Highlights from Tom Allen’s weekly radio show

IU coach Tom Allen recapped the Iowa loss and looked ahead to Penn State on the latest edition of his weekly Inside Indiana Football radio show on Wednesday night.

Highlights from Allen’s appearance follow:

— On the Iowa loss: “No question, on that given day, they were the better team. They were more physical than we were and it showed at critical times. We thought we had a good week of prep, but I don’t think we had the same pop we needed against a team like that.”

— On putting last week behind them: “As I told our staff, we’re going to evaluate it, flush it and then we’re going to press on. That was the challenge to our guys. We didn’t dwell on it. We have to be able to get ready for the next opponent.”

— On what it takes to match the physicality of Iowa. “We’ve had (strength coach David) Ballou here for nine months and it’s not been a full year. We talk about that as a staff. Iowa’s (strength) program has been there for 20 years. When I hired Dave, I talked about Iowa’s strength program and how that’s helped them establish what they have. That, to me, is a big part to our foundation and to our future. We have to continue to stay the course.”

— On the team’s mentality after back-to-back losses: “After the game, there was a lot of frustration. Teaching young guys how to handle that is a growth process, too. We, as coaches, have to rise up and help those guys work through that. No. 2, how do you come back? You talk about flushing it, and that sounds great. How do you do that? We have a weekly focus. We take one word, and it’s about getting your mindset (right) and doing little things the right way. … ‘All-in’ is our one word this week.”

— On IU’s preparation for Penn State: “We know some of those guys pretty well. We’ve played this quarterback (Trace McSorley) two straight years. Special, special player. When you think about players you’ve competed against, he’s up there as one of the top five, as far as being a playmaker. … I know they came up short against Ohio State, but man he was impressive in that game. He’s so tough. He runs it and throws it and is the ultimate competitor.”

— On seeing Saquon Barkley depart and Miles Sanders step in: “There’s no question I was not disappointed he chose to leave early, although we did do a good job against him both years. But he’s an absolute load. What he’s doing in the NFL is no surprise. Great player. Miles Sanders has been sitting behind him waiting his turn. He’s a great player and will be one of the best running backs we’ll see all year. Their offensive line is the best we’ve seen (from them) in the three years we’ve played against them.”

— A listener asked Allen what surprised him most about the Big Ten, as a conference, through the first half of the season: “The quality of quarterback play has been elevated. I think we saw that going in. You see certain guys, and since I’ve been here, it’s the best (group of) quarterbacks we’ve played. … That’s really a big key. That’s a key position. That, to me, has probably elevated the play of our conference. There’s a lot of good quarterbacks this year.”

— A listener asked what he tells corners who have to cover bigger receivers: “To me, it’s about technique. You have to be in great position. You always talk about snapping your head around and leaning into the receiver if he has a height advantage. There are receivers out there at 6-foot-3, 6-4 and corners aren’t going to be that tall. It’s really about your feet and technique and the way you use your hands.”

— A listener asked Allen to estimate the percentage of new plays the team introduces in a given week: “I would say, at the most, 20 percent. You’re not going to try and do a bunch of new things. You’ll always have wrinkles and adjustments. You want to make things look different.”

— A listener asked if the team has tweaked its routine to account for chillier mornings: “The weather’s not been that bad. Today was chilly in the morning, and we are a morning practice team. But 50s and sunny is pretty balmy up here. It’s not been that cold that we have to make adjustments yet.”

— A listener asked about the team’s overall health: “I would say it’s not where you want it to be, and we’ll have some guys out this week that we wish weren’t, but everybody’s dealing with it. I think it’s just a matter of dealing with it and getting as many back each week as you can.”


  1. My early prediction for this week is Purdue will defeat Ohio State this weekend….Purdue 42 – Ohio State 38…just putting this out there to say I believe Purdue is for real and that Purdue has a better chance of getting 6 wins then Indiana. Plus the fact that Purdue plays an exciting brand of football at the present time (the last three games).

  2. IU79, I don’t know if they will beat OSU but you’re right. PU is legit. Oh how things have changed since week 3.

  3. Really can’t believe a fan asked about chillier temps. Must be a Snowbird who heads South early. It’s FB Fall not Spring planting.
    I don’t think PUke can handle the Buckeyes.

  4. I think we need new plays. TA’s answer was that “they would not try and do a bunch of new things”. Are you kidding me? That is the definition of insanity. What you are doing isn’t really working but continue to do it. I thought that was pretty insightful.

    I think they screen the questions pretty carefully. I think they only want softball questions to the coach.

  5. I think they screen the questions pretty carefully. I think they only want softball questions to the coach.

    Agree. There had to be many calls concerning Penix. Much like IU Football attempting to protect a qb who can’t get the ball downfield, they were holding on a crowded line with silent receivers.

  6. Yes, Fish, and media on sports shows associated with IU coaches and IU are protective and are soft ball with coaches when talking about or with them.

  7. Don Fischer is of a gentler and kinder time; a time when a challenged Bobby Knight would spear you with a harpoon to the throat…ruining your vocal cords and turning your smooth sexy radio voice to fingernails on a chalkboard. The old Hoosier basketball dominance caused damage…Soon every coach thought he should wield the same powers. Every coach demands subservience….no matter their level of competence, proven records of success, honesty, or genuineness. “Is there something else you want to say, Dustin? You lookin’ at me because I don’t see anyone else standing at this podium. I’ll ask you again…Are you lookin’ at me, journalist punk!? It moves, it just moves. Now go back to clipping Price’s disfigured toenails at your tiny HT offices.”

  8. T.A. last year and this season talked about breakout season. Now, after Iowa game he talks about young players, player development, getting bigger and bigger, recruiting players that can develop, getting better and better every day. These are the same statements that Bill Lynch and Cam Cameron said when they were at IU.

  9. I remember when Willis/Franklin Central 3 star back signed with IU it was like IU hit the lottery jackpot. I don’t know how many if any more 3 stars were signed that year? Plus when Mallory signed Mr Indiana football qb from Martinsville making statement now we have a qb here and he wasn’t good enough however he ended up behind Randel El with Cameron as coach.

  10. I don’t know if the players are getting better, if the ratings are getting inflated or a little of both but all Big Ten teams are recruiting higher-rated recruits. SEC still blows away everyone else though. They had exactly twice the number of 4 star recruits as the Big Ten.

    1. Everything inflated today, 123. And with that, I can’t stop thinking of the villain from ‘Live and Let Die”….(0:40 mark).

  11. It’s sort of akin to a real estate empire built by Donald Trump’s father….IU’s sports empire was mostly Bobby. Now all the kids(coaches) in Bloomington get to act self-made. A money machine that keeps cashing checks never earned in successful records or teams. Showboating, catchphrases, gibberish, witch hunts for distractions when incompetent, and more requirements in the ears of the bamboozled fans to have more patience.

    Success doesn’t always breed success…It breeds lies, cronyism, and fat cats who sit at thrones not built by their grit and genius. A revolving door of talkers who clutch Cheetos Bowls and Sweet Sixteens like they’re the crown jewels.

    Bob Knight was at a Final Four in his second season.

  12. Those were the days. The sun shined bright even on cloudy days. What an intense fun ride it was. TV, talk shows, sports talk shows, the Bob Knight show, the sports section newspaper, news section newspaper, entertainment section newspaper, the anticipation and a rewarded fan base, and the games etc etc etc…..

  13. O my word, t! Are you reminiscing about the Sunday paper’s sports section of old? Page after page of college football from the Saturday most recent. Almost every DI college game got at least a paragraph write up (and blurbs of the lesser programs, too). Earlier this fall the Chgo. Trib. Sunday sports section had one (count ’em, one) page for college football, and only four games covered- N’western, ND, U. Ill. and No. Ill. I grumbled my way to my dratted computer to catch up on the rest of the action. As if I didn’t spend enough time in front of a screen during the work week. The Trib used to call itself “The World’s Greatest Newspaper,” at least they had the honesty to drop that from masthead.

  14. Since I am a pro sports hater and what it represents in our society….growing up I remember when the big 4 dominated the sports page ND, IU, Purdue, Butler along with the other Indiana college programs depending on what kind of year they were having. Plus the Indianapolis Indians was fun coverage and there is one exception and that was of course the Indy 500. Rose were the days. Though still covered it was ruined when the pacers and colts came to town.

  15. Damn, t….I thought I had become disillusioned with pro sports. Don’t lose the child in your heart. I think we have a tendency to forget how we loved to have heroes when we were young. And through those heroes we build our own dreams …..Whether my favorite teams won or lost (pro and otherwise) was often not as important as many(including myself) make it today. For me, as a youngster, it was about appreciating the level of talent and the unique personalities meshing together to build someone I could idolize.

    Some people don’t have many in their lives to admire….Dreams need a place to root and build their own home of sorts in the heart. Those dreams and idols fill a lot of empty places with hope.

  16. Don Slunt 6’10” was offered $5500 to play pro basketball. All the travel and he made more selling insurance. (I understand Slunt wasn’t the most sought after player). However, it’s perspective and that is something I can get behind. Without all the other things I can mention in many areas today and now many years before perspective is lost. That’s what the market will bare is a falsehood because it’s rigged. In this case high crime and corporate welfare and brainwashing. This is just one area in this world and our society where perspective is lost. However, that is why I am a pro sports hater.

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