Outback Bowl a disappointing loss, but was it truly telling? Maybe not.

Similar words came out of the mouth of Tom Allen, Jack Tuttle, and Stevie Scott.

Each said, in one way or another, “No excuses.”

After a loss to Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl, a disappointing end to what’s otherwise been a stellar season, it didn’t seem right to try and justify what happened. IU couldn’t sustain offense versus an Ole Miss defense that has struggled. IU’s defense allowed nearly 500 yards to an offense missing key weapons.

It just wasn’t a great way to end the season.

“You can’t really have excuses on why we didn’t get the job done,” Scott said.

At the same time, what the Hoosiers would call “excuses” do provide some context. A challenging set of circumstances may have contributed to an embarrassing loss, which may not excuse what happened, but they do offer reason not to overreact to it.

Ole Miss isn’t that bad

All season, IU has been able to point to its lone loss — by seven points to Ohio State — as evidence of its strength. The Hoosiers won every game put in front of them, other than to a team playing for a national title.

At the same time, Ole Miss has a similar boast. Alabama led Ole Miss by a score of 49-45 with seven minutes left in an October contest, and it was 56-48, Tide, with 1:29 remaining. An onsides kick didn’t bounce the Rebels’ way, and it ended 63-48.

That 4-5 record next to the Rebels’ name made for an unappealing matchup. Losing to what seems like a second- or third-tier SEC team for a second straight year, it’s a harsh blow. But it’s important to remember, this isn’t a bad Ole Miss program. It’s just a team with two faces.

Matt Corral, the Outback Bowl’s MVP, threw a combined 11 of his 14 interceptions in losses to Arkansas and LSU. And the Rebels still only lost those games by a combined 17 points. If Corral plays half as well as he played the rest of the season, throwing for 3,337 yards and 29 touchdowns in total, there is a good chance Ole Miss goes into the postseason 6-3 instead of 4-5.

If the Rebels pull off a win over Alabama, they aren’t in the Outback Bowl discussion, either.

So IU’s loss probably looks worse on paper than it is. Even if the Rebels were missing their top two receivers and their leading rusher, it’s arguable Ole Miss rises and falls according to Corral’s play. And when Corral is on, like he was Saturday, he’s hard to stop.

His 37 yards on the ground were nearly as impressive as his 342 through the air, because it helped him avoid the negative plays and sacks the Hoosiers feast on.

“He’s definitely elusive. He creates plays with his feet, can get the ball down the field, just keep plays alive,” IU linebacker Micah McFadden said, “which played a factor in this game, helped them win the game.”

What probably stings the most is that Ole Miss’ up-tempo offense seemed to have IU’s defense out of sorts, unable to disguise their blitzes as they hurried to the line.

Corral said as much postgame.

“We didn’t know what they were doing every single time, but the majority of the time we did know,” Corral said. “They were either bringing a corner cat (blitz), or the Mike, or boundary ‘backers plugging. … Based on what type of blitz it was, you would know what coverage it is.”

That hurts. IU’s defense has, most of this season, been great at getting quarterbacks to bend to their will. IU was even able to force Justin Fields — again, a quarterback now playing for a national title — into multiple turnovers.

But Corral didn’t turn it over once Saturday.

“Whether it’s a bowl game or regular-season game, you got a formula for success,” Allen said. “When you don’t stick with that formula, oftentimes you don’t get what you want.”

The scenario was weird

Corral made it difficult, but the Hoosiers were just a step slow at times. And maybe it was hard not to be.

While the cancelation of the last two weeks of the regular season may have given IU a break after seven straight weeks of games, that’s a long stretch sitting idle. Especially when a COVID-19 pause made it impossible for everyone to practice and condition.

Now take a team that had two extra weeks off, unable to train, and put them in a different environment: a humid day in Florida. Quite a flip from IU’s last game, in 30-degree temperatures in Wisconsin. Then pit that team against an Ole Miss squad that plays in the South all season, trained in an up-tempo system, and didn’t have a similar COVID-19 pause leading into the bowl.

“I saw a lot of guys tightening up towards the end of the game. Some even towards the middle of the game,” McFadden said. “Yeah, it was tough to get subs in. Yeah, they were definitely moving it on us, going fast. We kind of knew they were going to do that. We practiced to prepare, but there wasn’t really much we could do to prepare for the heat, the exhaustion, and fatigue.”

This was not one of IU’s best tackling efforts, either, but McFadden’s explanation gives some context. In the end, the playing surface and temperatures are the same for both teams. So it would definitely be an “excuse” to make too much of it. But it’s hard to completely dismiss.

“We haven’t played for four weeks. It’s hard. That’s long,” Allen said. “Sometimes you see in bowl games of the normal system where you would sometimes have that much time off. It really, truly was a window of time there where we did not practice at all, didn’t do anything with our guys when it first occurred.”

And that leads into the next factor working against IU.

“Yeah, I think it always seems to hurt the timing of the offense,” Allen said. “Still, no excuses. You got to catch balls. You got to execute.”

The quarterback changes hurt

IU wasn’t in a great situation at quarterback, and that’s not even a knock on Jack Tuttle.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback proved his worth in the Wisconsin game, making the plays he needed to make to win a defensive slobberknocker. But Tuttle never got a chance to build off of that win in a normal way. It was debut, sit, and then try it again.

Again, that may sound like too much of an excuse because the Hoosiers were pitted against a defense that allows nearly 41 points per game. Even if that’s a function of being the counterpart to an up-tempo offense in a conference full of explosive offensive units, IU should be able to do better than fall behind 13-3 and 20-6.

Then again, Tuttle didn’t have a fair chance. He completed 13-of-16 to start — many of those dink-and-dunk passes underneath — and then, at some point, he separated his shoulder. He missed 11 of his next 12 passes.

His throws were short. He was very much in pain.

“It definitely affected him. I thought he was a warrior today,” Allen said.

Even in those circumstances, Tuttle went from his 1-of-12 stretch to completing 12 of his next 15. He helped bring the Hoosiers back to a 20-all game in the fourth quarter.

It hurt to lose Michael Penix Jr. in the Maryland game. It also hurt for Tuttle to have to start and stop, and then for him to get hurt as he did in the Outback Bowl.

Regardless, Tuttle wasn’t accepting excuses.

“I got to find a way to get the job done,” Tuttle said.

It’s just one game

Simply put, Saturday’s result was disappointing.

IU’s defense wasn’t able to bother Corral. The offense couldn’t score points to keep up. IU just didn’t do enough to win, and that’s a hard pill to swallow for a Hoosier team that seemingly deserved a better bowl.

It’s even harder to tolerate given last year’s heartbreaking result in the Gator Bowl.

But this loss doesn’t degrade everything else the Hoosiers accomplished in 2020. In a weird season, brought on by an ongoing pandemic, there were difficult sets of circumstances. IU handled them well six of eight times, with a roster filled with juniors and sophomores.

It’s difficult for the Hoosier to still have that winless streak in bowls, which extends back to 1991, still hanging around their necks. No doubt. They undoubtedly could have played better Saturday. They missed an opportunity.

Still, it’s just one game of eight. Just because it’s the last doesn’t mean it’s the most telling.

“This has been a season for the ages,” Allen said. “I mean, all we’ve been through, it’s been so hard. … They are a special group. To lay a tremendous foundation for next year, I’m excited about next year.”

79 comments

  1. Ole Miss is not that bad of a team nor is IU….and Ole Miss is not that good of a team nor is IU.
    All teams across the country had to deal with the same issues during the season.
    I evaluate Tuttle as a scratch simply because of separating shoulder injury and he had hard time going downfield. Receivers were left very vulnerable in bubble, dink and dunk situations like P.R. Often did last couple years. However, I do think Tuttle has really good ability to go downfield with a healthy shoulder. How good is
    J. T. ? I think he is pretty good.
    Then, there is the coaching and preparation. 1. OC leaves last year and DC this year. Regardless, of staying to coach in bowl game (maybe best decision) good feelings but it’s a negative for several reasons. I think Bo Schimbechler would agree with me. 2. As I said at beginning of season run the football even with Penix as IU started to do a little because of pass game success. 3. 45 passes and after QB shoulder separated many of those passes were meaningless and detrimental. 4. Lack of preparation for situation of another QB injury…why wasn’t there a backup running game plan with another QB or player/s in place for such a situation of another injury @ QB???
    Maybe, Tuttle could still have played some…but another alternate game plan should have been lurking.
    Overall, IU had a good season and had some good wins with one bad loss in bowl game. However, for most teams except for OSU and Bama to name two in reality this whole season was somewhat misleading. So, though maybe not a scratch season in 2020…2021 if there is a complete season of normalcy will be a much better picture of REALITY.

  2. When Ole Miss was IU opponent I stated that IU better play well or they would get beat.
    OLE MISS last 2 recruiting classes consisted of per espn:
    *41 (4) star players (some high 4 star players)
    *And a bunch of high (3) star players
    Regardless of record Ole Miss is a really highly talented football team that is very capable team in SEC. that had a lot to gain and IU had a lot to lose which they both did. Maybe, and it’s true that IU got beat by a really good football team. Outside of OSU coul very well be one of the best teams IU played this season.

  3. I pretty much agree with T’s first post here. The thing is we did have a good year only losing one game during the season but, the Ohio St. loss is kind of an aberration, during almost the whole game we were being killed and then at the end made a miraculous comeback. Yes, Mississippi St. is an SEC team but lost 5 games this year! What bothered me was seeing an article that claimed this as being an UPSET? Although the last 2 seasons have been much improved record wise, this is still IU football which certainly should not be deemed by any means some kind of football power coming into their own? This is still IU football which just like last year will break your heart when it matters. Tom Allen and his staff are to be commended as they have turned this program around so to speak but, we have eons to go to be any kind of football program! We are coming to the point where we are competitive against most teams but, lets not get confused at about where we are as a football program? We are what we are, competitive? There may be a time in the near future where we will win Bowl games but, we will see? We are just good enough to break our fans hearts, that is the truth as it stands. Go Hoosiers!

  4. MikeC, with Penix playing, IU would have won yesterday.

    Sheridan will get better or he’ll be replaced. Last year, TA and the Hoosier Nation witnessed what a good OC could do for a team with a good QB and otherwise average talent. Sheridan must learn quickly and accept that next year, he’ll have more talented and more experienced athletes at his disposal.

    Next year’s O-line should be better, especially with the transfer from MI arriving soon.

  5. Jon, great perspective regarding the loss to Ole Miss
    What’s the old cliche, you’re never as good as your last win or as bad as your last loss?
    Certainly applies here.
    One of the best seasons in years for IU football, any way you care to slice it.

  6. NatHillIV that cliche certainly is appropriate today.

    Jon thanks for another good article looking at the different issues for IU in this game.

    Coach Sheridan has to show much more in 2021 as IU can’t live with the offense being #94th in total offense and #52 in points. Coach Wilson used to have IU in the top ten in offense and with a very good defense IU with an offense with a top OC getting IU back to that level would make IU one of the best in the country.

    Next season will be a better measure of where IU is in the B1G.

  7. Our best defensive players are almost certainly returning for another season. On top of that, we might get another season from seniors Ball, Jerome Johnson, Ziemba and Raheem Layne (Ziemba recently hinted he’ll be back). Not sure about Jovan Swann, but he has the opportunity. So next season, you can make a good case that IU’s defense will be even better than it was this season.

    As for the offense, we should assume Philyor and Fryfogle will move on. Scott loves Iu and TA, but if he gets feedback that he’ll be drafted, he should enter the draft. Those three players will be our biggest losses on offense. Crider, who will probably get drafted, will also be a loss, but the transfer from Michigan looks like a capable replacement. I have no idea about Powell or Nworah. So, I believe next season’s offense will be determined by the development of our younger wide receivers and the transfer from FSU.

    Overall, in spite of this disappointing loss, I am optimistic about the 2021 season.

  8. Jon does great work…Maybe it’s time you put his mug shot in the “About” Hoosier Scoop section/link instead of having a five year old picture of Graham, Miller and Price…Attorneys at Law?

  9. Noon games in an outdoor stadium in Tampa in January will ALWAYS favor the Southern team. A night game would have been much fairer. Anyone that has flown down and gone directly to the golf course knows how hot, muggy, and draining Tampa weather can be- especially if you are acclimated to 30-40 degree weather. That said, this was a great season. Thank you, TA, for the best and most enjoyable IU Football season in more than 50 years. TA is relentlessly optimistic. He will have his team in position to win a Big Ten Championship next year. GO HOOSIERS!

  10. Can’t imagine that the pros will have much interest in Scott. He’s a competent Power Five back and I’m glad that he plays for IU, but how many running back spots are there in the NFL?

  11. Too bad we didn’t ‘back out’ of the Outback. Crocodile Dundee just adopted the Hoosiers as his team …because when we come to an Outback, we also have a ‘D’ that is dun.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  12. We had a good year, and we’re working our way up in the ranks of the B1G. A realistic assessment is that IU is now a solid mid-tier program, on par with the likes of Iowa, Michigan State and, at least in their current state, Michigan. That’s a big improvement from five years ago. Those are all teams that go to a lot of bowls and recruit at a high level every year. We now have a stadium and facilities that are really impressive, and a great selling point for recruiting players and potential coaching staff.

    Who TA hires to be the new DC will be critically important for the next few seasons, as well as recruiting. I am sure that TA is not satisfied to be the coach of a “mid-tier team.” He wants it all, and he’s determined – and that’s great. One takeaway from this year – we had three players who made All-American teams, and none of them were celebrated 4 and 5 star recruits. TA and the coaching staff saw something special in them and coached them up – and there’s others like them that are playing great ball.

    The loss to Ole Miss was a big disappointment, but it’s in the past. Next season’s going to be interesting, but I’m sure that there will be another bowl game at the end of it. TA and the IU players wouldn’t accept anything less.

    1. Is that perfect timing, or what? ‘KenMan’ arrives from the Outback to throw his shrimp on the Barbie…..

      Ken…? Barbie…? Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  13. Terrible heat in Tampa? We should have brought out those famous candy striped chrome helmets for the Outback Bowl game….Maybe they would have reflected heat off the field like a giant shiny windshield sunshade Floridians prop on their dashboards to keep their cars cool?
    The only difference is we ‘fold up’ before getting back to the car…. ?

  14. KenMan, very good post and I hope IU can do what they did this year if the off-season is not interrupted to get the reps needed heading into the 2021 season. The lost weeks of the season without enough practice and playing in the weather at Tampa in the afternoon was bad for a team from North that Ole Miss was used to play in.

    I don’t like the offense is because Sheridan is calling DeBord’s offense who he played and coached with. We need a much better OC than Sheridan and have a much better offense that finished #94 total offense.

    1. Sheridan’s offense was good enough to help Mike Penix become a national star, so the notion that he’s simply running DeBo’s stuff and that that’s our problem really isn’t accurate. Losing our two best receivers from last year impacted the passing game, and making the offense fit Tuttle were priorities once MP went down.

      As I mentioned months ago, the issue on offense was up front, and that proved to be the case throughout the season. Watching our tackles repeatedly get beat Saturday was agonizing, especially since we chased the best returning O lineman out of the program. Arguable, our two mst consistent linemen were a grad transfer and a late add judo transfer. It was a failure on the coaches to put us on that spot, though MP largely bailed them out. When he got hurt, we had to adjust. We couldn’t run the ball this year, so we had to adjust to that reality.

      1. I’m troubled by how we were so transparent with Wilson’s digressions and his bullying certain guys off a roster or playing field due to their supposed ‘softness’ on coming back from injuries…but we’re not transparent with regard to Allen’s methods in “chasing off” a quality offensive lineman. What am I missing? Was it simply because Wilson didn’t use the ‘good book’ and lots of “LEO” gift wrap around his so-called dirty deeds. When a scripture quoting coach “chases” guys out of town it’s o.k….But when it’s a rather unfiltered, raw-mouthed coach who has the occasional too many beers at the local pub, it’s the devil’s deed and a threatening letter from the pontiff AD?

      2. Looking at the numbers and they were all down passing % from near 70% to under 60%, yes I know there were many drops that contributed. Total yards at #94 so if you take away the very short fields the defense game the offense wasn’t very good yet we still fell to #52 in scoring.

        I am more than willing to give coach Sheridan another season to see what he really can do but I am concerned about his approach. Ole Miss showed you can run the ball with single back and a very good passing game this year so will coach Sheridan look at how they do it?

        I am also basing the DeBord offense on the routes our receivers were running. We are missing the pass over the middle of the field and the quick pass to uncovered receivers. I am hoping IU’s offense looks much better next year as coach Sheridan get practice time to put in plays, however I am very concerned about his approach to offense.

        1. Total yards always reduce on teams that generate turnovers, and the passing game wasn’t changed year over year. What changed? The guy throwing the passes, which is why the routes looked different to you.

          The rest of the problems were up front, and it’s about personnel, not scheme.

          1. I gave you nuts and bolts about the problem on offense but you ignore that. As a single back offense you must be able to hurt teams when they don’t cover receivers off the line which passing teams call open receivers before the ball is snapped.

            I do understand the difference when Penix is in but it doesn’t explain the difference in pass routes combination, Penix dropped under 60% this year after over 68% under coach Deboer. In the PSU game I was happy about the 2 minute drive thinking coach Sheridan would figure out what worked. unfortunately we didn’t see much of that after that game. You keep saying the problem is the personnel up front but that has to lead to the coaching and not developing players. HS players don’t come out ready to play at the B1G level very often so OL is about scheme to fit the talent and coaching. One of the things I learned as a HS coach was I had to fit my scheme to the players I had; are you telling me that coach Sheridan and coach Hiller can’t do the same thing.

            You are offering excuses and it is past time for those excuses any more. IU has a good roster with talented players but as the defensive staff showed you have to put players in good situations and coach them up to be successful. Another way our defense should how to improve was by adding in zone coverages that hadn’t been much of a part of past defenses with coach Allen got to IU. It shows when you recognize your shortcomings and change what you do it can lead to better performances.

            Coach Sheridan has an off-season this year to make needed changes and we will see if he improves, I hope he does, as much as coach Wommack improved the defense in his second season with new variations in what he ran.

      3. The time for excuses are over as IU should have had receivers developed to take over while Whop and Hendershot under performed this season. Is this a result of less talent or poor scheme? The OL issue is what we discussed before as IU has recruited tough players from good programs. Is the lack of performance poor coaching that doesn’t develop that talent or poor scheme that doesn’t give the OL a good chance at success.

        The defense has improved in almost every area during this time span; do the coaches recognize talent better while coaching them up than the offensive coaches. This team is at the stage that some hard decisions need to be made to continue the improvement in the B1G; I hope coach Allen is up to that task. IU can’t sit pat on where they are now with coaches or recruits they bring in; this next stage is a much harder haul that just getting to this point.

        1. Are we really complaining after a 6-1 conference record in the BigTen East ….with the one loss by 7 points in Columbus (the team playing for the college football championship with a Heisman candidate)?
          I know we have some shortcomings but what am I missing here? Did we not win against Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin? In a typical Hoosier football season we lose by a collective score of 165 -19 against those three teams. Should I pull out the Hoosier record against those three programs over the last three decades?
          And are any of you really that shocked we couldn’t match the fast pace of an Ole Miss offense during a game played in a sauna when we didn’t have Penix’s big play counter-punching available?
          It’s almost as if some of you don’t believe the record is indicative of an unprecedented transformation of the worst football program in the history of the college game.

          And I thought I was the Darth Vader of Hoosier Scoop. Come over to the dark side, V.

          1. H4H, there is a difference when fans look at the past season and when we look to the 2021 season. Looking towards the 2021 season there are major areas that need to improve for the Hoosiers to continue their climb in the B1G. Penix is important because he is very talented but he won’t be around for many more years and the offense needs to be good enough for another QB taking over.

            If I were review this past season I would say it was a fantastic year seeing IU beat the powers in the B1G and fighting OSU to the end. Our defense was very good giving our offense many short fields to win games. As a former coach I learned wins were due as much as great playing and losses weren’t do to such poor play. You have to look at the details to truly understand what causes a teams season. If IU wants to continue the winning seasons now is when they need to shore up some weaknesses.

          2. I get the “shoring up”…and the coach speak, V. But we were 6-1. We defeated teams which from prehistoric BigTen pigskin times to recent memory roamed the conference landscape as if a game against a Hoosier was an empty quarry of t-bone steaks left for a T-Rex lunch on the run.

            Let’s get real. Unprecedented results (especially with Penix who we didn’t have against Ole Miss). 500 yards passing against OSU. Unfathomable in Columbus. Had a Heisman candidate shaking his head and sulking in disbelief in the face of our competitiveness.

            But let’s keep talking about talent being chased out of town…..and throw a pile of old T-Rex crap on those unprecedented results?

        2. I’m not making excuses at all, only explaining that what Sheridan was doing this year wasn’t really different from what DeBoer did last season. Just like the O line you thought would be good, the offense was different this year because the guys running it (Ramsey, Penix, Tuttle) were different. Was only trying to explain to you that it had to change to fit the capabilities of those three guys, each of whom does certain things well. You think it should be a one size fits all approach, but it doesn’t work that way. It changed a little last year too under DeBoer once Penix got hurt. I understand fans always like to blame the coaches or the play that didn’t work perfectly, but there’s more to it than that.

  15. WE can all agree that Sheridan needs to improve a bunch, but there’s no way TA will get rid of him after only one year. Like it or not, Sheridan will be IU’s OC in 2021.

    1. PO, I know there is no way coach Allen gets rid of coach Sheridan after this year but it is frustrating to see the backward steps the offense made this year even with a special QB to run it. I never felt like the offense would march down the field and we are fortunate the defense created short fields.

    2. Coach Sheridan is going to be more of the same like DeBord except a few tweaks but nothing miraculous or much that big. A coach doesn’t change that much in one year but change takes place in baby steps over a period of several years.

  16. I noticed that three ND FB players entered the Transfer Portal today. IU has already signed two highly rated players who decided to transfer, but I’m wondering how many more, if any, TA will sign? There is a lot of talent available through the transfer portal right now and with TA’s reputation and IU FB’s trajectory on the rise, you’d think a lot of those players would be interested in IU. The next few days should be interesting as we begin to learn about the status of IU’s Seniors and other potential transfers. I think it is safe to say that IU’s 2021 roster will be deeper and more talented than this year’s roster.

    1. Interesting how you anticipate the enormous instantaneous potential in landing top transfers in this new highly volatile/unstable transfer environment for our football program, but ignore those possibilities for Archie Miller to roundout his rosters. With Archie, it’s simply expressing ‘wins and losses’ in getting early commitments from high school talent/classes without any consideration of his thoughtfulness in not creating scholly crunch situations…and leaving a door open, along with roster spots, for high quality transfers.

      Parker Stewart may be pretty damn good….Lucky a spot wasn’t taken up by Tim Priller to shut the door on landing a talented transfer. Nice we don’t have to “chase” a kid off his scholarship and out of Bloomington in order to make timely roster additions/improvements. What is good technique for Tom Allen should also be recognized as a good technique for Archie Miller (outside of simply recruiting “class rankings” which often never live up to their evaluations anyway).

      What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander. A good transfer on the loose may end up more valuable than an early recruited Lander.

      1. I’m completely in agreement – lets get Parker Stewart into a uniform and in a game asap. We need his shooting abilities. Too bad Joey Brunk has had injury problems, I thought he was a great acquisition and added some muscle near the basket. The whole transfer portal thing is just ramping up, in a couple of years you might have as many as a dozen players on a football team that come via the portal. It’s a new world, and the teams that benefit the most will be the ones that figure it out first.

        1. Agree…Appreciating KenMan’s perspective.

          Transfer=Transformational changes quickly. Don’t crowd a roster with butt-splinter gatherers. Leave options open. Recruiting has many more dynamics now than simply comparison charts of high school recruits landed or whiffed on. Just look how Chris Collins “transformed” Northwestern overnight….(primarily via a kid from William and Mary!).

    2. Might want to look to acquire a solid experienced QB through the transfer portal. Watching the game Saturday and watching JT get hurt had the announcers wondering who would come into the game to replace Tuttle if he needed to come out. I was wondering the same thing. Even with our 4 star freshman coming in next season, you can’t have too many experienced QB’s.

      1. No 4 star freshman qb coming next year though many claim he is. Especially, IU football bloggers. Rather a higher 3 star per espn and after seeing him play a couple times he is not the answer especially during his freshman and sophomore years.

  17. Let’s just hope Penix doesn’t enter a transfer portal…Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if a mid-tier SEC team begins to look far more attractive to his future. I mean, we can’t get much respect when we lose one game when following through on what can be argued as the most complete schedule of just about anyone in the BigTen this season (yet, the BigTen EAST!).

    And with so much love and ‘feel good’ tales for Tuttle from many of the fans (if this place is in any sort of accurate sample set of larger populations of Hoosier fans), he’s gotta feel a bit disrespected/dissed for the unprecedented season he had a huge hand/arm in delivering.

    1. Tuttle has a good arm just not as good as Penix. His problem in the bowl game was a separated shoulder in the 1st quarter or early in the second. The bowl game was impacted by not play for weeks die to COVID19 along with not being able to workout for much of time. I wasn’t happy about the bowl game but playing a team from the south in Tampa at 12:30pm is very tough for a team from the north. We will find out next year if the team is up to having another great season in the B1G East with Cincinnati early in the year.

  18. KenMan, unless Dexter Williams transfers, IU will have four scholarship QBs on the roster next season. Three of those guys were 4-star QBs coming out of HS. IU is pretty well set for QBs in 2021, and I doubt any really good QB would transfer to IU and risk serving as the second or third back-up. Penix, if healthy, will be one of the highest rated QBs in college FB entering next season. Tuttle will have two years of experience in IU’s offensive system. I don’t think TA or Sheridan will prioritize recruiting another QB this year since it’s not a position that guarantees any playing time for second and third stringers.

    1. I’m with KenMan…Never enough qb’s….Penix could transfer. Grass is always greener on the other side of Kansas.
      Tuttle has already proven he likes to follow a yellow brick road in search of wizards and paradise.

      Dorothy: “Why from the West to go so far East? Why did you bypass Kansas to come all the way from California to Indiana? Why do you want to see the Wizard of Bloomington not of Westwood, Jack? Are you the cowardly lion without courage….or the tin man without a heart…or the scarecrow without a brain?”

      Jack: “No Dorothy, I’m in need of Live Snaps!”

    2. No pure 4 star qbs on IU roster. Even Penix was a 3 star at 78 per espn. Though Penix when healthy performs at a higher rating. Dexter Williams is not a 4 star qb. And Tuttle is not a 4 star. Rather a high 3 star per espn. IU has a stable of high 3 star QBs and Penix if healthy a much higher rated qb. And incoming freshman Quarterback is definitely not 4 star material. More hype than he is good but does have good upside. Often a trademark for IU football recruits. Almost every single program not just in football but other sports as well feel their recruits have much upside. That’s why they recruit them. Plus schools like IU take what they can get.

  19. I mean, it’s time for HT to write the COMMENTARY regarding BearDown’s continual allegations regarding a top quality lineman getting “chased” out of town. Why is this not making press coverage? What was behind the decision to not embrace this young man? Is there a Title VII/Civil Rights violation we’re not talking about? Was he chased out of town due to something normally protected in any job setting (race, religion, sexual orientation, origin, etc)?

    I mean how long is the “chasing” allegation going to be heard on Scoop until a journalist here addresses it? BearDown is a highly respected contributor who is rarely wrong…Well, actually, never wrong….Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Anyhow, “Enquiring minds” need to know…ALL the facts ..and ALL the details. Put this to rest. Put it to bed.
    Is Tom Allen an unethical guy harboring some sort of prejudice for a quality football player he chased out of Bloomington?
    I’m not in the locker room. I’m not privy to intimate conversations with former and current football team members. I’m a fan and supporter of the university. I’m a graduate of Indiana University and I have as much right to know as someone closer to the program.
    Is this like the Bob Knight tape of the choking of Neil Reed that will one day be revealed after Allen wins a Rose Bowl?

      1. “Chased” or “not chased” or whatever happened, the last time I checked (several weeks ago), “top quality” lineman Coy Cronk was third on the Iowa depth chart.

          1. “Best” of anything is never a constant. There is also a thing called potential and coaches must make decisions on who can make the most of that potential. What is minimally sacrificed today may reap you much bigger rewards tomorrow.
            “Ceilings”….”Upside”….”Next level”….Didn’t we hear those explanations to play the future potential while chasing out of town someone who may have been the “best” option in a frozen moment in time?

            And the buck stops with Allen. If Allen is not implicated in the “chasing” of a quality talent out of town, then name the person responsible.
            When someone who is a student athlete and considered “best” at his position on a roster is “chased out of town,” it is a black eye upon the program. It is Allen’s responsibility to be forthright and explain feelings so counter to his LEO goals and his mantra. Why should this sort of accusation live anywhere (whether on a blog conducted by HT or among whispers in a locker room)? Ripple effects….A cancer can grow from one cell and one ugly allegation.
            Regardless of where the “chasing out of town” found its life, it is something Allen should be astute enough to recognize and resolve. And our fine journalists should have addressed such accusations so removed from the images of hugs and love we so often associate with a Tom Allen program. It’s never too late …to make things right.

            We had a great season…This should not serve to sour it.

  20. Pouting over what…? But nice diversionary tactic. You’re the guy who is pouting with the man crush over one player who was treated so terribly poorly by IU Football.
    I simply think it’s important for an HT expert/journalist to investigate/substantiate such a repeated allegation and to verify how Allen chased a top football player out of the program. That’s a pretty strong allegation to get zero coverage by any press…including those who play high and mighty here.

    We seemingly have a coach who has received nothing but great admiration from fans and media alike for his faith, family values and preaching of an ‘LEO’ mantra, but it the dark underbelly of such a mirage he’s “chasing” a decent young man out of IU?

    If Wilson was subjected to full transparency than why isn’t chasing a kid out of IU given the same attention/investigation….unless it has zero merit. Seems like chasing any quality player out of the program is one too many.

    1. H4H, good point about the false statement that Cronk or any other player was chased out by coach Allen. Cronk went to Iowa to prove he was good enough and after starting for a couple games end up as a back up. I wanted Cronk to have a good year but he was being lead astray either by his ego or some people he trusted that he could be a left tackle at a higher level. BD claim the issue at Iowa is he was injured but not when he was demoted to 2nd team when a younger injured player came back to challenge him. Our coaches obviously agreed that Cronk wasn’t our best choice at tackle just as Iowa did.

      1. I agree, V. It’s just a weird allegation and doesn’t fit the profile we’ve been given of Allen’s systems of brotherhood, love and loyalty.
        Do you know why Allen is called the ‘CEO’ of IU Football? It’s because he believes in ‘Chasing Each Other’ out of town…lol. It’s time to drop ‘LEO’ in favor of ‘CEO’..
        It’s also my understanding that Allen is so fond of ‘chasing’ that he has arranged to have all his paychecks directly deposited into ‘Chase’ Bank.

        If there is anything to Tom Allen “chasing” top players out of the program, it seems a reporter would feel obligated to do some digging, chase down Tom Allen and investigate such claims….(especially when the allegation is coming from very respected sources…wink wink).

        Ironically, there is a record of a Bear being implicated in chasing away a player. Let’s just say Da Bears were never ‘Down’ with Chase Daniels…They chased Chase out of Chicago. Can’t blame the Bears…Chase never got rid of the ball when he was being chased by hungry linemen.

        And to address the “pouting” accusation. You can be an amazing pouter (not to be confused with Harry Pouter) and still get a contract for 140 million. Jay Cutler should have been chased out of Chicago much sooner. Unfortunately, Chicago was tied to his pouting after such an insane contract…It’s why we only had a $1.99 left to give “Chase” Daniels to play back-up….And I hate to keep nagging over chasing, but Chicago needs to chase Nagy back across the Canada border. There is no hope in a Bears team coached by this guy…
        Chicago has basically exploded into rubble their football team….It’s as if Soldier Field was Nagysaki.

        Did we cover everything?

          1. Hardly…lol. What is happening is you have nothing to back up your attempts to downgrade Allen’s reputation with the “chasing off” accusations. Unsubstantiated and never reported in such a manner anywhere but from your insinuation. You’ve pouted long enough on this kid…And nobody ever has “any idea” on the topic except you (including HT sports journalists, I presume). Of course, that’s a common theme with you.

            Is it really worth making Tom Allen appear as if he had very seedy tactics in making a “top” lineman leave the program? And why would he “chase” him away? Simply Tom Allen’s ego…or something more dark and egregious?

            We don’t want a coach who chases off benchwarmers….yet a top lineman. It’s wrong in not honoring a scholarship. It’s wrong to deceive a kid. Doesn’t our new so-called ‘Bill of Rights’ for our amateur athletes protect a kid from being chased out of town?

            HT should clear this up and tell us if Allen’s reputation is damaged by his handling of Cronk. It’s time your pouting gets some answers from a professional.

            And if it’s something less (simply not playing a kid in his most comfortable position), “chasing out of town” seems highly inappropriate.
            Crean chased half his roster out of town…as soon as he thought something better was coming down the pipeline. Didn’t matter if it was a dedicated kid who had experienced injury setbacks….or kids with very minor digressions in dorm rooms. Chasing was the norm…Allen is a saint by comparison.

          2. Still pouting, H4H? And you’re the one making this solely about Tom Allen, not me. I told you what happened, you just choose to ignore it.

      2. You have no idea on this, V. The coaches at IU thought he was our best O lineman which is why they thought he was the only one capable of moving from the outside in. Unfortunately, he was our best tackle, too, and that was a big problem this year. He did get hurt at Iowa this year too which is why his playing time dipped.

        1. Checking in on the Iowa board Cronk was replaced before getting injured which is what I said. I wasn’t talking about his whole season but you just take parts and don’t understand what is being said to disagree. By the way, what part of IU’s program are you part of which you get inside info the way you claim to get? I have made it clear I was a HS football coach that won state titles so those here know my background and knowledge. I was asked and encouraged to go into college coaching but I didn’t want to put my family through what coach Allen’s family has done, my wife couldn’t deal with all the moving.

          1. Attaboy, V. This ‘Cronkgate’ thing has become so overblown. It’s become a true disservice to a great season. Allen ruffled some kid’s feathers…Did he not get the ‘free ice cream cone’ with the dentist visit? My goodness…Get over it.
            I doubt Cronk is pouting over this in any manner. He’s probably chasing down some hot farmer’s daughter in Iowa while I type this….

          2. I realize you sad you coached, I am just surprised that you view so much of this in the way a fan does rather than how a coach would look at it.

  21. And there lies another challenge for IU football and T.A. Stability which T.A. is trying to instill. To many times (qb position and not just P.R. is example and Cronk another) players look to leave IU football program for greener pastures rather than to stay at IU and get better personally to make IU football program better.

  22. I’ve been to Iowa…On some road trips/vacations heading out West, I can’t get through that state quick enough. I’ve had some of the most terrible meals in that state. Level of dining sophistication = negative 5-stars.
    There is no amount of Scotts Turf Builder to make Iowa a ‘greener pasture’…in my humble opinion.
    And sorry to digress, but why isn’t there a ‘Scotts Turf Builder’ Bowl game yet…? “The grass is always greener on the other side of your football roots when fed Scotts Turf Builder.”….? Just seems perfect…Just sayin’.

    Anyway, I’m a long suffering Bears fan and I’d live in Green Bay, Wisconsin before taking residence anywhere in Iowa (college town or otherwise)…
    Green Bay is Annecy, France compared to anything in Iowa’s pastures. Bloomington is Shangri-La by comparison.

  23. t, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say in the post above?

    IU lost two starters to transfer after last season. Ramsey and Cronk. They were both valuable players. But losing Ramsey really didn’t hurt IU. he was not going to displace Penix as the starter. And obviously, Tuttle was more than qualified to be the back-up. It was simply unreasonable to expect Ramsey to stay at IU when he had opportunities to play somewhere else.

    Who knows the story on why Cronk transferred, but it didn’t work out real well for him. Personally, I hated to lose Cronk’s experience and versatility, but him transferring didn’t hurt the team. Cronk would not have made the difference between IU beating OSU or losing that game. And Cronk would not have made the difference between winning or losing the bowl game, either.

    If you look at the College Football Transfer Portal for 2021, you’ll see few IU players that have entered the portal. Compare that to other Power-five conference teams and you’ll see it is, so far at least, a much lower number than most, if not all other schools. There may be a few more IU players to enter the portal, but I think TA has done and is doing an excellent job in maintaining roster stability. These players love him and I think they really love each other. LOE is working. Now IU’s administration and fan base needs to do everything possible to sustain that stability in the years ahead.

    1. Good points PO and I would point out that IU needs to improve their offense and I hope coach Allen tells coach Sheridan that. Have a system that works better for the running game, have some misdirection plays, use the TE more with one that can catch passes along with clocking. I like Hendershot but whatever problems he has, I would have replaced him with different TEs. Having him in dropping passes wasn’t good for the offense. I have to wonder why Copper, Ivy, and others weren’t seeing the field. If Hendershot comes back I hope he works hard to catch almost every pass that comes his way in 2021. He has too much talent to waste and he needs to shine next year if he comes back.

  24. I wasn’t trying to say that T.A. was not doing a good job of maintaining player stability but was saying he is working at maintaining roster stability. Yes, I know transfers and players leaving programs are a part of today’s football culture from all teams. I was not only talking about T.A. Era but before him as well including K.W. However, there are just as good or better players that stay with top teams and are willing to be backup players on their respective teams better players than those that transferred from IU..

  25. If anyone should be chased, maybe that’s Hendershot? Odd…Allen chases a top lineman out of town who has zero digressions off the field, but bends over backwards to keep someone who has allegedly mistreated/abused a girlfriend?
    This truly does put Allen’s ethics into serious question. What is hiding behind LEO?

  26. BD, your tendency to argue for the sake of arguing makes you sound really foolish some times. Even if we agree that Cronk was IU’s best linemen, and that is debatable, please explain to us how “Cronk leaving IU hurt us badly.” Which of IU’s two losses would we have won if Cronk was one of our linemen? How much higher would IU have been ranked if Cronk had stayed with IU? Your statement is simply ridiculous. The only thing that “hurt IU badly” this season was Big Ten politics and losing Penix to injury. And the latter, arguably, cost IU its first bowl-game victory.

    1. Great reply PO but I don’t expect BD to agree as he stays the course even being shown he is wrong at times.

      H4H, I love your description of Iowa and rather living in Green Bay calling IU Shangri-La by comparison because Bloomington is. I hope recruits now see IU in a better light and come here deciding to make IU even better in football. Reese Taylor is right about IU now being more of a football school. Maybe recruits in BBall will be attracted by the special football program IU has now.

  27. #12 in the NATION…..????? WHAT?!!!!

    It seemed such a short time ago when this was our image.

    I remember when the only thing being thrown by a Hoosier team for any yardage was a piece of worn out gum from the saliva pocket of a Lynch sideline.

    Some of you really need to get off your monthly cycle.

  28. V13, in the article about D.J. Mathews, he put IU Football’s recruiting into perspective when he said, “Honestly, I’ve never heard anything about Indiana football, only basketball.” I think he was speaking in the past tense, but the point is the same. Until recently, when he decided to transfer from FSU, IU FB did not have a national identify; it wasn’t on the radar of too many good FB players. If IU FB had a reputation at all, it was probably a bad one. The best HS FB players had probably never been told “hey you need to check out Indiana.” That’s beginning to change thanks to TA. But it’s going to take many more years of winning before most HS FB players recognize IU as a school they should consider playing for. That’s why it was so damaging to IU when the Big Ten snubbed us this season, why changing the rules about the Big Ten Championship was so wrong. It slowed the progress and diminished the recognition that IU FB would have otherwise achieved.

  29. I understand it is going to take time for IU to pull in the best players in the country. Like they have so far, they can pull in the best players that others overlook. At some point, if IU can continue to win against some of the more established programs, IU will pull in the top players they want in the program.

    2021 is a key season for IU as they have shown after 2019 they can play with the best in the B1G. 2020 was a very good season but IU has to show they are a flash in the pan by following up with more good seasons.

  30. V13, do you agree with me that improving recruiting is not just about IU’s coaching staff and consistently producing winning seasons? It’s also about perceived fan support, about taking campus visits when Memorial Stadium is full of passionate fans. It’s about the “buzz” that IU Football creates on campus and throughout Bloomington. It’s hard to define that energy, but if you’ve been to an SEC campus on the day of a big game, you know what I’m talking about.

  31. Po, it is about the buzz on campus and a full stadium. It is the excitement the team creates on campus and the excitement of each fan going to the game that creates the buzz so having fans fill the stadium is a big part of recruiting top players. The excitement is real when you have students and fans excited about the upcoming game.

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