Highlights from Tom Allen’s weekly radio show

Tom Allen was back at the Bloomington Holiday Inn on Wednesday for his weekly radio show.

A few notes and highlights:

  • During last week’s game against Ohio State, Indiana opted to throw the ball 18 times out of run-pass option formations. That means IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord called 18 run plays that turned into passes after quarterback Richard Lagow read the Ohio State defense and opted for one-on-one matchups on the outside rather than running against seven men in the box.”You got to take what they’re giving you,” Allen said. “That’s how our system is built. When you look at the big picture, you want to run the ball better. There’s no question about that. But you also take what they’re giving you, as well.”
  • Allen praised quarterback Richard Lagow on his 400-yard effort, saying the senior demonstrated his ability to follow through on a strong off-season.”I thought he had a great spring,” Allen said. “I don’t know that it necessarily showed up in the spring game as much as I thought it would, but I knew it was there. Then, the work over the summer and fall camp was a continuation of what I saw in the spring. But until you do it on game day, it’s just talk. I felt he played the way I expected him to, especially in the first half. He was very confident. Even coach (Urban) Meyer came up to me after the game and was extremely complimentary of Richard. He was so impressed with him.”
  • Allen said that his “heart breaks” for receiver Nick Westbrook, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury on the opening kickoff.”Nick’s worked hard and is an awesome young man,” Allen said. “He’ll be back as strong as ever. That’s one position where we do have significant depth.”
  • Asked about freshmen, Allen complimented corner Raheem Layne and defensive tackle Juan Harris for providing depth against the Buckeyes.
  • Allen and DeBord have been particularly complimentary of center Harry Crider this week. On Wednesday, Allen heaped more praise on the freshman.”Really weren’t sure how he’d handle the bright lights,” Allen said. “He did really, really well. I think he got knocked on his can the first snap he was out there, but he’s gonna be a great one for us.”
  • Thursday was the first football game — at any level — for Australian punter Haydon Whitehead. At one point, Whitehead lost track of downs and did not immediately take the field with the punt crew.”I knew he was nervous,” Allen said. “We had one play — it wasn’t funny at the time, but it is a little bit now. We ran out to punt the ball and he didn’t run out. He’s standing there, I look and I’m like, ‘Where’s the punter?!’ He’s standing right there, two feet away from me and I yell, ‘Get out there!'”
  • Interestingly, Allen expects Whitehead will have four years of eligibility at Indiana.”We just have to do an appeal process,” Allen said of Whitehead, who is listed as a redshirt sophomore on the roster. “He was technically in school in Australia, but they don’t have football so it doesn’t count. He’s really a freshman.”
  • How about one more Whitehead nugget while we’re at it? Allen said Whitehead is a popular guy inside the IU locker room. Why’s that? His accent, of course.”Everyone wants to hear him talk,” Allen said. “He says ‘mate’ a lot. He calls everybody ‘mate.’ He calls his shoes ‘boots,’ not cleats. They call them ‘boots.’ That’s not what I picture when I think of our cleats. He’s a great kid, and I’ll tell you what. He works so hard and he’s such a detailed guy for his craft. We’re so thrilled he’s with us.”
  • Asked about the number of snaps he feels comfortable having his defensive linemen and linebackers play, Allen said he prefers to have D-linemen play no more than 40 to 50 snaps each week. Allen also prefers to have his linebackers play no more than 60 to 65 snaps in a game.