Highlights from Tom Allen’s final radio show of the season

The final episode of Inside IU Football with Tom Allen aired live from the Holiday Inn Bloomington on Wednesday evening.

Highlights from Allen’s appearance follow:

— On the Michigan game: “Really proud of our team. The kids fought their tails off and played 60 minutes of physical, highly-competitive football. But you gotta be able to finish in the end. It’s about being able to convert key situations offensively and getting key stops on defense. I just felt like we needed another takeaway or two to create field position for us. We played a great football team. Extremely well coached. … We were able to elevate ourselves to be able to be in position to have a chance. It’s a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, which is what you’re trying to get it to.”

— On how the bye has helped the team: “Being a team that’s got so many freshmen and sophomores on it, I feel it was a very critical time for us to get them mentally and physically rested and recovered. You’ve seen the results of that. That long, nine-game stretch took its toll. It would on any team, let alone a group that’s not been through it before.”

— On Stevie Scott rushing for 1,000 yards: “It’s pretty impressive. No one’s ran the ball on them the way we did. Had the most rushing yards against them, and the most passing yards against them. Second most overall, if you combine the two. The windows are really small against them. They smothered everybody else. It’s a testament to our offensive line and coach (Darren) Hiller and the job he’s done, and Stevie’s ability and talent. He’s made good decisions in his cuts and showed good burst to be able to get down the field. It’s a testament to where we are right now.”

— On the team’s health: “We had only one guy that I felt like we got dinged up and he was back today. Reakwon Jones had a chance to get healthy and he’s practiced with us this week, so we should be healthier this Saturday than we were last Saturday.”

— On senior day: “Just a special group of guys. Really, really strong leaders, great servants, guys that have bought into what we’ve implemented in taking over as head coach, and guys who will be a special, special part of our future. I challenged them to be that group that creates the momentum that takes us to another level as a program. We have that opportunity this weekend.”

— A listener asked which position group will be key to the Purdue game: “Not just one. I think that our offensive line needs to play their best game of the season. Our secondary needs to play great. Our defensive line needs to do some great things and provide pressure on the quarterback.”

— A listener asked, when judging whether a program is moving in the right direction, if there’s any stat that tells the story of growth: “The two stats that jump out to me are the turnover ratio and the ability to create explosive plays. That goes both ways. It’s creating takeaways on defense and protecting the ball on offense. Then, offensively, creating explosive plays. To get the ratio up, you gotta prevent explosive plays. Those two stats, to me, are the greatest indicators and a foundational part of the turnaround.”

— A listener asked Allen what concerns him about Purdue’s offense: “Anytime you have a quarterback that’s playing at the level that (David) Blough is playing at, because he touches the ball every snap. … He’s the one that makes it go. He’s a battle-tested guy, he’s been there, been through a lot of things and has a toughness to him. He’s the one that jumps out.”

— On Purdue athlete Rondale Moore: “Bottom line is he’s a great football player and he’s been a real problem for a lot of teams in the return game, and whether they’re throwing it to him or handing it off to him. Have to know where he is at all times and understand how they’re using him. We’ll have a plan, for sure.”

— On Ronnie Walker’s progress at running back: “He came here early and sometimes you forget that he’s still a true freshman. … I think he’s really grown. He’s had some glimpses of what he can be and I think it’s a maturity process. Stevie’s a big guy and came here big and strong, more so than a lot of true freshmen. You see the two body types and you see a difference. For Ronnie, that’s going to come more in time. He just has to continue to be a complete player. He can catch the football. Pass protection is a challenge for all young guys and he’s got to grow with that ability, then reading defenses. He’s a speed guy with good core strength, but he’s got to get bigger, faster, stronger and increase his ability to pick up blitzes.”

— A listener asked for Allen to grade IU’s receivers at Michigan: “They were going against some really talented secondary guys and we knew we wouldn’t have a ton of time to protect, and that the ball would have to come out quick. We had a couple drops — and they would’ve been good catches with guys hanging on them. I did my best to work the officials in the right way because I saw enough on film that they play a style that’s aggressive (and they’re) hanging on. But as a group, I thought they played well. They blocked well, at times, too.”

— On accounting for Purdue’s trick plays: “They do a great job at it. You go through and you have to study all the different things they’ve done over the years, way beyond this season. You can’t practice them all. That’s part of their mindset for doing them, making you have to work on them. You do as much as you can and you show your guys video clips. They watch them and we’ll go through all of them again and put them in practice for Friday’s script and say, ‘Hey, this is what they like to do.’ They make you lose a lot of sleep. That’s why they do them.”

5 comments

  1. Well, we are two days away from the Indiana – Purdue game. A game that is very important to both football programs, to some on this blog a must win for Indiana. Personally I never thought that Purdue would need a win over Indiana to get into a bowl game. I gave Purdue more credit then they deserve. Can the Indiana defense stop the Purdue offense? Or better yet can the Purdue defense stop the Indiana offense? Are these two teams evenly matched? Basically what can a Indiana Hoosier fan expect from this game. Can Tom Allen take Indiana bowling?

    1. Three weeks ago I, too, thought Purdue would be a significant favorite but the Hoosiers seem to be trending up while the Boils are stumbling.

      We also now know that OSU isn’t as formidable as most of us thought.

      I think this is anybody’s game.

  2. Tom Allen really sounded the part of a B1G head coach in these excerpts. Very good to hear.
    POTMFB!!!

  3. This season more than most puts IUFB in perspetive on what it takes to have a winning season. MSU had more starters returning than anyone in the country; injuries hurt them and they have gone from a 10-3 team to one that is now 6-5. OSU with a roster of 4 and 5 star players have struggled to win their games this year showing they are flawed team. Their defensive problems don’t make the defensive coaches bad coaches despite the front not maintaining gap integrity. PSU got whipped by Michigan [42-7] in a way IU hasn’t been beaten by in years by Michigan. Iowa’s season that was so promising is now sitting with 4 losses. PU being seen as possible B1G West champions now has the same record as IU. There are a number of teams that could be pointed out but the reality of playing in the B1G is it is hard to win week after week.

    IU’s season will look a lot better with a win against PU and a chance to win a Bowl game. Go HOOSIERS beat PU!

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