home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


September 18, 2017

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Q. Georgia Southern is a triple-option team. When do you start preparing for that? Is that something you work on in spring?
COACH ALLEN: We did. We started working in the spring when we knew that we were playing them, just to be able to, you know, work on different facets of it that they are going to present. They run out of the shotgun which is different than some, but it creates similar challenges, you know.

So we just have to -- you can't just do it in a couple days. So we've been working on them in the spring and then a little bit in the fall camp. You know, with the creative bye week, we have a chance to get some extra reps against that style last week, as well. It was good.

Q. What's different in combining two parts of that answer, what's different about maybe a triple-option under shotgun, as opposed to what maybe people think of the Georgia Tech, Navy, triple-option? People talk about when you do that have bye week built in, it's a big advantage. How much do you feel like you were able to get accomplished and really doubling down on prep?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, I think there's an advantage for sure. If you have a normal week, you really have just two weeks, so you can buy a few extra days of work to get ready.

It is different from the shotgun, and we've played against both, and it's more, to me, the timing of the way the play is hit, some of the things that they do are similar. The cutting, you know, on the perimeter is probably the biggest challenge, I think, and having gone against Navy and Georgia Tech and the recent history of my coaching, that's been things that we've had to really work on, and sometimes you feel good about your prep, and you get in the game and it's just so much more difficult to defend it than it is again in practice.

So that to me is a big, big challenge for sure, and just the speed of it. Having to have a scout team create the quarterback speed, and then just the assignments and all that that you have to have. Just having them execute the offense at the level they are going to see it on game day is really almost impossible if you don't run that style of offense, which we obviously don't.

So it always is going to take a series or two to get used to that speed of it. I just think that, you know, that's why people run it. It creates challenges, and they will be difficult to stop.

Q. It's only been a couple games, but the lack of takeaways, is there anything in the film that you've seen?
COACH ALLEN: You know, we felt like we created two this past game and lost both of those with penalties.

So I think that the first week, you know, maybe the style of what they were doing and the way we defended them, you know, didn't create as much negative plays, and that's what I think often creates those take away situations. I've learned they come in groups, so we've been real close on several. Had the ball on the ground.

In my mind, we could have had three last week. The ball was fumbled and we had a certain call on that allowed us to move our nose away. I think we have any other call on, except for that very one, he would have fallen on the ball because it laid on the fall for awhile. Felt like I needed to go out there and jump on it; seemed like it was out there for so long.

But that one call we had, just happened to be the one when they fumbled the snap. So our opportunities will come. We just have to continue to play hard, not all bent out of shape about that, but we keep emphasizing for sure. But I just have learned over time that they will -- they kind of come and come in groups.

Q. You'll have an earlier recruiting opportunity because of the bye, is that an advantage or disadvantage, or does it change things? Is it better to have it later?
COACH ALLEN: I would say from a health perspective, later is better, you know. You would rather have it more near the middle of your season. But we can't control that. It's one of those things where you can sit here and say that, and you know, we had it after game five, the way it was set up, which I thought was ideal and then tended up being after game two.

You know, I would rather have it longer, for sure. We did have a chance to get some guys healed up a little bit and gave a chance for Brandon Knight to have another week get healthy. To me, you adjust and make the best of it and you make every situation; you maximize the opportunity.

So if I had to just pick, yeah, I would put it smack in the middle of your season, you know, but I didn't get to choose when the hurricane hit.

Q. Your coaching staff, the ability to go out and recruit, you have more time --
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, I don't think that really hurt us. I think our recruiting staff, Matt did a great job of coming up with a good plan. I don't know that there's a better time of the year to do it. You get so many days during the non-contact period, and to be able to go out and evaluate; I don't think that there was any more or less opportunity.

We probably got, I know for me personally, I got to go to some games that I wouldn't have been able to see, just based on they would have been played and I wasn't going to be going out this weekend, this past weekend, so I got to do that for myself. I thought that was very, very positive.

So I think it's give-and-take. There's probably some parts of it that you would wish were a little different. But as far as from a recruiting perspective, I felt like we were able to maximize our time and we had coaches all across the country and were very effective.

Q. The two weeks preparation for this next game, did you see anything in the first two weeks of play that you decided to take in a different direction than what you previously did?
COACH ALLEN: Well, I would just say, you know, from a schematic perspective, you always go back and evaluate your first couple of weeks and see the things that you feel like you're good at and you want to kind of grow certain areas.

I would just say you kind of go through and based on how your players are playing and what you're doing well, you know, or maybe not doing as well, you kind of cut out and add to.

So I thought that this gave us a great chance to kind of lay the foundation for some things that we want to be able to do in the future schematically, and even some personnel, just try and get guys -- continue to get guys in positions to be able to help our football team, you know, whether it's in special teams or offense, defense.

So I thought that we had a good, you know, three days of work last week that you really kind of weren't expecting to have and we already had our whole game plan done for FIU and everything was finished. So really had to kind of go back and really look at some things a little differently very quickly.

But I did think it was good for us to be able to make some adjustments.

Q. You mentioned Brandon Knight. Any updates about him from a physical point of view?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, I think that he's progressed well and I fully expect him to play and get his first action, so he's ready to go.

Q. Any others?
COACH ALLEN: Simon had a little bit of issue from the last game, Stepaniak, and he should be -- he should be good to go. So feel good his health. The rest of the guys, there wasn't anything serious. It was just were some dings here and there that just allowed us a few extra days to get some rest on some guys, that just, the typical. Our first game was a physical, physical game, and even the Virginia game, they are a physical football team. So I just think two weeks in a row of that; it's good to get a little rest.

Q. Covington having a quarterback background, how much does it help as a linebacker?
COACH ALLEN: I think there's some carryover, leadership wise, I think No. 1. No. 2 is just understanding from an offense perspective, because that's often times with the way the game has changed and the shotgun mentality, we often key that guy based on our alignment and our calls for the linebackers. We'll key shoulders or certain things about him.

I just think having that experience is nothing but a positive, for sure. It's a unique combination. You know, not a lot of guys have that duel experience to play quarterback in college and linebacker. But I think just more of the game understanding and savvy helps him.

Q. You talked about how much Coach Hoeppner meant to the program. What are some things he remembered?
COACH ALLEN: Well, you know, just as a family of our friend, and he and my dad go back with Coach at Franklin, they both played for him, and that was really the connection that I had with him and when I first got to know him when he was actually coaching at Franklin when I was younger.

So just a ton of respect for him and as he went to Miami and then I went to coach at Ben Davis, we always went to Miami to their seven-on-sevens every summer, and met with their coaching staffs. He was their defensive coordinator when I first met him professionally, and met with him and so we ran a very similar scheme.

So it was just a lot of those connections and they just grew, and he came here and I spent a lot of time with their staff and all those guy. So just a ton of respect for him as a person, as a leader, just always respected the way he -- the energy he brought, the kind of things I wanted to do as a coach, I modelled after him, both scheme and his approach.

He just was a very special person, you know, and then as he proved on the field, he was a great coach, too and he understood things from both a scheme perspective and motivationally did some things that were pretty special.

So loved what he was doing here. Thought he was really doing some great things and just really tragically cut short. Just really want to make sure and we did a big deal with our players in fall camp and I just want to make sure they understand who he is and often times younger individuals don't really know as much about him, so we brought in some -- we had someone come in and speak and talk about him and just talk about who he was, you know and what he was doing here.

So I just want our players to never forget and to have a great understanding of his history and what he means to our program.

Q. The 2007 Insight Bowl team this week is here for their ten-year reunion. What are some lessons or take aways from their season and the kind of season they had and how you can apply that?
COACH ALLEN: I think they were able to do some things that had not been done in a long time, which as you just mentioned, and that's important to note. As they went through, I remember I was watching the game when the star kicked the field goal to be able to get him in Bowl eligibility and obviously what a big game that was against Purdue.

Just understanding the history of that and what they accomplished, and really what they did in memory of Coach Hoeppner. His goal was to get them to that Bowl game, and to be able to do that with Coach Lynch and their staff was really special and a big part of what we are trying to recreate.

I vividly remember that game and know just watching James' response and how they played that up on TV was pretty special, pretty neat. I just think that, you know, it's just a great reminder, too, of the challenges we've had here to be able to get to that level and play to that level and to recreate that, and that's part of breakthrough for us, for sure.

We want to be able to get to where we understand that playing at that level, to win, the number of games you have to win and to play at a consistent level, you know, that they were able to do to get to that point, but then, you say, okay, how do you -- you get there, how do you keep it there, and just keep growing and growing.

I think any time you have a chance to recognize those past teams and staffs that did that, you know, you respect what they did, and we want to be able to be the next group to do that and that's what our guys want.

Q. Have you seen Peyton play or use that confidence from his game to play well in practice?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, I think he's just kind of taking off where he left the game and brought that into the game against Virginia and played well. But I've seen him do it a lot in practice.

So just once again, those two guys are competing. You know, iron sharpens iron; make each other better, every single day, and that's what we want from all positions, especially at a position like quarterback.

Q. The quarterback at Georgia Southern is a red-shirt freshman. What do you see in him and does he present significant problems that you haven't seen previously?
COACH ALLEN: Well, tremendous athleticism at that position, very, very fast. You know, young player, as you mentioned, as a red-shirt freshman. Has not had a lot of game experience.

But the film quickly shows what kind of athlete he is and that's the case across the board. They have on special teams, their defense, they definitely -- we saw tremendous speed from Ohio State, and so not going to put them at that level but for sure, they have a lot of speed and a lot of very good athletes and he's definitely one of them. They want the ball in his hand and that's what their offense is made for.

So he'll be definitely somebody we have to do a tremendous job of accounting for and tackling well and affecting him like we affect all quarterbacks, but still different when he's running the option.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297