NOTES: Hoosiers honor legacy of Taliaferro

This season, the No. 44 uniform belongs to Thomas Allen.

But not on Saturday.

To pay homage to former Indiana All-American George Taliaferro, who died Monday at age 91, Allen changed jerseys to No. 10.

Allen, a redshirt freshman linebacker and the son of IU’s second-year coach, had been debating all week over the best way to honor Taliaferro, who wore No. 44 for the Hoosiers in the 1940s. Ultimately, he decided that the best way to do so would be to switch numbers and leave the No. 44 jersey for the IU great.

“I asked Dad if I could just because of everything he’s done,” Thomas Allen said. “I wanted to just not wear it for this one game for him because he’s a trailblazer. Everything he’s done for this university and the NFL has been amazing.”

Allen had only met Taliaferro once — and briefly. But in learning this week about the impact Taliaferro had one both IU football and the local community, he wanted to offer a tribute to Taliaferro’s legacy.

Before the game, fifth-year senior left tackle Delroy Baker held up the No. 44 jersey as the Hoosiers ran onto the field. IU also held a moment of silence and wore the No. 44 on the side of its helmets.

“It’s amazing,” Thomas Allen said. “The things he did were just phenomenal. The least I could do was just not wear his number.”

Allen explains bench penalties
Indiana’s mistakes weren’t limited to the field on Saturday.

The IU sideline was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct, including one against an assistant coach and another against head coach Tom Allen.

The one against the unspecified assistant came after cornerback Raheem Layne was flagged for pass interference, wiping away an interception by safety Jonathan Crawford.

“He was yelling at one of our players, and the officials said he didn’t know if he was yelling at him or them,” Allen said. “I just said, ‘Seriously? That’s how it is?’ And so literally, (the assistant) was yelling at our corner about his technique, and he just got burned. And so he wasn’t looking for the football. That’s how the first one was explained to me.”

The flag on Allen came late in the second quarter after the IU coach stepped onto the playing field, frustrated after a fourth-and-one pass attempt fell incomplete.

“I stepped on the field about maybe one step, and he was eyeing us like a hawk and he chose to throw it,” Allen said. “I wasn’t even looking at him. But that’s how it goes. Sometimes you get things like that. You can sit there and watch it, we weren’t even talking to those guys. But for whatever reason that’s the calls they made, and obviously don’t like them, but my shirt doesn’t have stripes on it.”

Sudfeld makes return
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana’s all-time passing leader, returned to Memorial Stadium on Saturday as IU’s honorary captain.

Prior to the homecoming contest, Sudfeld was seen mingling on the field with former tight end Anthony Corsaro and running back Andrew Wilson.

Former IU All-American linebacker Tegray Scales was also among the former players on hand.