Highlights from Tom Allen’s weekly radio show

Indiana football coach Tom Allen returned to the Bloomington Holiday Inn on Wednesday evening for his second radio show of the season.

Here are some of the highlights:

On the play of Peyton Ramsey and Michael Penix: “I thought both of them really executed the offense really well and efficiently. Peyton had the one mistake, but other than that, we protected the football. Peyton’s the starter, but we know that right now Michael is the No. 2 and your No. 2 has to be ready to play.”

On being able to run the ball, especially across the final 6:03 of regulation: “That was, to me, a highlight of the game. I challenged them that we didn’t finish blocks as well as we wanted to. But, overall, really solid. … To get the ball at (6:03) left in the game and never relinquish the ball, that’s impressive. We know we gotta run the football and they’re loading the box trying to take it away, but we kept methodically moving downfield. To do that, that’s finishing. That’s our theme.”

On Donavan Hale’s two-touchdown performance: “I have sat him down (for heart-to-heart conversations) and he responded. Coach Heard, he’s done a great job with him. “He’s been injured and that’s been a struggle for him. But a lot of it is (having) the confidence to go out there and play in a dominating way. It’s about confidence and believing you’re the man out there and that nobody can guard you. I was just so happy for him.”

On what he was pleased to see from the defense: “We played so many guys on defense. We had nine true freshmen and all those redshirt guys. It was their first game. The thing about losing eight starters is those guys played a lot of football the last two seasons. So it was a lot of reps and tackles that graduated. I was pleased with the fact that the guys played hard. With the exception of a couple times, we tackled well.”

On the season-ending ACL injury suffered by Cole Gest: “I just hate it for him. He worked his tail off. Awesome, awesome kid. My heart breaks for him. It hurts us, too. But bigger than that it’s about him and what he’s going through now. He’ll have surgery here in a couple weeks and we’ll get him back here next season.”

On the Miami heat and humidity: “I think it did (affect us) later, for sure. I think playing a lot of guys helped. That was a big part of our plan. It was hot. I’ve lived down there for many years, so I knew it was gonna be that way. This time of year down there, it’s really, really humid. We worked so hard in preparation with our medical staff and training staff to get our guys hydrated before the game. Game day, same thing. Halftime. … We only had a couple guys who cramped up.”

A listener asked which side of the ball impressed Allen the most: “I would say our offense. The way they were able to move the ball consistently in getting first downs, and staying on the field and converting in the red zone (was impressive).”

A listener asked whether Allen might find rushing help from the freshman class: “I looked at the running back group practicing today and you had seven guys down there. Two were seniors. The other five were either freshmen or redshirt freshmen. That’s a group that needs to rise up and answer the call. I think Ricky (Brookins) is another guy that has given us opportunities to do things that help this football team.”

A listener asked if Allen planned to get Reese Taylor more involved in the offense. Allen responded with a smile: “The bottom line is that I don’t want to say anything to help Virginia. We’ll just have to wait and see. They’re probably listening (to this show). I listen to theirs.”

A listener asked what Allen expects to see from Virginia’s offense: “They ran the ball extremely well in Game 1. I think that’s the strength of their team.”

A listener asked what Allen saw from Peyton Ramsey: “I think he played the way that I expected him to, based on what he did in practice — the touchdowns he threw and the way he was able to scramble and get key first downs, distribute the ball and move the offense. He had the one setback on the interception, but bounced back on that.”

One comment

  1. I appreciate the fact that while T.A. is very positive in his comments about the outcome of the FIU game, he was still willing to point out some areas that need to be improved. I don’t think anything is getting past him, and that is encouraging.

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