BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana football coach Tom Allen appeared on his weekly coaching show ‘Inside Indiana Football’ alongside Don Fischer Wednesday night at Southern Stone restaurant.
Allen and Fischer reviewed Indiana’s 23-20 win over Illinois and previewed Indiana’s Week 2 opponent, the Idaho Vandals.
If you missed the show, here are five of the most notable things Allen discussed.
Fisher: Tremendous victory on Saturday. I know it wasn’t Indiana’s most artistic performance, but all Indiana cares about anymore is W’s.
Allen: Yes, the bottom line is that you have to find a way to win like you said. It’s interesting how the game has changed over time with the different things you look at, but the bottom line is that there is one stat that matters. We have to find a way to have more points at the end of the game than them, and that’s what our guys did. There are so many things that you talk about that got us to that point, but the tremendous toughness and determination that our guys showed and never flinched, they really didn’t. The sideline was very quiet and the guys believed as long as we had time on the clock we had a chance and we could do it. There is nothing like experiencing that. That’s why I learned that instead of what we went through a year ago, there’s a core group of guys who came back from 2019 and 2020 but crushed it a year ago. Then you have all these new guys that you’re trying to build that belief with, so you can reset it with the ones that have been here and build it with the guys that just came in and all the new coaches, I don’t know if you could have written a better way to end it because the defense had to make a big save, the special teams were solid all night and then the offense, when it counted the most, was at its best. better.”
Fisher: If there was one person to stand out in this football game, in my opinion, it would be Cam Jones.
Allen: Oh yeah, I was going to say that. He had 12 tackles, so not only was he physically dominant, but it was his leadership. I actually texted him around 3:00am, he still couldn’t sleep, but I just said, ‘I couldn’t have been more proud of you. You wanted this team to achieve victory. That’s what I felt he did. He wished for this team to achieve victory. He got hurt, then he came back and practically told our medical staff, ‘Tighten it as hard as you can.’ I don’t miss any more moves. It’s not a long-term thing, but it was definitely very, very painful, but he wasn’t going to sit by and you saw when I got the team together to start the fourth quarter and he wanted to finish it, so he talked to them. on the sidelines and that leadership is invaluable. That’s not just at that time. It’s been that way since that first Sunday after the Purdue game a year ago, it’s been that way all offseason. He has taken this personally and I am very proud of him.”
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Fisher: Tom, talk a little bit about this Friday night football game. Without a doubt, the positive: the aerial game, I don’t think there is any doubt. But still, the struggles — the offensive line and the running game — you couldn’t get anything done in that regard.
Allen: Yes, there are two things that stood out to me that I didn’t like about the game. The run defense, we didn’t stop the run very well when we needed to in low base situations, especially. So we didn’t run the ball well enough. Now they loaded the box, in fact. I’m going through and looking at all the clips and it’s like there are certain schematic things where you go through and count the numbers and it’s just how they set it up. At the same time, we need to find a way to do it creatively, so it’s a great approach for sure. On both sides of the football, we didn’t stop the race close as it should be. In fact, he was really upset about it. I was watching the movie the next day and the angrier I get, I’m excited that we won, but I’m upset because I know that’s not how we’re going to move forward. We have to fix it and we will.
Fisher: How did you feel about calling plays again as defensive coordinator on game day?
Allen: I’ll tell you what, I had a great time. I know I wasn’t perfect. I had two or three calls that I thought I screwed up and I didn’t get the right calls and I wish I had them back, but I love doing that, and I have a great [defensive coordinator]. Chad is amazing and he’s great and what’s different from the past is, if you noticed, I didn’t spend a lot of time with them on the sidelines. That’s how we structure it because I want to be able to be the head coach of the team and still be in the lead. We had a system in place for how we were going to take the data that we collected from the drive, and with Chad as the lead, figure out what just happened and how to fix it. So I have a lot of great coaches and it’s about trust, it’s about delegating those guys and we’ve got some great guys in different roles. This is what I shared that is actually true that I shared on Monday, but it’s really quite amazing, but there are 15 positions on your staff where you consider them to be coaches on the field. You have 10 assistant coaches positions including coordinators, in those 10 positions you have the head coach and four [graduate assistants]. Those 15 guys are allowed to coach the players and instruct them on every team in the United States. There are different levels of people outside the field, but everyone has 15 [on-the-field]. We had nine new ones out of those 15 from last year and that’s the first time we’ve worked together on a game. We did some simulation games, but that’s not the same thing. The scrimmages during fall camp are not the same because you are on the field at the same time, offensive and defensive. So to never have that, we have GAs in the press box who have never been here before, and one of them is my son. He’s the guy I’m talking to on the headset and he graduated last year and he’s up there giving me all the information we have on the units and everything. He is very talented, but he is young. But we have a great staff, so what it allows me to do is make those decisions of what we’re going to do defensively, but also between units and between series, make good adjustments, make good halftime adjustments. and he goes to solve them with our players. That, to me, is a great feeling because I really feel like I can trust those guys and I don’t have to be in every little thing that we do because Chad does a phenomenal job.”
Fisher: Coach, let’s talk a little bit about this upcoming matchup with Idaho, a baseball club that dominated last year 56-14. I think you were up 35-0 before they got their first touchdown of the ball game, and it wasn’t a contest. However, they changed coaches in the offseason. Jason Eck is their new man, he’s from the state of South Dakota and he apparently got them going a little bit because they gave the state of Washington, a Pac-12 team, all they could handle before they won.
Allen: There is no doubt, so that is the challenge. I told our guys at the first meeting we had this week about them, okay, any thoughts you have about this team from last year, delete it. It does not mean anything. Number one, it means nothing. Number two, they have a whole new team. They’ve got new coaches, they’ve got a new offense, a new defense, new special teams, new everything, a lot of new players, and I said they only played one Pac-12 team until the end. They had the football drive to go win the game and played them as much as they wanted. They created some takeout meals. Their defense caused two or three turnovers, which is huge in a match like this, and they took advantage of it. They scored on one of those, picked up a fumble and ran back for a touchdown, very, very competitive with a very good football team out west, so, yeah, that should get our guys’ attention. We have a big challenge ahead of us, they are very dangerous, they have nothing to lose in the game, so we have to be ready.
Related stories about Indiana football:
- HOOSIER ROUNDTABLE PODCAST: During the first episode of the ”Hoosier Roundtable” podcast on HoosiersNow.com, we sat down and talked at length with Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and tight end AJ Barner to discuss the Hoosiers’ 23-20 win over Illinois . Here is the full 33-minute podcast. CLICK HERE
- FOURTH QUARTER WARRIORS: Indiana’s season-opening win will be remembered for Connor Bazelak’s game-winning two-minute drill, but the Hoosiers wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game without three second-half lead aces by the defense. from Indiana. CLICK HERE
- MEET THE IDAHO VANDALS: Following a 23-20 victory over Illinois in the season opener, the Indiana football team will host the Idaho Vandals at 8 pm ET on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It’s time to meet the vandals. CLICK HERE