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October 14, 2014

Matt Limegrover

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Limegrover.

Q.  Coach talked a lot about how Mitch might feel more comfortable now. (Indiscernible.)
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Yeah, I don't think it hurt, that's for sure.  What impressed me about Chandler being around was I hadn't had a chance to talk to him for a while.  To be able to sit down and talk with him, see how his experiences have matured him.  I think that was rubbing off.  There's such a confidence with that kid.  I think when he's around our other quarterbacks, really around the team, I think there's a very good positive influence.
I definitely don't think it hurts when he's around and interacting with our guys, for sure.

Q.  What do you see as Conner's role on the offensive line?  Do you see him getting more into that rotation?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Yeah, we played him with the idea that he's going to continue to get reps.  We know that we're heading in, we're at the halfway point.  I'm not going to say it only gets tougher, because I don't want to disrespect the teams we play, but it definitely doesn't get any easier.
We're banged up.  We felt like he's a kid that could help us.  We're going to continue to escalate that development and keep bringing him along and continue to get him reps.

Q.  Is it a tough decision?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  It's never easy.  It's never done just on a whim or fancy type of thing.  It's something there's a lot of thought put in, a lot of discussion.  We felt like, particularly Coach Kill and I, we talked about it, ultimately Coach Kill makes that final decision, but we felt like it was the time to get him going.

Q.  Has he been about what he thought you would be or has he exceeded that?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  He's actually exceeded what I thought he might be.  Being a kid coming from a smaller‑level school, didn't know exactly what we were going to get.  We knew the physical part, but just the technique and mentality and mind frame.  He's been great.  Very coachable kid.
That's what has allowed us getting comfortable with him and getting him into the game.  You're going to see more and more of him.  He was able to get that one out of the way.  Laughing and joking about it on Sunday.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH LIMEGROVER:  More than normal?  Yeah, probably.  You know, I think that's a tough question.  I think if you've kind of been around, you know we're a take‑what‑they‑give‑you type of group and felt the play‑actions we ran on Saturday was what we were going to get.  We knew we had it so we knew we were going to throw it.  In that sense it was more the normal because we knew what they were going to give us.

Q.  (No microphone.)
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Oh, absolutely.  I mean, plays off each other in a big way.  We're at the point, and we try and do this all the time, but it doesn't always work out, you know, there's things that we feel very good about in the run game that for whatever reason, whether protection or the way they're playing in the secondary, sometimes you would think, Oh, it's obvious you run this play, then you have a play‑action off of it, all is well.
Sometimes it doesn't quite fit, and you would think it would, but it doesn't.  One of the things we try to make sure we do all the time, one thing we don't do is, Let's just roll the dice and see what happens.  As much as we can, we want to make sure that people are blocked, want to make sure that things are in place.  We're not big on rolling the dice and putting people in peril just because they may or may not do something.
A lot of times it doesn't quite match up.  But we knew running the play‑actions we did, we knew that was a good matchup protection‑wise what we were running in the game and route‑wise what we were able to get.  That's why we were able to hit that a little more even on some of the third downs.

Q.  When you and Jerry first got together and put together an offense, what were some of those factors and influences in saying, This is the way we want to play?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  I think it goes way back to even before I started working with him.  Coach has always been a clock management, ball control, stay away from the big mistakes, the big turnovers, back in his days with split back veer option when he was at Pittsburgh State, Saginaw Valley State.  When I joined him, I had more of the pro style background, throwing the ball more, those things.
But as we've been together looking at what we can do, with the personnel we have, then who we want to be, that's how that things that morphed.  Bigger than sitting in a room all by yourself and saying, What do we want to be offensively?  I think that's a real good quality that Coach Kill has, he makes sure it's all brought together.  He doesn't want us going off in one direction at the expense of the bigger picture for the team.  That's always a factor with us.  We bring it back into that, is we want to play good team football.  We don't want to be that team we were at TCU, turning the ball over four or five times, putting our defense on with their backs up against the goal line over and over again.  We saw the results of that.
That's a big foundation point for us as far as moving forward offensively.

Q.  What is the target number on offense if on defense it's 17?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  18 (laughter).  We'd like to score in the 30s.  One of the interesting things is, we're not doing that.  We need to.  We're constantly working on improving, finding ways to do that.
We talk in the 27, 28 point range.  It gives us a little bit of leeway on both sides.  Maybe if the defense gets overshot by something or we get a little bit under, then you're talking about that 24 point range one way or the other.
We try and score.  We want to score four offensive touchdowns every ballgame.  One of the things we've talked about is obviously it's every week we're working on trying to find ways to get big plays and create some of those big plays, so...

Q.  Talk about Mitch's development.
COACH LIMEGROVER:  I think probably one of the biggest things that has helped Mitch was not playing in the San Jose State game.  There was a lot of pressure put on that kid.  He kind of took it even more as far as that whole weight of the world on his shoulders.  I think with him not being able to play in the San Jose State game, we still won the game, I think there was kind of an 'aha' moment like, okay, I don't have to do this all myself.  He literally was like a different young man when we went to Michigan as far as just how he was on game day, how he was in the huddle, his demeanor game day, the enjoyment of it.  He was out there having fun.  That carried over to last week.  Then there was that confidence.
We felt excited for him when we would call pass plays because we knew this was stuff he felt good about, was feeling good and confident.  We've seen that.  Now our job is we're just in there today saying, What can we continue to do with what Purdue is giving us that can keep him in that good frame of mind, good so to speak.

Q.  How did it feel watching the corner post routes he was throwing?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  It was fun.  It was fun because there was a tremendous amount of confidence in calling those because you could just see from the very first time he dropped back and threw it that he's feeling it, he's feeling good.
Being in this as long as I have now, all the way through, you can sometimes tell when a guy is not quite sure or he's pressing or what have you.  You didn't see that from Mitch.  So that was exciting to see.  Then that also makes things a little easier calling the game and being able to figure out, Okay, let's set this up a couple plays ahead, knowing you want to get back to that stuff.

Q.  The big one to Maxx, was that a new ripple?
COACH LIMEGROVER:  Yes and no.  We just try and find different ways.  It actually was the same type of route that we hit him on against Penn State last year when we took it to the field.
Are you talking about the one in the middle?

Q.  Yes.
COACH LIMEGROVER:  All that was, that was the same screen we threw against Michigan to David.  It was the same thing.  Lead blocker, swung David, dumped it to him.  It was pretty easy for the guys up front.  Instead of Tiger and Bengal, H Tiger, H Bengal to Maxx, we find different ways.  Now it's a different weapon in the screen game we could hit.
I was thinking about the wheel we threw to him.  That's one that we threw that was a complement or in the same family as what we did against Penn State and scored.

Q.  What does it mean for a guy like Isaac to have an impact?  You have younger receivers who are still trying to figure it out.
COACH LIMEGROVER:  You know what, I'm glad you brought that up.  I couldn't be more happy for him.  He's a young man, it isn't easy sometimes being a senior wide receiver, not being a guy that's getting many balls, per se.  To hang in there and not only kind of go through the motions or just be there, but it was Thursday and he was a guy in the huddle, we were lagging a little bit doing some things.  He was the one getting after guys, We need to pick up the intensity, this isn't good enough.
I'm real happy he was able to have some success because he's a kid that stayed it in 100%, hadn't gone the other way, really a young man who deserves that and more.  Very happy for him.  That was a nice side light to the day, for sure.
Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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