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Monday, May 30, 2016

Indiana trying to rebound after another loss

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Lynch wants to avoid the doom-and-gloom speeches.

Despite three straight losses, two of them in the Big Ten, and without a bye week left to fix the problems, the Indiana coach isn't fretting.

"You've got to move on," he said during his weekly news conference Tuesday. "You can't dwell on the past, you learn from it and you correct the mistakes, and you move on. I like this football team, I like the way they work, I like their attitude."

But over each of the past three weeks, the Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2) have shown major flaws.

Against Ball State, the defense couldn't stop Nate Davis' well-timed passes or MiQuale Lewis' powerful runs. Against Michigan State, the Hoosiers were again susceptible through the air and blew a chance to get back in the game when a holding penalty turned an Indiana touchdown into a Spartans safety. Last Saturday at Minnesota, the Hoosiers couldn't sustain drives or get their defense off the field enough.

Despite injuries in the secondary, the lack of a pass rush in recent weeks, a rash of turnovers and a worse record than most expected, Lynch insists it can be corrected starting Saturday against Iowa.

"We've got to get better," Lynch said. "I'm certainly not down on this football team and I think we've done some things well. We're not sitting with a record that we had hoped to have at this point, but I said this, too, there's a whole bunch of teams around the country saying that right now and there's a whole lot of football left."

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

The Hoosiers entered the season with high expectations after ending a 14-year bowl drought and a favorable home schedule.

They opened with back-to-back wins against overmatched Western Kentucky and Murray State, but have since lost three in a row -- two of those at home.

Indiana must now win at least four of its final seven games to reach back-to-back bowl games for the first time since 1990 and 1991, and the odds appear to be getting longer.

After Iowa, the remaining scheduled includes trips to Illinois, No. 6 Penn State and archrival Purdue with home dates against Wisconsin, unbeaten Northwestern and two-time defending Mid-American Conference champion Central Michigan. Illinois, Wisconsin and Northwestern all are just outside the Top 25 and the Purdue game will be coach Joe Tiller's final home game.

Lynch understands the challenge.

"We're striving to develop the consistency it takes to be a good football team, and you've got to be solid offensively, defensively and in the kicking game if you're going to win in the Big Ten," he said. "We have not done that, and that's certainly something that we're working toward."

The Hoosiers have tried to mix things up.

In the Michigan State game, they used a deliberate no-huddle offense to keep the Spartans' powerful runners off the field and created chaos by moving quarterback Kellen Lewis to different positions.

Opponents can expect to see even more of it as the season progresses.

But the bigger concern Saturday is a defense that has not played as well as it did last season.

Lynch knows that must change, along with all those other problems, if the Hoosiers have any chance of making it to back to a bowl game.

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