Notes from Tom Allen’s Weekly Radio Show (October 12)

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Following Darren Hiller’s firing as Indiana’s offensive line coach last week, Tom Allen joins host Don Fischer for his weekly “Inside IU Football” radio, to discuss the coaching change. , IU’s loss to No. 4 Michigan and a preview of Saturday’s decisive home game against Maryland.

As usual, all footnotes and quotes are by Allen unless otherwise noted.

On Indiana’s offensive line coaching change:

  • “It’s very difficult and it’s a matter of relationships; as a staff member, it’s what you do…it’s part of who you are, and it’s part of our culture”
  • “It’s a performance-based assessment for us as coaches and professionals”
  • “As part of this profession, you have to be able to make those decisions. But there are people behind those decisions, which is difficult. But you have to be objective”
  • “Glad to have Rod Carey with us in this new role”… Noted that Carey had been in the IU program since before spring practice; is also a former IU as a former offensive lineman in the early 90s
  • “[Carey] brings a ton of experience. And he brings a ton to our staff, even before all of that.”…Allen said Carey would give his opinion every game and at halftime.
  • Fischer asks what Carey’s previous role as defensive quality control entailed – Allen said it was a lot of data gathering, writing scouting reports for future opponents… Allen calls the position quality control as a “check and balance” for each match week. .. QC coaches cannot instruct players on the pitch
  • Allen said IU didn’t add anyone to take over Carey’s defensive QC role, but split those responsibilities with QC’s other graduate coaches and assistants.
  • Carey’s first impressions – Allen said the first few days of this week were all about the players getting to know Carey, and vice versa… Notes OL assistant coach Danny Friend helps Carey and the players through the transition… “Danny’s role is truly magnified”; he cannot train in the field, however

On Indiana’s loss to No. 4 Michigan:

  • “First half, I should have had the advantage, I missed a bit of a low placement. I had a touchdown called up, which I don’t agree with”
  • “I really felt like we should have taken the lead at half-time, but our kids played in line”
  • “A number of guys we had taken out didn’t help us, and it really cost a lot [later in the game]”
  • Allen said the defense was too much on the pitch in the second half which wore them down late in the game… The lack of depth due to injuries was also magnified
  • Allen credits home crowd/student section for showing up and staying for most of game
  • Re: Mike Hart’s scary situation – Allen said he had no idea what was going on until someone told him on the sidelines; came out in midfield and once he saw it was Hart, Allen’s heart sank for him…Allen texted Hart to send his condolences…Hart is still going through tests to understand why the medical incident happened

On Indiana’s offensive performance:

  • Allen said Bazelak took “too many” hits against Michigan…”He’s a warrior…He’s got a great mindset, the way he handled it…Physically tough, mentally hard. We have to protect it”
  • “I’ve seen other glimpses of what Jaylin Lucas can do”
  • Fischer asks about IU’s fast offense on fast 3-and-outs – “If you 3-and-out, whatever your attacking style is, it’s not good. You have to stay in the field”…”The threes and outs are the problem”
  • Allen notes that IU only had one takeaway, but needed to get more to beat a top team
  • Re: Emery Simmons — “You just watch him play, it’s constant. He’s relentless in his approach… His role continues to grow for us”
  • Allen said IU “hopes” to bring DJ Matthews Jr. and Javon Swinton back this weekend against Maryland
  • Re: Aaron Steinfeldt’s first start – Allen notes that Steinfeldt called back a touchdown, but it was a good play… His strength right now is his pass reception, but his blocking is still improving

On Indiana’s defensive performance:

  • With Cam Jones out, Allen notes that IU moved Aaron Casey to LB stinger and Bradley Jennings to LB starting midfielder…”The void we’ve had with Cam Jones out is huge, but those guys are intensified”
  • Re: Dasan McCullough — “Just a talented freshman who keeps making plays no matter who we play”…”He’s such a coachable guy. If he makes a mistake, he won’t more”
  • Allen said CB Chris Keys played ‘the best game’ of his IU career in place of Jaylin Williams

On Indiana’s next game against Maryland:

  • Re: Injury report — “I don’t know for sure about some of them…DJ Matthews is a guy we’re trying to get back and we’re hopeful for that. Same with Javon Swinton”…Allen isn’t sure yet. Jaylin Williams and AJ Barner… Cam Jones is still absent for several weeks
  • Fischer notes Maryland lost by just one TD to Michigan
  • ‘One of the best offenses we’ve played for sure’… Allen praises QB Taulia Tagovailoa for continuing to improve every year Indiana has played Maryland
  • “Coach Locksley did a great job there and they have quite a bit of talent”
  • Allen said one of the challenges of the Maryland offense is that they force you to defend both the pass and the run; is not deficient in any area
  • Fischer notes Maryland has regained its entire offensive line from last season
  • “The thing that stands out when you look [Tagovailoa] it’s his legs… We have to be able to keep it in the pocket”… Allen said Tagovailoa is at his best when he’s on the move and playing down
  • Allen said IU’s run defense has definitely improved over the season; running adjustments have improved, as have tackling
  • Allen said the X factor in the game is Tagovailoa’s scrambling ability…can’t let him beat IU with his legs

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