Highlights from Tom Allen’s radio show

On his weekly radio show Wednesday, Indiana coach Tom Allen recapped the Penn State loss and looked ahead to Friday’s trip to Minnesota.

Highlights from his portion of show follow:

— On posting 224 rushing yards against Penn State: “It’s a credit to our offensive line. Coach (Darren) Hiller does a great job with those guys. Stevie Scott ran super hard. Really challenged him, as well. He responded to that. Ronnie (Walker) had some good runs. Some other guys did, as well. … You gotta be able to do that. The ability to run effectively, where they have to defend you and account for you, that’s very important.”

— On losing Michael Penix to a season-ending ACL injury: “When they first said that’s what it was, I was like, ‘Seriously?’ I thought he got targeted, but I had no idea the lower part of his body was even an issue. From the beginning, they thought that’s what it was. My heart just sank. … He’d really been coming along in practice, gaining confidence. We knew going into the game that we were going to play him. He responded. It’s a tough break. It’s one of those things. It’s his first serious injury. He’s working through that now. It’s tough. It’s hard.”

— On where IU turns at backup quarterback: “It’s been an interesting year at that position. Got even more interesting (this week). Reese (Taylor) has looked really, really good. He’s kind of a natural there. We feel good about that. We have a couple other guys behind him to get ready, if called upon.”

— On IU’s defensive performance against Penn State: “I was so upset about the previous week, especially behind closed doors. I got after them. That’s just not who we are. They responded. They played super hard. I felt we tackled so much better. I felt the fits, the pressure on the quarterback … (was good).”

— On Hurricane Michael destroying the family home of linebacker Reakwon Jones: “My challenge to all of us is, whatever you can do to help is appreciated. As coaches and as family here, we’re trying to do what we can do. We had to get permission from the NCAA to do that with the GoFundMe, but we wanted to do that and help a family that’s in serious need right now.”

— On processing the loss to Penn State: “I brought them together after the game. That’s why I don’t want them to slide into negative thoughts. I know you can get discouraged. … I think you just have to come together, and we have a good core of guys who have been here long enough to know what that looks like. Guys were doing a great job of saying the right things afterward and being able to draw together instead of separating during a time like this. That’s the key.”

— On the team’s health: “Ryan Watercutter has a chance to get back in the fold. Devon Matthews didn’t play last week, but it looks like he’s ready to go this week. TD Roof is still day-to-day. Not sure if he’s gonna play. Just trying to get our guys back as best we can.”

— On whether he wants his players riding the electric scooters that have recently populated street corners in Bloomington: “(That’s) a big fat ‘nay.’ Didn’t take me long to figure that out. This was funny. I’m there (at the stadium) late at night and it’s 1 in the morning. I’m walking out of my office and there’s this wave of kids on scooters, like 25 of them swarming through the parking lot. I’m like, ‘Where’d they come from?’ I was taken aback. They’re everywhere. I also learned really quickly I don’t want our guys on them. … The good news is it’s getting colder, so I think that’ll probably take care of itself.”

— A listener asked if there will be any trick plays for Reese Taylor: “Watch the game and you shall see!”

— A listener asked what the quarterback depth chart looks like this week: “Thinner. Peyton’s our starter and we got Reese as the backup. From there, we’ve got guys to step in.”

— Allen said both walk-on quarterbacks, Mike Fiacable and Johnny Pabst, will be on the travel roster for the Minnesota game.

— A listener asked if being the primary backup will limit Reese Taylor elsewhere in the offense: “There’s a balance there. You have to get him ready to play quarterback. That’s No. 1. No. 2, you want to make sure he still has a chance to help us as an offense. That’s a balance we’ll have to figure out.”


  1. If T.A. is being honest in saying R.T. has looked “really,really good” at quarterback then play him at quarterback a bunch against Minnesota.

  2. Scooters as a comment, this team is on the edge of a failing season, if they lose the game Thursday and scooters is major topic. The screening of the questions for this show needs a balance some tough questions need to be asked of Coach Allen.

  3. Sounds like he’s happy with Hiller. That’s got to displease HC.

    I know he’s in the middle of the season and there are limits to what he can do to change things, but I wonder if T.A. has a broad enough perspective, which comes from experience, of where his program is currently at relative no where other Big Ten programs are, where the program should be, and what needs to be done to take it to a higher level of performance. Since T.A. was hired at about the exact same time MN’s coach was, this week’s game will be an interesting barometer as to how each program has progressed.

  4. If we only had Rod Taylor instead of Reese Taylor, then we could design the most fabulous forward pass ever…Maybe even a pathway to a national championship? Instant replay could have endless opportunities….as could overtime!
    I wonder what the world will look like when IU Football wins its first national championship? Will skirts be allowed just above the ankle? Will there be ankles? I guess we can dream…of the many Hoosier football mannequins dressing and undressing in the window of time until free of the burdens of heartache.

  5. This Minnesota game is critical to the Indiana football program. A lost at Minnesota would be a major set back. Podunker you are correct this game is a major barometer for where the Indiana football program is compared to Minnesota. A lost here and you would figure that the Indiana football program is only better than Rutgers and Illinois (excusing Nebraska – first year coach) at the present time in the BIG TEN. Presently I see a victory for Indiana with Stevie Scott or Ronnie Walker having a very good game, provide the special teams can cover the punts and kickoffs. Purdue will lose at MSU this weekend. Effects of the Ohio State (consumption/partying) hangover (if they don’t Jeff Brohm is a better coach than most think). LEO….GO HOOSIERS!!

  6. I agree, but with one exception. Brohm is already a better coach than most people think. His team’s victory over OSU was HUGE, and should not be diminished by any claims suggesting OSU was over-rated. Just imagine if IU had beaten OSU by such a margin? Urban Meyer would now be unemployed.

  7. If IU wants to beat Miny play Reese Taylor at quarterback. Things will fall into place. Scott and Taylor running threats. Taylor has a much better chance of big yardage with a block and cut back in open field. Taylor will throw downfield more than 6 or 7 yards. It puts more speed at quarterback on the field on offense with IU receivers and running backs.

    I remember when Mallory teams at the height of his success he was always complimenting running game with downfield passing with the likes of Ernie Jones.

  8. T.A. and DeBord are too invested in Ramsey to bench him for a third string quarterback that does not have any in-game experience. Reese probably just began taking more than a couple of reps in practice this week. And it is a short week of practice to boot. For the remainder of the season, Reese will be the emergency back-up or garbage time QB. Too bad we lost Dawkins!

    1. “Guys were doing a great job of saying the right things afterward . . . .” I guess this is the Funkytown concept of football: “Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it.” How about doing a great job of tackling about it, blocking about it?

      PO- indeed x 2. The (psychological) investment in Ramsey is big, and even bigger is the hurdle to admit error; and yeah, Taylor is probably nowhere near ready.

  9. Rt could significantly outplay Ramsey and have a significant positive impact on team now over Ramsey.
    Ramsey and scheme including limitations has been caught onto and is like containment of a kid in a sandbox.

  10. What would Jeff Brohm/Purdue do in this situation even before OSU? Oh, Reese Taylor would be his guy at qb?

  11. This game is a must win for IU if they are going to hang on to recruits and build any momentum for the final games this season. IU has played well enough to win several games this year but made too many mistakes to pull off the wins. Friday’s game needs to be one IU plays well enough to control the game and put away Minnesota as the game goes on.

    I hope the OL shows progress that shows the PSU game wasn’t a fluke. Having a dangerous run game goes a long way to make the passing game become more explosive. Minnesota won’t be easy, just ask OSU, but they can be dominated.

  12. All this talk of Purdue is giving me an upset stomach and headache….I think I need a Brohmo-Seltzer.

  13. Dawkins was/is a lightweight. Very poor passing accuracy + questionable mental toughness. He quit! Remember?

  14. Minnesota’s defense is early Kevin Wilson era bad. IU has a defense. This game shouldn’t be that close as long as Mike DeBord stays aggressive- give Scott the ball, throw downfield. The only way the game is in doubt is if Ramsey keeps checking down to 3 yard passes or 2 yard runs. Brohm said they lost their first 3 because they got too conservative. I hope DeBord was watching the interview.

  15. Hoosier 86, Las Vegas Line has I U as a 2 1/2 point favorite. my own past experience those guys in Las Vegas didn’t get all that money by using their emotion judgement over their rational intelligence. I would like to see an I U victory, but I U needs a super effort Friday Night as the point spread indicates a close game. I am an old I U fan that been burned before by I U Football letdowns in games they could of or should of won. The I U needs a win for the program’s future in a real bad way.

  16. IU South- I agree totally. I just think if Westbrook and not Timian is the leading receiver and Scott has more rushing attempts than Ramsey, IU wins easily. But if DeBord get’s cute again like the second half of Rutgers, this game could be close at the end. And we all know how IU does in close games- especially on the road.

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