able to do in the stands.



    "An offshoot is because of the interest for the Bucket Game, I am extending the student section from its normal 8,100 seats to 12,500 seats. That is more than a 50 percent increase for our student section and we are really close to being sold out even for the expanded section. I am calling on the students to get their tickets quickly because they do not want to be the odd man out like during the Ohio state game, where we shut the door in the ticket office and no more tickets were available.

    "I encourage the students to come out with the support they have been giving the team. I think the key to energy in Memorial Stadium is the students and to have over 12,000 students at the game Saturday, I really think that would put the wind at our back. Our football team performs really well at home games as we are 3-2 at home. There is no question we are not quitting on this team and we want to make sure the fan base doesn't either."

    On reasons why the attendance has been high this season:
    "I really think the increased sales are due to three things. Number one is the new North End Zone project. I can't take any credit for the project and all the credit goes to Rick Greenspan and President Herbert for their courage and vision in making it happen. It is a cool Big Ten stadium. I think we have added some things to the traditional part of the stadium to try and make it come together. The North End Zone is a key component of increased sales and is a fun place to come because you physically feel like you are in a Big Ten stadium.

    "I'd think another part of it is trying to create an atmosphere that is fun. I think we have gotten the band more engaged, the cheerleaders more involved, and the things you get from experience like Kicks for Keeps and even the Red Light Special.

    "Then maybe the keystone of the atmosphere is Knothole Park. In some ways, Knothole Park is like our seed corn to grow memories and make people want to come back. I think we will see the benefits of the park in five, 10, and even 15 years down the road. I think people sense it helps create a fun environment.

    "Finally, it is due to the performance of this football team. Other than the game at Virginia, we have been in every game including a lot of games where weren't expected to be in them and had some tough defeats where we really came back with some vengeance and guts to have real success at home. I think Hoosier fans really appreciate that. The success and fighting spirit of this team is why people continue to turn out. We were whooped by Virginia, but came back with a high attendance against Illinois. We went on the road last week, but are selling hundreds if not thousands of tickets in the days leading up to the Bucket. Those are the reasons why we are getting there."

    On expanding the student section permanently:
    "I think that is a great challenge to have to expand the student section minimum. I go into stands every game and they are having a ball. The section is expanding to the top and spilling over the sides. I definitely think we have the opportunity to expand the capacity, which will not only allow us to put more students in the stands, but for the non-students to see the students have a good time. I think it is a duty to the students to create a more student oriented experience because they have fun and then our older guys and ladies can come back and capture that college feel and have it more when the students are having a great time."

    On the progress made so far in regards to attendance:
    "I think my goal is to sell out the game and I think we can get there. We have made huge strides in coming off of a year that wasn't our best year last year going 3-9 with a tough Bucket Game loss. To bounce back from a tough year and sell 40,000 tickets and 10,000 student tickets is a major step forward. We are just going to keep building on that in a complimentary way to build the experience outside the lines where we can have sellouts just as Bill is building on the program on the field."

    On the importance of the Bucket Game:
    "The Bucket is a really big deal. It was part of growing up for me and I think the rivalry is still intense, but I think we can take it up a notch. I think the IU-Purdue football game is important for respect for both universities and bragging rights are on the line, but also something that is even bigger than that, if we are going to keep the best high school football players in Indiana in Indiana then we need to have the Bucket Game at a level of a showcase for both programs.

    "I hope Purdue football grows back to being successful and I hope our program does the same, to make the Bucket Game a really big deal. When kids come down to the game, it really entices them to say I want to go to Purdue and be an engineer or I want to go to IU to be a doctor or whatever. We want to keep that talent in the state so I think the stakes are pretty high. We are going to try to really rev up the rivalry through old traditions and some new traditions. I'm not sure I could pick out a particular memory from when I was a student, but a recent memory I have is Austin Starr hitting the field goal to take us to the Insight Bowl. That memory is still pretty fresh in my mind."

    On the potential for selling out the Bucket game:
    "I'm hoping the game will. We are well over 40,000 tickets in. It is going to be a beautiful day and I think it will be increasing, but we will need a pretty strong walk-up to get that done. I think it is really possible we could sell out and I am hopeful that we will. I am very confident we are going to sell out the student section and I would not be surprised if that gets done in the next day or so."

    On the impact of ticket sales on the athletic budget:
    "In retrospect, we have a fairly aggressive budget for football. I think that means we are going to hit our budget, which is something I am very glad about. The opportunity to sell out consistently over time is exciting because. I know how to increase our overall resources for our football program and our department is to sell those football seats. It costs me as much to have a party for 20,000 people as it does for 30,000, 40,000, or 50,000 people so we want to increase attendance and that is what we are going to try and do by selling our inventory to not only help out football, but also our entire program."

    Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch

    Opening Statement:
    "Kind of following up on what Fred said, I think he deserves a lot of credit for the attendance figures. His entire staff has worked so hard over the last eight months to try and drive sales not only with the physical aspects of the stadium, but with community and campus outreach trying to get people involved.

    "I really enjoyed last spring and spending so much time with student groups on campus. That was really beneficial for me by encouraging students to come. We have a great student body here and the things they do on campus are great. When we got back from Penn State last week, I had a chance to go and speak to the group at the IU Dance Marathon at the old HPER building. It is amazing what that group does in their enthusiasm and the amount of money they raise. I think it is just a great part of Indiana University and what we have going here.

    "To attract that interest and enthusiasm towards the football game on Saturday is certainly a goal for all of us. Our goal is to get the game sold out. We have the opportunity to go around the Big Ten and play at great sold out venues and we hope to do the same. It doesn't happen overnight, but we have made great strides this year and plan on keep working to encourage the students and staff as well as everyone else to come.

    "This is a special week when you talk about the Bucket Game. It certainly means a lot to me, as I was a kid growing up in Indianapolis where you were either a Purdue or an IU fan. When you competed on the playground, you were either IU or Purdue. I think it is unique when you look at the rosters of the teams, I think Purdue has eight or nine starters, depending on the lineup, who are from Indiana and we have seven or so starters from Indiana. When you go through the roster, so many of these guys know each other. We see all of these kids play in high school and know the recruiting process starts very early. Kids are making official visits together, going to camps, and other things during the recruiting process. I am sure all of them made unofficial visits to IU and Purdue and their families were with them so they know each other. That is what makes this rivalry special because it is an in-state rivalry.

    "It is a very interesting game this year. I think Purdue is a really good football team and I mean that sincerely. When you get a chance to really study the tape and everything, you get a chance to see how close they were to becoming a premiere football team in the conference and country. We have been in a lot of games too. I think the game is about two good teams whose records don't show it, which has certainly been a disappointment for both programs.

    "I always see a rivalry game as a game for seniors. That is why this game is tucked at the end of the season because if it is in the middle of the season, then it loses some of its flare. Looking at their team, I believe they have 11 seniors starting. We have nine or 10 depending on who goes on the field first, so there are a lot of seniors playing their last college football game on Saturday. The last game is the one you remember and is for the bragging rights of alumni and fans of both programs. I agree our rivalry needs to keeping getting better as we move forward. I say that in a positive way because it is a great rivalry for both schools and certainly compares to the rivalries around the country. So we are excited for Saturday."

    On the game's impact on recruiting:
    "I think there is interest for both schools. I don't think a recruit and his family who make sound judgments about the school of his future base their decisions on who wins this game. I think it is good for both these schools particularly in state because the kids in state follow this game and have an interest in it. Since there are alumni everywhere such as coaches and people around high school conferences, this game is talked about a lot and has been for a long time. I think it really think it helps the exposure of both programs. I wouldn't think this game should be a determining factor of where a young man should go to school."

    On using last year's loss as motivation for the Bucket game this season:
    "We don't have to talk about the game last year because anyone who was there remembers it. I think an important thing from a coaching standpoint in a game like this is that practice is the most important thing. You guys have heard me talk about that all year. If you bring in an emotional battle, then you are not going to have a great week of preparation. We had good meetings yesterday and a good practice. We hopefully will have a good practice today because we need to have great preparation. I think sometimes you get carried away with motivational tactics and then you don't spend enough time figuring out how you are going to stop their offense or how to move the ball against their defense.

    "They have some great players. We have to figure out how we are going to contain Joey Elliott their quarterback. They have the biggest pass receiver in the Big Ten so we have to find ways to cover him. So, I think the practice is still the most important thing because on Saturday at 3:30 we are going to play our best football. The other things like remembering the score from last year or what happened are not important. If we can focus on the important things, our preparation will lead us to a great effort on Saturday."

    On Purdue's record: "I think in some ways it is a little misleading. In their second game of the year, they went to Oregon, had the lead, and had a great chance to beat the Ducks. They had a great chance to beat Oregon in Eugene and we all know what kind of a football team Oregon is. Notre Dame had to score the last play of the game to beat Purdue. The Ohio State game was a huge win for them. I think they played good football all year and played really good football when they beat Ohio State and Illinois. It is a good football team that is coming in here."

    On stopping Purdue's offense and moving against their defense:
    "Joe Tiller's offense was pretty tough to defend now so I am not going to go there. I do think they have some really good football players. Joey Elliott, who I have known for a long time, had to play behind Curtis Painter, who is a quarterback for Indianapolis right now. I know he doesn't have all of the experience of snaps during the game, but as a fifth-year senior practicing all those years with good receivers, he has done well.

    "Their receivers are all good football players and caught a lot of balls against us last year. Keith Smith has certainly put up big numbers this season. Ralph Bolden is also having a good year at running back. They have a good scheme and give you a lot of different sets you have to be prepared for. I think that is what makes them tough to defend because they execute awfully well. Purdue's Wisconsin game was much like our Virginia game. You have one of those games in the course of 12.

    "Other than that, they have been very difficult to control because they are talented. The same thing happens with their defense. Purdue's defensive front is great with fifth-year senior Mike Neal at defensive tackle and (Ryan) Kerrigan. Their linebackers are really active and run to the ball. They are smart and competitive guys. (Joe) Holland and (Jason) Werner have big numbers from a tackling standpoint. They have a sixth-year senior and several fifth-year seniors in the secondary so Purdue has an experienced football team overall. A lot of these kids have played in the past so they know what this game is all about too."

    On progress made since last season:
    "It is certainly not just this game. To me, it's about having a good attitude of how we are going to play football and how we are going to prepare. When people watch Indiana Football, we want them to ask what they think of us and I think we have made really good progress this year in that our kids are going to compete and have made plays. Certainly you cannot defend your record because it is what it is. I do think we have made progress in a lot of ways. The leadership and the approach our guys to take to play football have allowed us to make great strides. Whether the loss last year was a catalyst, I am not sure, but I think there were some other issues as well."

    On building upon this year as the program moves forward:
    "I think we are going to build on from what we have done this past year. We have a lot of really good young football players in our program. I think the senior group that is playing their last game on Saturday has really done a good job of bringing in the culture change in our program. The young kids have big opportunities coming. We have redshirted almost our entire last two classes. The kids that are redshirt freshmen now only had three players from their class who played and they were (Tandon) Doss, (Justin) Pagan, and (Damarlo) Belcher. All three of them started as freshmen and started this year so you can see the obvious progress Doss and Belcher have made.

    "I think we have a very good class we signed last February. We redshirted all but one and that one was Adam Replogle, who we started all year at defensive tackle. Sometimes you play freshmen and they end up only playing a few plays and three or four years down the road it catches up with you. We have all of these young kids coming who have had great years on the scout team. While you lose some main guys who play a lot and hate to see them go, we know there are a lot of young guys in the program who are really good players who will be on the field next year. I think the last couple of recruiting classes are going to show themselves the next few years."

    On Teddy Schell being listed as the backup quarterback on the depth chart:
    "At this point, Edward Wright-Baker is not going to play. It depends on the situation and the week of practice. Last week, we would have gone with Teddy Schell first. There is still a segment of the offense we can run with Mitchell. Ed won't play and definitely will redshirt."

    On second half letdowns:
    "You just have to keep playing. If it were something magical, we would have found it by now. Part of it is who we were playing. Penn State is a pretty good football team. If you look at the second half, you have to go back and realize the last four minutes of the first half really hurt us. I look back at a couple games and see how the last drive of the first half made a major difference in the final outcome of the game. Northwestern, for example, took the ball and drove the field to score two touchdowns at the end of the second quarter to make it a game at half.

    "Saturday was the same way. It was certainly the last play of the half that changed the dynamic of the game. Then in the second half, we were playing them even until mid-way through the third quarter when we had a great drive going, but had a bad play. We can't let that happen. There is nothing we can practice to get that done.

    "We are going to compete, but we also realize the other team has some good coaches and players who we are going to have to outplay. I don't think it's saying we should have made these halftime adjustments or played this player. It is a matter of us getting beat down the stretch against a good football team the last couple of weeks. You could probably look at the Wisconsin game the other way. If we make one stop on third-and-eight, we get the ball back and who knows what might have happened. The Iowa game had a crazy play that really changed the momentum of that game. Each game and situation is a little bit different, but if I go back and look at our games, we have to play better the last five minutes of the second quarter to take good leads into halftime."

    On the injury status of the defense:
    "Ray (Fisher) is not going to play. From the time he got hurt, we kind of hoped he would be able to play, but he will not be able to play. I think Donnell Jones showed a lot of toughness so he will be ready to go. Having Austin Thomas and Nick Polk healthy is huge as well. Collin Taylor has played well. We have enough guys we will be able to play our base and nickel packages. (Chris) Adkins is getting healthier too, each week is another week playing with that brace on. (Adam) Replogle practiced yesterday so he will be ready to go. Up front, we should be pretty good with the defensive line and linebackers."

    On the importance of the Bucket Game:
    "Typical of the last game of the year, this rivalry game is very important. One, if you are not going to play in a bowl game, then you want your seniors to have a good feeling in the locker room. We want them to leave with good memories. Obviously, you can head into the offseason on a high note and the players have more bounce in their steps heading back into the weight room after Thanksgiving."


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