Finch “Doing OK,” says Lynch

The increasing bewilderment Indiana fans have with Florida transfer Jerimy Finch’s lack of playing time finally inspired one caller to ask IU coach Bill Lynch about it on his weekly radio show on Monday night.

Lynch, unsurprisingly, did the best he could to dodge the question, and said it has more to do with the play of starting safeties Austin Thomas and Nick Polk.

“Jerimy has been playing special teams right now,” Lynch said. “He’s playing safety. Nick Polk and Austin Thomas are two fifth-year seniors that are really, really good football players. They have a great grasp of the defense. I think them coming back from injuries, as well as moving (Ray Fisher) over there, has really helped stabilize our defense. Jerimy’s a backup safety right now. He’s on special teams. He’s doing fine, and as we go on, his opportunities will open up, but right now, Nick and Austin are our starting safeties.”

That doesn’t necessarily explain why Chris Adkins still plays ahead of Finch in nickel packages and why he came in when Polk had a head injury in a game earlier this season, but it does provide some info.

Lynch also cleared up what happened on the illegal substitution penalty in Saturday’s game against Ohio State that gave the Buckeyes a first down before having to try a fourth down play.

“The rule is that when you substitute for a player and he comes off the field, he has to sit out for a play,” Lynch said. “What happened in the game the other night is Justin Carrington came off the field, but he wasn’t substituted for. We only had 10 guys on the field. So he came off the field, then he turned and ran backon the field to put us to 11. So we were flagged for illegal substitution. That’s what happened the other night. We’re still getting that clarified to because he wasn’t substituted for. … When he went back on the field, I didn’t feel like it was an illegal substitution because we only had 10 on the field, but I was clearly wrong.”

Lynch also said that tailback Darius Willis, wide receiver/wildcat quarterback Mitchell Evans and Thomas all missed Monday’s practice with ankle injuries. He said he expects all to be ready by Saturday’s game against Virginia, however.

31 comments

  1. I don’t get this obsession with Finch. The coaches watch him everyday. If they really think he can help on D, they will play him. Its simple. He’s a great athlete (and has done a very nice job on special teams), but everytime he’s been in on D, he seems to make a dumb play or miss a tackle.

  2. I asked a recent, former IU Athletics employee about Finch over the weekend and was told that the word around the program was that he’ll probably never play (start), that he’s an absolute headcase and most were pretty certain during the spring that his career, albeit brief, was probably over with the Hoosiers. There was a fair amount of surprise he came back for the fall.

  3. Jimmy,

    When exactly have you seen him make a dumb play on defense? 2 years ago he went for a pick and the other team scored a TD. I haven’t seen him play D since then, except for one game this year which came down to a last second play by the other team where he intercepted a lateral and sealed the victory.

  4. define being a headcase for me. Is he a jerk, an idiot, huge/too much ego??? I don’t get that, just curious. IU will look dumb if he transfers and becomes s stud!

  5. Austin Thomas is not the player he was last year. I have a feeling that if we got to see Finch play safety for a whole game, we would all like what we see. The guy is always around the ball and always making plays.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say he will make an NFL roster. Thomas will not.

  6. Add me to the list of those bewildered and maybe a little fixated on the Finch situation for the simple reason that I find it hard to believe that someone found playing time as a true freshman at Florida can’t crack IU’s lineup.

    Anyone who has watched the defense get beat repeatedly to the outside the last two games can’t tell me we couldn’t use another athlete on the field – at safety, corner or even outside lb.

    I have a feeling something beyond football talent is at play here.

  7. Thomas so far has made some great plays- two picks in the Akron game and he almost got one at Michigan. Finch, by contrast, hasn’t done much of anything yet. Thomas has earned the spot and continues to earn it with his play.

    Plenty of great, talented kids don’t pan out or struggle in college ball and beyond. I don’t think Finch’s depth chart spot is a referendum on IU but rather on Finch’s own issues. I hope he gets it figured out, for his own sake.

  8. Ill give Lynch the benefit of the doubt. This proves that recruiting stars dont mean anything when it comes to performing on the field. Maybe Finch just doesnt cut it, and we actually do have players that out perform him in practice. While Im a Lynch critic, I dont see him as a petty man that would bench Finch out of spite.

  9. I think I’m going with Bobbie Sue on this one. It has to be something off the field that’s stopping him from getting on the field. Because, although they’ve made good plays too, I’ve seen Thomas and Polk both make plenty of mistakes this season that cost the Hoosiers, especially for 5th year seniors.

    PARPP, this in no way proves that recruiting stars doesn’t mean anything. Every time one highly recruited player doesn’t pan out everyone starts with this argument. If stars didn’t matter than how come USC, Florida, Oklahoma, OSU…etc always dominate both the recruiting lists and the top 10 of the polls? I’m not suggesting you blindly recruit based on stars, but there’s no questions that for the most part highly rated recruits pan out and deliver. You need them to sustain a successful program.

  10. I think I am with PARPP on this one. It is obvious Finch’s performance has not caught up with his hype. Meaning we all remember what he did against high school competition and embellished the little we heard about his minimal playing time as a substitute at Florida. I don’t think Coach Lynch is going to be dead level straight in saying anything negative about a player and PT. I do think there is some flavor of nonconformity in Finch’s practice performances that keep him from playing more. Although nonconformity is a good trait for a special teams player. The coaches have the book on each player. I will trust them on the evaluations they make on personnel and PT.

  11. It makes sense that Lynch wouldn’t play him. I’m sure all Lynch wants is to not play the best players so we have a better chance of losing and the added benefit of hearing everyone whine about it all season.

  12. This is the same staff that we trusted to allow Lewis back on the team and give him the starting QB job back after missing the entire srping and summer practice and workout sessions last year? You could really see his relationship with the team and his dedication to them on and off the field.

    Going out “clubbing” the same night that he hurt his ankle bad enough he couldn’t play the 2nd half of a game. Not rumor, not speculation, he was there, there is photographic proof on his baby mama’s facebook page.

    The staff has a proven record of being inept.

    Finch is another one of those situations.

    I think I would trust Coach Urban Meyer and the Florida coaching staff who recruited him and then played him as a true freshman over any coach on the IU staff. If they didn’t think he was a special player, then why would they burn his freshman redshirt to give him playing experience?

  13. I think Lynch has shown that he will play the best players. He transitioned to Willis very quickly when he proved to be the guy. Lynch wants to win and if Finch was going to help he’d get playing time.

    The Florida stuff doesn’t play. Finch left there, do you think it was because they told him he was going to be a star?

  14. The position coach Finch played for left Florida.

    Finch struggled with being in Florida and away from his family.

    Florida was converting him to a LB spot in hope he would be a possible starter this season.

    His family situation led to the NCAA to make him eligible to play last year and not set out the mandatory 1 year for a transfer.

    If the best players play, then this team absolutely sucks at the DB spot. If they didn’t, then how could Richard Council play every week?

  15. Bgleas, I dont disagree with your point. I should have been more clear in that the highschool rankings dont always translate into college performance. So we shouldnt be surprised if some meet, exceed, or fall short of a scouts opinion of a players potential.

  16. Hey Trust,
    Any chance Doss is equal in talent to Finch? If not or if so explain his playing time last year and this year.

  17. I am starting to get tired of hearing about Finch, because his situation is sort of depressing. I cannot even explain in words how excited I was when I heard was transfering to IU. I am as bewildered as anyone else, but what makes me avoid continuing complaining about it is the fact that Finch has not made any public statements complaining about the situation himself. Actually, I believe I read that he was fine with his role on the team in an early season article. The fact that he is still on the team shows that he hasn’t given up and until proven otherwise is trying to get his act together. If he is working through some off-field issues, all you can do is pull for him and hope he works it out soon. Hardy and Lewis had off field issues but were still able and allowed to contribute, but if this were a personal issue between he and the staff I doubt he’d still be on the team. It is a strange situation to me, but one I only have an “outsiders” perspective.

    Only thing I can figure is that he is an awesome LB who is convinced he is a safety. Maybe IU is not forcing the position change because they are working on his terms? Stevie Brown was switched from S to LB in his senior year and has looked better there IMO. Finch may be in the same boat and that may be his best shot at the NFL. I guess I will have to blindly trust the staff has a good reason to bench him until more comes to light on this issue later.

  18. Clarion,

    I see what you did there. To bad your example is flawed.

    James Hardy and James Bailey both left the team for the 2008 season. That left Ray Fisher, Andrew Means & Marcus Thigpen as the top 3 returning receivers.

    When your primary offense is the spread, you need more than 2 wideouts and a running back to fill out your formation.

    Out of the top 5 receivers last year, 2 of them are no longer on the team (Means & Thigpen) and a 3rd (Fisher) is now playing defense. That leaves Doss, Belcher, Turner and Evans as our primary receivers.

    Oh, and if you look, Doss was used, but only played in 6 of the 12 games last year. Through 5 games this year he has caught 9 more passes than anyone else on the team and has accounted for 200+ more yardage.

    Now get back to defense. If the best players are on the field, we are super thin at DB. Richard Council is the worst corner I have ever seen at a Big Ten school and I have watched IU Football for almost 30 years!

  19. Trump! Thigpen was a running back last year not a receiver, of course as I stated Doss also played last year and Council is playing this year because you are not the coach. It would make sense for a coach who is on the hot seat to play the best player even if it is in your eyes he is so valuable. By the way I have near double your years as an IU fan.

  20. Trump,

    We ARE super thin at DB!!! Why do you think Council and Adkins had to play there last year and Fisher was moved over there this year???

    Doss got hurt last year, but played as a true freshman. Pretty simple there.

  21. Clarion,

    TRUMP!

    Marcus Thigpen was the 5th on the list of receivers by yardage last year, even if he played running back. Look it up!

    As for your years, congrats. I am 35 years old, I have been going to games with my dad since the 1980 season.

  22. No doubt but he was a running back ask anybody. Your still behind. Hell I have shoes older than you.

  23. Bobbie Sue, I was wondering why you say Finch is a head case? I am really just curious. Head case can mean many different things. Also, we are super thin at the CB position because IU does not consider the position important enough to recruit like all of the O lineman. I have seen that for so long and knew it would come to this after Porter left. It is terrible to have decent linebackers and a pretty good line, decent safeties and AWFUL corners!

  24. Trust,

    No one will ever put one over you. You absolute command of the obvious is insurmountable.

  25. You know I hear that Finch can cure cancer with his tears, but it’s too bad he never cries.

    Some people wear Superman pajamas, Superman wears Jerimy Finch pajamas.

    In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Jerimy Finch, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone has ever come to matching him.

    Black holes are stars hiding from the gaze of Finch.

    Finch can fly, he simply chooses not to.

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