IU “better” on Wednesday

Indiana football coach Bill Lynch said Wednesday that his team has adapted well to what it will see from Akron this weekend. A team needs look comfortable facing the scout team — which runs what the next opponent is expected to run — by Wednesday. He felt his team has. There will be challenges on both sides of the ball for Indiana, as Akron runs a fairly traditional spread and a 3-4 defense.

Other observations/notes from practice today:

  • Lynch said the team remains healthy. Donnell Jones, who earned the starting corner job across from Ray Fisher but sat the first two games due to injury, was back at full.
  • Speaking of Fisher, Lynch said the senior wide-receiver-turned-cornerback is a “natural” on the defensive side of the ball.
  • The Hoosiers will take a bus from Bloomington to Akron on Friday, but will fly home after the game Saturday night. Lynch said the program was “doing our part” during tough financial times.
  • Lynch isn’t overly concerned with how his team has played in the second half. The Hoosiers have been outscored 15-6 in the third and fourth quarters of two games this year, after being dominated during those spans last season. But after watching tape, Lynch said the breakdowns had to do more with the situations his team was in rather than some other overriding late-game deficiency.
  • One of his top concerns, he said, is scoring touchdowns in the red zone. The Hoosiers haven’t thrown for one yet, and execution is the culprit as far as Lynch is concerned.


  1. Im a freshman (originally from southern Iowa) at IU and was wondering…on third down at the football games a lot of the students do this thing w/ their arms where they reach up and pull back down…what is this all about?

  2. I think it means “crank it up” or “power up”.. I remember a DT named Greg Brown doing it awhile back.. not sure if he was the one that started it or not..

  3. As a student as well, it means “power up” and was originally from American Gladiators. I think that Greg Brown started it, but Tracy Porter would often turn to the student section and do it on 3rd down. Many, in turn, copied the action and the rest is history… or something like that.

  4. Donnell Jones, you are our only hope and may the force be with you! Glad you are healthy!

    Not concerned with how the team plays in the second half, what…oh my!

  5. Actually, the movement is supposed to resemble a marching movement. The move is performed when the band plays the “National Emblem” march, a tradition that dates to the age of AT in the 1980s, who “marched” IU consistently down the field.

  6. the pulling down was started as far as i can remember at the IU Purdue game in 2007? (the one with Austin Starr’s field goal at the end). I seem to remember Porter doing it often

    The pull down is distinctly different from the first down march. The pull down features open hands at the top, and gradually lowering while tightening into a fist.

    The march is a “closed fist” type of movement up and down.

  7. Really, does his word hold any weight anymore?

    He talked about how we had a “really good team” before last season.

    After the MSU game last year, he said “we may have lost the game, but we found a team.”

    How can anyone take what he says seriously?

  8. J Pat,

    I went back and looked at all the games Lynch has coached at IU. If the team is down at half time or at the end of the 3rd quarter, they have NEVER won the game!

    During the first half of games, his team has outscored their opponents by a combined total of 13 points. During the 2nd half, they have been outscored by over 150 points.

    I think there is cause for concern about the 2nd half performances.

  9. Mike, that is interesting to a point that I wonder if Korman will blog about it…struggles after halftime. Just an idea! The numbers/proof are all there from last year to this year. It would not have to have a negative slant to it, I wonder what others think of it all.

  10. As a coach, especially one whose credentials for the job are severely suspect and whose team seems to me lapsing into the same problems year after year, you have to try to create an alternative discourse for each game, in order to preserve your job and stave off the critics.

    Lynch has become quite good at this; call it the Lynch “Spin Machine.” I wouldn’t be surprised if Karl Rove is working for him behind the scenes.

    Hey, I don’t blame him, it’s called self-preservation.

  11. Mike P isnt the only one that has noted this terrible trend in Lynch’s coaching. It’s quite well known, but the HT rarely criticizes the program, and all the apologists tend to ignore it. A coach’s 2nd half performance in many sports is a very telling sign of their ability to do their job well. Lynch is one of the worst in the game when it comes to this benchmark.

  12. J Pat,

    Korman has the information, I sent it to his inbox yesterday. I couldn’t sleep the other night and created an Excel file that has every team IU has played with Lynch functioning as the head coach. This does include the SIU and UCON games in 2006 when Hep was out for surgery and Lynch was the acting head coach.

    It has the scores by quarter, shows if we won, lost or tied the quarter (by score) and then shows if we were ahead, trailed or were tied after that quarter, and if it ended in a win or loss.

    The numbers are interesting to say the least.

  13. It will be interesting to see the empirical data. Lets see how far the HT runs with it.

  14. I fail to understand this: “the breakdowns had to do more with the situations his team was in rather than some other overriding late-game deficiency”.

    How are the situations any different? The team still gets the ball in the second half. They still have the opportunity to put together a drive, or return an interception for a TD, or kick a field goal just like they did in the first half. Lynch is just making nonsensical excuses. His credibility has been gone for a LONG time.

  15. I was talking to a group of guys a couple days back and several said, “Lynch gets a free pass for a while, I wish IU lost the WMU game”. I quickly let them know that a win is a win is a win. I want IU to win. I am not a hater! I don’t care who is coach, I want to win. I feel like Lynch knows the issues and he knows they MUST be corrected. I also feel that his supporting cast could be the death of him in the end. I happen to think Lynch is as good a man as there is in the world and he could be a great head coach but he needs a GREAT supporting cast. I hope they can get it turned around with the second half problems. I guess we pray for a great first half at Akron and hope for the best.

  16. Here are sum numbers for you.

    Leading after 1, 10-4
    Leading at half, 11-2
    Leading after 3, 12-1

    Trailing after 1, 1-11
    Trailing at half, 0-13
    Trailing after 3, 0-15

    Tied after 1, 1-2
    Tied at half, 1-2
    Tied after 3, 0-1

    Draw your own conclusions.

  17. JeremyK, as I see it, our problems so far have been more about red zone efficiency rather than second half problems. Against WMU, we were in the redzone 3 times in the second half, compared to 2 in the first. When in the red zone, we had a TD and a FG in the first half and 2 FG in the second. Had Earnest caught a ball an easy ball (the 2nd down play not the 3rd down), one our FG’s would have been a TD in the second half. On our other 2nd half FG, if Belcher could have gotten his foot down on that 3rd down play, we would have extended that drive possibly gotten another TD. Offensively, we only had one “bad” drive in the second half, we just didn’t execute and finish when we were in position.

  18. There’s no question that the lack of scoring in the second half is a real trend. The numbers speak for themselves.

    But Phil is right about the Western game. Except for the one drive they made, we had a very good chance to significantly outscore them, but didn’t do it. Lynch acknowledged that in his 9/15 press conference and said we needed to do a better job of converting those chances. Those are the situational issues he’s talking about and he didn’t excuse them, he confronted it head on. If you don’t believe me, watch the video, its on the B10 Network web site.

    Mike P: how far back did you go on your analysis? It clearly shows we’re not a come from behind group.

  19. I agree there are times the execution could have been better, but strongly believe there is another issue that extends far beyond player execution.

    Is player execution the excuse for the teams being 7-15-7 and 7-14-8 in the 3rd and 4th quarter over Lynch’s career as head coach here?

    Is player execution the reason why his teams have failed to score 9 times in the 3rd and 13 times in the 4th quarters as compared to 6 & 3 in the 1st and 2nd respectivly?

    In those 9 games that they didn’t score in the 3rd quarter, they are 1-8. In the 13 games they failed to score in the 4th quarter, they are 3-10.

    This appears to be more than 1 bad drive.

  20. GF Dave,

    The numbers I have are the SIU and UCONN game in 2006 when Lynch was the head coach while Hep was out, all of 2007, all of 2008 and the 2 games in 2009 we have already played. It encompasses all 29 games that Lynch has lead the team onto the field as the head coach.

  21. No matter what side of the fence you are on with Coach Lynch, what do all you guys want him to say to these questions?

    ‘We suck, all of us, we are out coached, have lesser athletes, and fail to get the job done in the second half and it probably won’t change!’

    This is college, not the pros, these kids are here for an education and to be an athlete, they aren’t getting paid, and everyone would rip him a new one if he said something negative ( I can already hear ‘ Oh Lynch is horrible and he doesn’t even believe in the team…’)

    How many of you go into a review or job interview with thousands of people being able to comment on your performance and you saying negative things about yourself and what you have done, even if you got the job done so far, just probably could have done it better?

  22. J Pat, I agree with you on this last post but do think he could get good supporting coaches on what these guys make? There are lots of supporting coaches on other teams making more than Lynch.
    What do you think?

  23. ronb,

    There are head coaches that make more than IU’s entire coaching and support staff combined. The administration is way behind in terms of compensation level.

  24. Practical,

    If you choose a job that puts your performance in the public eye, than you choose to accept and deal with praise and criticism from those who have their eye on you.

  25. Its likely that the trend you note has to do with much more than just execution. However, from what I have seen so far this season, its seems that our deficiencies have very much to do with execution.

  26. Practical, you are wrong, most of these kids are here to play football first, if they arent, then that is the problem with our team. Sadly, that is the reality of D1 sports such as football and basketball. We arent some Ivy league school where many more athletes place more priority on academics. Lets not kid ourselves either, coaching D1 football is a high pressure job, and the people are paid accordingly. You cant tell me that 600K a year isnt enough to handle the IU job? If its not, Lynch wouldnt have accepted it, neither would his staff/son.

  27. Does anyone out there remember the night game at Ball State under Coach Hepner when Kellen Lewis was first inserted at QB for Powers? IU was favored, one of Coach Lynch’s sons was the QB for Ball State, and our defense could not stop anything, the run, the pass, the kicks. I was at the game sitting close to the field on the side of the IU bench. Coach Hep gathered this huge group of players around himself. He BLISTERED them about their lack of passion,for their lack of effort, for their lack of caring. I could hear him in the stands. He was so ANIMATED that no one could look away. I wanted to throw my body on the field to stop Ball State. And the Hoosiers did a 180 degree turn around, they played great and rallied to win the game in the 4th Quarter. That kind of leader is what we need. We don’t have that kind of leader today.

  28. ronb, great point. I agree and cannot argue with that. However, there are good coaches and bad coaches out there making less or more. It comes down to the little things, little fine details. Our staff has not helped in this area. Quite frankly I was surprised a couple coaches were not given the boot. Sadly, this all comes back on Lynch. The position coaches and d and o coordinators are the ones responsible for adjusting at the half after making paper and mental notes first half. The neat positive we can take from the stats Mike P shows are that we are a great first half team…we just need to play the entire game…and these coaches are paid well enough to coach these kids up.

  29. MikeP- Thanks for helping me make my point, not disproving it. Lynch knows hes in the public eye, so really what do you expect him to say, I’d love to know. Why would he ever say anything other than short positive statements or that hes behind what we are doing?

    Peegs anti Reverse pick pocket- I didn’t say they were here for education first, I said they were here for both. Or if they are here for football first and only football, they better think about education, because our percentage of players going to the next level is very low, and I would say our team maybe has 4-5 if that that have a shot at the next level. They are college athletes and will go on to do other things, they shouldn’t be held to the same standards as Pro’s or have to be called out like pros because they arent paid millions for their performance.

  30. Practical,

    I knew what you were saying. What I was getting at is you talking about the job review part. That is something that comes with being a coach, and you have to learn to deal with the pro’s and con’s of it. Face it, people are always going to have something positive and negative to say about any coach out there.

    I would like for Lynch to at least show that he is concerned about the 2nd half performance by his teams since he has been the head coach.

    Execution problems don’t lead to being trashed 208-75 in terms of 2nd half points over the course of last season. Or being outscored 165-27 in the 8 conference games during the 2nd half last year. Just the lack of execution doesn’t lead to your teams being 152 points in the red for the 2nd half over your coaching career.

    Last year the team was outscored 2.7:1 in the 2nd half. As of the first 2 games this year, the ratio is at 2.5:1 against a MAC and FCS squad.

    He doesn’t have to put it on the players, or on him and his staff, but he does need to acknowledge and admit to there being an issue and at least give the BS coaching line of “we are working on identifying the issue and how to fix it”.

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