Both teams had tumultuous seasons. The Hoosiers' previous head coach, Terry Hoeppner, died in June 2007 and Bill Lynch took over the program. The season-long mantra was "Play 13," as in playing a 13th game, a bowl, after the 12-game regular season. (This is IU's first bowl since 1993.) Meanwhile, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy became famous throughout North America for a tirade against a sportswriter for The Daily Oklahoman. The outburst was repeated many times on TV sportscasts and online. The Cowboys were 6–6 on the season and unranked nationally. Generally accepted as a disappointing year for the highly touted pre-season offense led by Zac Robinson who replaced Bobby Reid at the starting quarterback position early in the year.