Tom Allen’s transcript from Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference

Here’s a transcript of Tom Allen’s remarks on the weekly Big Ten Coaches Teleconference:

Question: As far as receivers go, one name we haven’t really heard a whole lot of is Jonah Morris. Is he healthy? Is he actually in the mix? What’s his status going forward?

Tom Allen: “He’s healthy. He came into camp and got dinged up a little bit, but came in and has been competing, has been working with our look teams and giving our defense a look during practice. (We’re) challenging him to be able to step up in those situations and make plays. … I said it again today to our team after practice that it’s each player’s responsibility to prove to his position coach and the head coach that he deserves to play. You do that by making plays during practice and doing what you’re coached to do. So he’s competing there like several other guys in that mix to be able to fight and claw and scratch to get playing time. So he needs to prove himself in that regard.”

Question: In the postgame comments, you made a reference to J.T. Barrett about ‘That’s not an accurate quarterback.” Would you like to clarify that?

Allen: “Yeah, I think that’s just not been one of his strengths. But I think that’s something he’s been focused on. When we attacked him that was the approach that we had. But I think he’s a tremendous football player. I met him in the recruiting process in the past and he’s such a tough, hard-nosed winner. He doesn’t lose many games on the team’s he’s played on, both in high school and college. Ton of respect for him. But I felt like that was an area we were trying to capitalize on. I think he’s improved in that area, for sure. But I think for them to be where they want to be, that’s something that he’s gonna continue to focus on, they’re gonna continue to focus on. That was my point in saying that. He does a lot of things extremely well. I just thought that was one area where we could try to take advantage of and try to help our defense out by making him be accurate.”

Question: Was he more accurate than you thought he would be?

Allen: “Underneath he was, yes. He’s like every quarterback. If you don’t get him disrupted and get him out of rhythm, they’re going to be more accurate. So he did a good job, for sure, and made us pay in critical situations. Hats off to him and I wish him nothing but the best the rest of the season.”

Question: Just talk about the matchup going down to Charlottesville to take on Virginia. They played really well against William & Mary.

Allen: “They were very sound in all three phases. Just a good, solid performance. We have a lot of respect for them and they do a lot of things well. They throw the ball well. Very accurate quarterback with a system that fits him. Running backs are quick and decisive and they’re running with a big offensive line. Defensively, very sound. (They) just do a great job of playing their scheme and system and playing hard. That’s a reflection of the coaching staff and what they’ve done. All the years that the staff’s coached, that’s seems to be a constant — the effort of their kids, which you have to respect tremendously. Big challenge for us. They don’t have a lot of (holes) in regards to giving things way. They make you have to earn everything on both sides of the ball and on special teams as well. Great return game with guys that do a great job of creating field position for their team.”

Question: Are you happy with your squad? Are you happy they were competitive?

Allen: “I’m happy with how we played in the first half and half of the third quarter, but not the rest of it, no. We’re beyond the point of just feeling good about playing good for most of the game. That’s not our standard here now. Just disappointed, for sure. But (we) know that we have to get better. We played a great football team in Ohio State and they made plays at critical times and we did not. So definitely excited in how we started the game, but not how we finished.”


  1. I don’t remember, or care who said it, but the comment that this coach is anything like Bill Lynch can jump in a lake. This a tough hombre. He was as disappointed as anyone was in the performance on Thu. Tom Allen takes ownership and he is holding players accountable BEFORE the game regardless of tenure, position & “recruting level.” Practice well, you get PT. You get better by proving yourself before gameday.

    I love this guy.

  2. DD, see the string of comments attached to the article “4 things we learned……” The references to Lynch you site were somewhat vague, and in reference to my comments about the personna Allen revealed during his television appearances aired before and during Thursday’s College Gameday. Although I don’t see or agree with the comparison’s to Lynch, I would like to see Allen reveal that “tough hombre” side of himself and a healthy ego when in front of the television media. I like the tone of his statements in this article, and would like to see more of that, and less of the “aw shucks, I’m just happy to be here” tone that came across during those televised interviews. As I explained in that string, “confidence sells” and big egos attract one another. Top performers have enormous confidence and very healthy egos. Most highly talented and highly competitive athletes are drawn to coaches that demonstrate the same characteristics (it’s a “birds of a feather….” thing). I believe Allen has all that, and I’d like to see him display it when in front of the media. It will benefit his current players and make him more effective in recruiting better players in the future.

  3. The guy has to be what he is…Why sell something you’re not? And bravado in a television interview has no proven evidence of success on the biggest stages. Crean was always thumping his chest in front of the cameras….But when on the hardwood when the lights were brightest(against top coaches that should be of the same class/composure in the NCAA tournament), he spazzed into total meltdown and had zero control of himself or his teams.
    Allen’s confidence on the field is all I care about. Overselling is used car salesman desperation. And I’ve seen nothing in TV interviews with Allen to signify any sort of weakness or lack of confidence.
    Thank goodness we finally have some coaches who appear to be very genuine(in hoops and football). Over-the-top bombastic blow is weakness. …and would be far more Lynch-esque.

  4. I like T.A. However, as acting head coach at IU 0 wins and 2 losses and that is fact. TV adds and tough hombre talk does not necessarily win games. Those who practice well getting playing time does not win games either if those who are your best are not good enough. Conclusion: This week at Virginia is a Super Bowl game for IU. It is a must win game that the season hinges on for IU to have success. If IU losses this game you my as well flush this season down the toilet because Virginia is one of the weaker teams on the schedule. Realistic success needed.
    Tennessee coach on a warm seat after comeback victory over Georgia Tech and 8 win 4 loss season last year.
    From just a few short years ago Penn State goes from a fiasco plus limits on recruiting to big ten championship last year and top 5 ranking this year.
    IU this century and mostly last century peaks at 6 wins (last 2 years trading Central Florida for Florida International to do it) and the question is has IU topped out and now has to reload with a 5 or less win season and then recruit and work for a decade to get background to a 6 win season and having to get lucky to do it.

  5. Tom Allen isn’t “Acting Head Coach.” He’s the Head Coach.

    “Super Bowl” this weekend? Let’s remember the previous regime, which was the best since Mallory in the mid-80’s, was swept by Virginia. And by Navy. And split with Wake Forest (losing one of them at home). But yeah, um, it would be really advantageous for Indiana to win this game. Winning games means winning record. Losing games means losing record. I can play sports talk, too.

    “Those who practice well getting playing time does not win games either if those who are your best are not good enough.” Want to put some traffic cones up around that sentence? I think you mean “play your best players,” which, ok how do you determine who’s the best? I think practice is a pretty darn good method for determining who the best players are. So there’s no position or player that is sacred based on tenure, arbitrary recruiting ranking or any other metric. Practice well, you play.

    Either way, moral of the story: just win football games. I think we agree on that point. Then again, who wouldn’t?

  6. I definitely agree you play who practice and etc best. Again, the question is are whoever they are good enough to win games. Yes, it wasn’t that long ago at Virginia IU got beat badly and is 0 and 2 against V.

  7. Bigger questions(not sure if was asked in the presser):

    Was this college game day opener and record-breaking telecast helpful to IU Football or somewhat damaging?
    Is Wilson the guy who comes away looking like our main reason we got this game?
    Did the Hoosiers under Allen appear to have retracted back to the same old Hoosier Football product(e.g. a team that can’t sustain against the top levels of the conference)?

    Everything is perception….Whatever Wilson’s record against Virginia is not very relevant in the world of perceptions pr the overall belief in Allen continuing the change in culture/climate that many observers were sensing as a rather stunning upward slope under Wilson.

    The Dr. Jeckyll of First Half and Mr Hyde(or Hide if you prefer) of Second Half Hoosiers was a fading trademark of IU Football under Wilson. It was disturbing to see split personality football return to Memorial so quickly.
    And did the big sell job of this potential “breakthrough” program sold as IU not missing a beat after Wilson’s departure…land rather flat on its face? Because most higher level recruits …and most perceptions don’t change when you win …or lose in snooze alarm games given very little notice or stage(e.g. vs. Virginia).

  8. Exactly, IU Football has historically been a soap opera.

    Very poor acting….
    Doesn’t dare demand an audience looking for more.
    Never confused with prime time products.
    Makes for good background noise when nothing else is on.
    Thrives on moving in slow motion. You haven’t missed a thing after not watching it for 10 years.
    Macho characters rejected by Hollywood arrive with names like Zander. If he gets major minutes he’s likely to end up in a ‘General Hospital.’

    These are ‘The Days of Hoosier Football Lives.’

  9. Winning games means winning record. Losing games means losing record. I can play sports talk, too.

      1. Exactly, IU Football has historically been a drama queen. Much talk but never multiplies. Felt briefly different under Wilson.

        OSU is sorta like Henry VIII….There will be a beheading.

        1. King Henry, unfortunately, died of syphilis. But Queen Elizabeth, his heir, a true drama Queen, had a jubilee!

          1. We’ve now gone from TD’s to STD’s.

            Let’s Recap:
            OSU: STD(Several Touchdowns) king.
            IU: Much like Anne Boleyn…just couldn’t deliver. Head rolling. STD free.

  10. Virginia is a “must win” only in reference to IU producing a winning record in 2017. But in the bigger picture, it is not a “must win” for Allen or his program. Allen has a long-term contract and Glass is going to give him time. And Allen benefits from relatively low expectations. It’s not like he took over a program that had produced six consecutive winning seasons. We have to remember that this is a new coaching staff, at least for half the team (the offense). And like all teams that get a new coaching staff, it takes some time for them to fully mesh and play in harmony. So in that regard, I think what IU’s offense achieved against OSU was a great accomplishment. But improvement is rarely a linear process. The thing that will be telling this season is 1) how many games will IU be “in it” during the fourth quarter, and 2) will IU find ways to win the close games compared to finding ways to lose them as we witnessed in the previous two seasons (i.e., Michigan in 2015, Duke in the bowl game, OSU in 2016, Wake Forest in 2016, and Utah is last year’s bowl game). I’d rather IU beat Michigan in Bloomington on October 14 than Virginia this weekend.

  11. Comments on this blog thread represent over a half century of IU football comments and maybe closer to most of a whole century (that would be the better part of a 100 years). Hello, this is Pete.
    Pete who?
    Pete and Repeat.

  12. OSU game was disappointing but the season isnt based on one game. How IUFB bounces back is a better indicator of how this season finishes. The second half of the OSU game was discouraging especially looking at the defensive breakdown and the lack of offensive changes to counter what defensive changes were occurring. Looking at the big pass plays the coverages were a real mess and without knowing the calls it is hard to know who was wrong but easy to see several were wrong.

    I would have loved to see IU’s offense slow down in the second half taking time to figure out how to attack the 2nd half OSU adjustments. It would have helped the defense get needed rest and may have gotten the offense off of cruise control running plays decided before the game. The coaches had a great plan and it showed the 1st half but they didn’t do a good job adjusting in the second half. UVA will be a good measure of how the team and coaches will do this year.

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