Hoosiers not satisfied with finish at Rutgers

The band wrapped around Reakwon Jones’ left wrist reads “FINISH.”

It’s the season-long mantra for Indiana’s football team, and for Jones, it’s a call to arms. So when IU struggled to author a complete performance in this weekend’s 24-17 win at Rutgers, the junior linebacker took it personally.

And he made sure the rest of Indiana’s team understood why.

“I kind of figured when we went to go sing the fight song to our fans, I felt like we left a lot out there,” Jones said. “I was thinking about (that). This game, winning doesn’t feel as good as it usually does. I wanted to make sure people felt the same way I felt.”

So on the way back to the visitors locker room at HighPoint.com Stadium, Jones approached Tom Allen and told the IU coach there was something he wished to say after Allen’s postgame remarks were through.

Allen, of course, obliged. It was another sign that Jones has come a long way in a year’s time. Not only is he establishing himself as IU’s best linebacker, Jones is answering Allen’s call for leadership at that position and beyond.

“It’s always more powerful when it comes from a player, so to me that’s growth from him, that he is him stepping up as a leader,” Allen said. “He’s on our leadership council. We meet Monday evenings with the players. I meet with these guys, and I challenged them last week about some things, and I saw much of that manifest itself throughout the game and in that situation as well.”

Jones’ message was simple and direct. He told his fellow Hoosiers that it was important to enjoy the win, while also recognizing that they could’ve done more to prevent Rutgers from getting close in the second half.

“There’s a lot of truth there,” quarterback Peyton Ramsey said. “A lot to be said about that.”

Jones hopes the Rutgers game serves as an alarm that Indiana can’t afford lulls against Big Ten opponents. By the time IU returned to work on Monday morning, he was already seeing signs that his message had been received.

“I feel like guys see we’re a good team,” Jones said. “We can do this. We can do that. We just got to finish. I think that they realize that, yeah, we didn’t finish. Disappointed but happy we won the game. They see that we have to take it to another level to beat Ohio State, Michigan and stuff like that. I think it was very positive and a good wake-up call for the whole team.”

No updates on injuries
Tom Allen said Monday that he was unsure which, if any, of his recently-injured players will be able to play this weekend at Ohio State.

Receivers Luke Timian and Whop Philyor, defensive backs Cam Jones and A’Shon Riggins and defensive tackle Jacob Robinson each missed last week’s game at Rutgers with unspecified injuries.

“We don’t know yet still today if they will be ready,” Allen said. “They’re trying to get ready. We will know later in the week, and they’re working hard to get themselves back for Saturday.”

With Timian and Philyor out, Indiana brought freshman receiver Miles Marshall to New Jersey as part of the travel roster. Marshall debuted in the contest, though he did not catch a pass.

It was another example of Allen making use of the NCAA’s new redshirt rule, while allows players to appear in up to four games while preserving an extra year of eligibility.

“(It) really helps a bunch,” Allen said, “especially as the year progresses and injuries happen and situations come up and you gotta to be able to spot a guy here or there and not have to burn a year just for playing him — or just even having him ready to play. Now you put a kid out there for a couple of key snaps and it can be the difference in the game because he’s a guy that is ready to play, but in the past you wouldn’t have played him for those couple of plays because it would have burned a whole season. It’s great.”

Allen honors players of the week
After posting 288 yards through the air at Rutgers, Indiana recognized its receiving corps with its weekly offensive honor.

J-Shun Harris, Ty Fryfogle, Nick Westbrook and Donavan Hale each received IU’s offensive player of the week recognition. Fryfogle led the way with 70 yards, Westbrook posted 62 yards, Harris recorded 54 yards and Hale had 29 yards.

Cornerback Raheem landed defensive player of the week honor after breaking up a pair of passes, including a near interception in the second quarter. Mike Majette was named IU’s special teams player of the week.

Former Bloomington South standout running back Kristian Pechac was among a handful of scout team honorees. Allen also recognized defensive back Joseph Daniels, defensive lineman Gavin McCabe, running back Connor Thomas and receiver Justin Berry.

28 comments

  1. I am very glad to see RJ step up in this manner. This is a good sign regarding the leadership beginning to develop on the team. Hopefully no one was particularly happy about the performance against Rutgers, especially in the second half. My question is, while it is good to hold the team accountable for the way they played the game, is the coaching staff from top to bottom holding itself accountable for the decisions they have made thus far in the season? The record may indicate 4-1, but it doesn’t feel that good.

  2. I agree with you. However, beginning early summer thru the present the level of meaningless talk mainly by coaching staff is already old. What is needed to be seen is Action performance on the field that demonstrates real improvement and development. Not necessarily championships but realistic improvement and headed in a sound positive direction. (example: Purdue last season/very satisfying for them and this season solid evidence of turning it around for the better thus far). I remember Joe Tiller/Purdue in opening game got beat bad by Toledo and was positively excited about his team and conveyed that to team afterwards. They went on to have a winning season.

  3. Currently, IU is showing hardly any authority and confidence on offense in almost all phases. IU is mainly relying on hope for the best.

  4. IU fans are conditioned to all of this (e.g. “meaningless talk,” slogans, catchphrases)…and, unfortunately, take very little of the rah-rah seriously.

    We live in an age of instant back and forth….Coaches must always be available to the media. The powerhouse programs are even forced into “meaningless” jargon, combating weekly invented roster controversies, invented hype about a future game, “what went wrong in the last game,” faster and faster cycles of accountability, and oversold expectations.

    Much of the oversold expectations and massive injections of hype into just about any contest is hard enough to stomach with regard to truly legit superstars and ‘super’ teams. And then Indiana Football jumps on the hype bandwagon out of necessity to be like everyone else.

    Notes to IU Football & Coach Allen:
    a. You’re not everyone else…Duh.
    b. Why not try being a little different? Which leads us to the following..
    c. Quit jumping around like you won a national championship when you have one decent half of football against Rutgers or Virginia…or Florida International…or Pimplebutt State University. Save this for an OSU win?

  5. Question. Is IUFB really at the level that other teams would gain an advantage if we reported availability of players ahead of the game? I mean IU doesn’t have a player I am Aware of that consistently dominates a position and is a game changer.

      1. HC, so you are saying B10 teams will prepare for the 3 players you mentioned and if they are unavailable on Saturday, the team we are playing will say, uh oh, we based our offense on these 3 playing and we have to adjust?

  6. H4H. Love the analysis supported by “this.” Lol. Coach Debord playbook George Plimpton
    “The Paper Lion”
    and
    “Mad Ducks and Bears”

  7. It’s refreshing that a new IU football coach is being held accountable when, historically, they were allowed 0-11 and 1-10 seasons before anyone expected anything approaching respectability.

    Things must be looking up.

    1. Refreshing? He inherited a 6-6 team and promptly made them 6-7. He went into last season, the “breakthrough” season, with a veteran quarterback and their best defense in years and went 5-7. Then he kicks over trashcans for a win over perennial ACC doormat Virginia. 2 Big Ten games and 2 disappointing performances. Wilson inherited a terrible team and over a half decade, moved them to mediocre. TA inherited a mediocre team and turned them into….whatever this is. IU has 3 possible outcomes this Saturday- total collapse, lose as expected or lose in the 4th after giving fans false hope. Glad you feel refreshed.

      1. Lee Corso inherited a 5-6 team and went 2-9 and 1-10.

        Bill Mallory inherited a 3-8 team and went 0-11.

        Cam Cameron inherited a 3-8 team and went 2-9.

        Gerry DiNardo inherited a 5-6 team and went 3-9 and 2 -10.

        Bill Lynch filled in on Terry Hoeppner’s 7-6 team but his own first squad went 3-9.

        Kevin Wilson inherited a 5-7 team and went 1-11.

        1. Spotted an error in my post.

          Sam Wyche inherited a 5-6 team and went 3-8.

          Bill Mallory inherited that 3-8 team and went 0-11.

          1. As we speak Tom Allen is in the rarified air of actually having a winning career record as a Hoosiers football coach at the moment.

            It’s a short list.

          2. Your analysis fails …No newly hired IU Football coach ever inherits a “college football team.”

            When you arrive at IU, you get something more equivalent to an average high school team attempting to function in a brutal division of a Power Five football conference.

            Selling it as an established college football program is brutally unfair to recruits duped into believing they’ll play for a school that truly wants them to have equal opportunity.
            Affirmative Action has been used to give more equal representation in academics. Don’t count on the BigTen ever realizing it may be needed to keep athletes fairly distributed, healthy, hopeful, and safe.

    2. Chet so glad you framed your thoughts as you did. Yes things are assuredly looking up. We have to look a long way back in IUFB history to find 2 HC’s back to back who field competitive teams moving the program in the right direction. That’s something I had not given any thought to until I read your post. That strongly tells me AD Glass has hired able leadership.

      1. Maybe this is what overachieving looks like given IU has the cheapest paid coaching staff in the Big Ten. And why should the school support the team if the alumni never expect any better?

        1. 123,
          You just called out the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about, the alumni. No one has more influence over who the Trustees will be than the alumni. The Trustees hire the Administration, and the Administration the Athletic Department which hires the coaches. I wonder how many times the subject of the state of IUFB has been the defining factor in the election or selection of a Trustee?

          Want to know how a school like Florida could have simultaneous championships in both FB and BB? It is what the alumni demanded and put their money where their mouths were. Granted in U of F’s case, the BB championships were an unexpected bonus. Sad thing was Donavan wanted to come to IU but was considered “unproven.” Wonder what could have been?

          1. I believe it’s Donovan…(with a second ‘o’).
            Of this I do not jest….while I put your spelling of a name to the test.

            I wonder if our game against OSU will be R-rated…….for rout advisory? Maybe the first half of the movie will be PG-13…(possible game for 13 minutes). Other than the same old shellacking of IU at the hands of OSU in theaters this weekend, there are other famous remakes hitting the big screen. If you want to see a love story with a tragic twist…. take in ‘A Star is Born’ starring Peyton Ramsey. Or, you could see ‘Papillon.’ This is a tale of two men brutally treated in an unjust prison system….They are eventually sent to a penal colony named Devil’s Island; appropriately named because the only thing available to watch on television is IU Football. Man’s brutality against man is closely examined in this film….Will Memorial Stadium one day face the same fate as the French Guiana penal colony? Will JPat make it to freedom?

        2. Overachieving? Who stated overachieving? Chet did you mention overachieving? I certainly never used overachieving. Tinnitus?

          1. The problem with you and Chet is that you will suck up to ANYTHING the coach does. When I asked either of you to project the team’s record to be this year, you both just slinked away. So TA can do whatever and you both will find a way to say “things are moving in the right direction.” Too bad you didn’t root for Darrel Hazel at Purdue the same way so they would be “building” on a 3 win season instead of 7-6 with a top 30 recruiting class. But stand by your man- you, Chet and Tammy Wynette

  8. Interesting. I post the first year record’s of the head coaches since the 60’s and some of you attach all sorts of meanings to it. Apologizing for Allen. Sucking up whatever he says. Sheesh.

    The deeper meaning is that those are the first year records of the head coaches since the 60’s.

    God only knows the weirdness you would come up with if I posted something other than numeric data.

  9. Brother Chet: Sheesh is right. We’ll see what the numbers say about Allen in a couple of years. Two HCs on your list got IU to mediocre for a few seasons, and one even got several seasons of good. TA has had an excellent (by IUFB standards) base to work from.

    1. We’ll see. It’s not a gimme for sure.

      I just don’t believe in coming down on someone who is doing better than the last 50+ years of predecessors . There will always be room for improvement and I don’t always approve of what I see but he has done better than anyone else has at this stage.

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