Bloomington – Bill Lynch will be spending his free Saturday watching college football, but it won't be next weekend's opponent Ball State or even anyone in the Big Ten.
Instead, Lynch is headed to Butler's campus to watch Franklin College square off with the Bulldogs at 1 p.m. Indiana's off week has given Lynch an opportunity to see his youngest son, Kevin, play college football for the first time. Lynch is a senior starting wide receiver on Franklin's 19th-ranked Division III squad.
"I really haven't had an off-week since he started playing," said Lynch. "He plays Saturday, so I'll be a fan, and be a dad. I'm looking forward to it."
Once that game is over, Lynch will return to Bloomington to continue preparations for Ball State. Next Saturday's 7 p.m. match-up is the first of 10 straight weeks of games that will reveal whether or not the Hoosiers' 2-0 start is the start of a special season or simply the by-product of a soft early schedule.
"Of the 10 opponents, nine of them were bowl eligible last year," Lynch said. "So that's a pretty good stretch of teams."
While Ball State doesn't have the "name" appeal that many of the Big Ten opponents do, Lynch knows his team will have its hands full with the Cardinals. Coach Brady Hoke's team is off to a 2-0 start, having topped Northeastern (48-14) and Navy (35-23) in the season's opening two weeks. They boast a high-powered offense, led by quarterback Nate Davis, running back MiQuale Lewis and wide receiver Dante Love.
Davis has been one of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks in the early going this season, completing 42-of-52 passes for 616 yards and seven touchdowns. Love has clearly been his No. 1 target, catching 18 passes for 336 yards and three scores.
"Offensively, they've got some outstanding football players," Lynch said. "The quarterback is really good, but the receiver is really good, the offensive line, they have good tough running backs. They have the whole package."
The Cardinals' tailback is MiQuale Lewis, who missed last year's game in Bloomington with an injury. He's bounced back in a big way this fall, carrying 32 times for 209 yards and a touchdown in the first two games.
"Lewis is a physical guy, and he has good quickness," Lynch said. "A real powerful kid, good vision, good feet."
The Ball State contest is still 10 days away, but the Hoosiers are already beginning preparation for the game. During the off-week, Lynch said the Hoosiers are striking a balance between getting geared up for the game while also giving some of the young players a chance to get some reps as well.
It's also been a valuable time to allow some veterans who are nursing minor injuries to be on the sidelines and get back to full strength. On Wednesday, Matt Mayberry, Rodger Saffold, Mike Stark, Ray Fisher and Andrew Means were among those who watched most of practice for the sidelines.
"We're holding a lot of guys out that have been dinged up a little bit," Lynch said. "We think the week off will be good for them."
Lynch To Make Most of Weekend Off
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