Indiana football coach Bill Lynch addressed the Hoosiers’ disappointing season during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference.
“We played against really good football teams. Every team that beat us is a bowl-eligible team out of the Big Ten. The Big Ten is very, very good this year. We had great opportunities against Michigan, got beat in the last minute. We had a great opportunity against Northwestern and it came down to a made field goal and a missed field goal. And we had a great opportunity against Iowa and we dropped the ball in the end zone,” Lynch said.
“We were tied with Penn State almost going into the fourth quarter. At some point you have to realize that we came up a play or two short against some really good football teams. We had some injuries, losing (running back) Darius Willis has certainly affected our running game, but everyone has injuries. I’m not going to sit here and say that was the difference, because everyone has that. We were very competitive in some big games that would have turned our season around.”
Lynch was also asked about how he would make a case for the program improving during the evaluation process.
“I certainly have great respect for everyone here and the evaluation process that will go through. But I think in running a football program in the Big Ten, there are a lot of factors that go into it. We’re all judged on won-loss, but I think those of us in the profession knows there’s so many things that are involved with it. It all shows up on Saturday. I’m proud of what we’ve done here and what we have built. We’ve been very, very competitive,” Lynch said.
“I think in the last two years, we’ve had 15 Big Ten games and in 10 of them, we’ve had the lead or within a score in the fourth quarter. And we’ve only won one of them. That’s a reflection of us not finishing and not getting it done. But certainly a reflection on being competitive. Over the last couple of years, the Big Ten has been as strong as it has ever been.”
When asked who does it fall on for not finishing, Lynch said there isn’t a simple answer.
“It’s the game of football. We can make it real simple and we probably create that by using the term finish, but every situation, every game is different. It’s about making plays,” Lynch said. “Our guys are out there, they’ve prepared very well and have worked very hard and have really battled. We’ve come up a play or two short.
“Each one is a little bit of a different situation. To try to characterize it “it’s because of this” you can’t do it that way. That’s why you play. The effort our guys have given and the way they’ve battled, certainly the staff, there isn’t one single thing you can say that would make the difference.”