Bloomington – While many Indiana fans continue to clamor for an answer to a couple of questionable calls in Saturday's 42-24 loss at Iowa, IU Coach Bill Lynch isn't raising much of a fuss.
At his Tuesday press conference, Lynch's demeanor and tone suggested he's moved on from the controversy.
"I don't want to use a cliché, that's part of it, but it is," Lynch said.
In question were two apparent Ben Chappell to Terrance Turner touchdown passes, both of which were ruled out of bounds by the replay booth. The first came late in the first half, when Turner was ruled to be out of back of the end zone by the officials on the field and in the replay booth. That play turned out to be inconsequential, as Chappell connected with Damarlo Belcher seconds later for a touchdown to give Indiana a 21-7 halftime lead.
The second – and more controversial - came midway through the third quarter when Turner was ruled in bounds by the officials on the field, seemingly giving Indiana a 28-14 lead. But the official in the replay booth ruled it was an incomplete pass, although it's unclear whether he ruled that Turner was out of bounds or didn't have possession of the ball.
Either way, Lynch isn't going to belabor the issue with Wisconsin coming to town on Saturday for a game that will give Indiana another crack at a marquee win against a top-25 team. Lynch is instead allowing the IU Athletic administration to handle the situation moving forward. Lynch said the athletic department has made contact with the Big Ten office and that he's confident that "they'll handle it appropriately."
He, in turn, said that when the coaching staff addressed the team about the game on Sunday the issue never even came up.
"I'm more concerned about the 173 plays (in the entire game), so there's 171 other ones that we can get corrected and do our job," Lynch said. "That's how I look at it. By noon on Sunday you're full engaged in Wisconsin and moving on and seeing the challenges there."
The players have taken the same approach, although it was virtually impossible for them to not witness some discussion of the calls. Whether it was ESPN or the Big Ten Network, analysts were raising questions about the calls that went against the Hoosiers and kept them from opening an even bigger lead.
"It's definitely tough – when you go out there, there are going to be calls for you and calls against you," said Jammie Kirlew. "I wouldn't want the job they're doing."
Kirlew admits, though, that he did take some degree of satisfaction from what he heard people saying about the game. It wasn't so much that analysts disagreed with some of the officials' calls as it was what they had to say about how the game played out.
"My main thing that people were saying we went out there and controlled them for three quarters," Kirlew said. "The No.4 team in the country, we controlled them for three quarters. There's some satisfaction there because we know we're getting better every week. But the ultimate satisfaction will be to win games, and that's what we're going to try to do in the fourth quarter of our season."
To do that, Indiana will have to once again find a way to bounce back from a demoralizing loss. Indiana has had its share of them this season, from the three-point loss at Michigan to the blown 25-point lead at Northwestern to the squandered 10-point fourth-quarter edge against Iowa.
In two of those games the Hoosiers has had questionable calls go against them, but Lynch doesn't want his team taking the approach that the breaks simply haven't been going there way since Big Ten play started.
"If we give them the out that, it's just bad luck and sometimes the ball doesn't bounce our way, then that's the way they're going to practice, and then they're going to go play Wisconsin and hope the ball bounces our way," Lynch said. "You can't do that."
Lynch Moving On From Iowa Controversy
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