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September 23, 2017

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Georgia Southern - 17, Indiana - 52

TOM ALLEN: Just want to say I'm really proud of our players. Coming off a big road win against Virginia, and then not getting to play last week, I'm a little concerned about just being out of sync a little bit, but I thought our players were prepared, were ready. They started fast and finished strong. So something we really emphasized. We want to learn how to play at a high level and challenge them to have consistent performance. That's the key.

How do we train ourselves to play at a consistent level regardless of the opponent. This is a team that's consistently going in, even as early as last year, to Power Five places and have given them fits. It sometimes upset them, and we made a big video of that before, a week ago Sunday to get our guys' attention and understand who they were playing. They're a tough out because of their style of offense and athleticism.

So, proud of our guys. All three phases made plays, and really proud of Morgan Ellison. Just told he's the fourth highest rushing for a freshman in Indiana history with 186 yards today on 25 carries. So the offensive line is a big reason for that, but he carried the ball well and ran hard.

So great team effort, great team win. Proud of the Hoosiers. Questions?

Q. As far as Ellison goes, what did you feel led to the big game?
TOM ALLEN: We knew their D-line was their strength, and they played -- they did a good job against Auburn defensively. They couldn't generate much offense, but their defense was very impressive. So we knew that it was going to be tough. So we tried to spread them out a little bit formationally and run the ball from that look. We kind of -- have been a little different schematically, so we tried to make an adjustment there and it was very effective.

But he's got great feet. He's quick, he's got burst and vision. He's got some good speed too. So we'll make sure we protect the ball better and have great ball security. That's the only thing I would say he needs to focus on after today's performance, but he's a good player.

We kind of commented on him throughout fall camp and he proved me right today, so I think he's pretty good.

Q. You mentioned Ellison, but he was a guy who was kind of had injuries and was under-recruited in high school. What did you see from him that made him a priority?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, here's what happened. We basically went through and missed on a linebacker that we wanted, so we had another spot to utilize and actually took him in that spot because we felt like he was a big body that you could utilize and said, hey, if he's not a running back, he could be a linebacker. That was our thought process when we took him from a position and having a number of guys to sign perspective.

But he came into camp with an edge about him and a mindset about him, and really from day one has been a guy that, like, wow, he really was a better player than I thought. You mentioned he's been injured his junior and sophomore year, and had several serious broken legs. So it's not like he's a guy that's not tough, just bones break. So just wanted to know what can he do when he gets healthy.

So been a guy that sometimes you take a chance on a kid, and he ends up being a special one. So I think he's going to be that kind of guy.

Q. You guys held a couple guys out, Fant and those guys, is that a product of the by week getting switched to this week? Getting guys 100% for the stretch run?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, it was getting them 100% for the stretch run. I knew this game was going to be physical, and that was a decision we were trying to make. We thought we had the depth to withstand it and didn't want to take a chance, so we wanted to get him healthy for next week.

Q. If the game had been closer, could Richard have gone back in?
TOM ALLEN: He could have, which is good news. I don't think his is a serious one, but we wanted to make sure we protected him.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
TOM ALLEN: I don't know about those two. I don't know. I know they're going to be looked at right now. They're not like Richard's situation, so we'll see.

Q. Takeaways was not an issue today.

Q. Talk about that, talk about Andre Brown?
TOM ALLEN: Our goal was three a game. So we haven't gotten any, which I make such a big deal about these takeaways now, so I get really upset and frustrated when we don't get them. So that's okay. They come in groups, I've learned, and today was a group of them.

The Andre Brown one was great. I tell you what, all three of them were creative. They were two strips on the other fumbles, and that one he just took the ball from them. So we work on that all the time. Work so hard on takeaways. We talked about, you want to be a great defense, you've got to score on defense. We've scored two times now. One of them got overturned, but this one did not. Really proud of Andre. He finished well, and that's what we want.

Q. Looked like Dutra had strip and recover.
TOM ALLEN: He did. He got strip and recovery, he sure did. We work on those all the time.

Q. You guys scored in all three phases of the game?
TOM ALLEN: We did. Offense, defense, special teams. How about A'Shon, that kid's unreal. They're probably going to quit punting to him. He's making them pay. What a great story. Golly, so proud of him. Awesome, awesome young man.

Q. Any concerns with the secondary? Few big lays plays.
TOM ALLEN: No, because of the nature of this. I'm telling you, this scheme will make you lose sleep at night. You're so focused on the run. The formations they did that out of, that was totally new, but still we thought we had it fixed. It's just eye discipline. You get lost whether my guy goes motion here and there.

No, if you notice, when they're traditional throws, it was really not much. It was just a stinking play action option passes, we may never see that rest of the year. So not really reason to be concerned. About just makes you mad.

Q. When you get into a game like that when it's hot, kind of a big lead and you're going through the second half and it's dragging on, where do you prioritize coaching, keeping your foot on the gas pedal?
TOM ALLEN: I don't know if you noticed me on the sideline but I've got a headache right now because I was on edge the whole game. I did not want us ever to let up. I know that's a temptation. That's what teams do. Teams that aren't mature and can't handle leads do that. So everything, coaches, players, everybody, i was on edge and I want these guys to finish. The situation doesn't draw it out of you, you have to draw it out of yourself.

So I've been in those games before, and obviously, yeah, you want to be winning and that's great. But I hate sloppy finishes. I want our team to be, once again, like I said in the beginning, consistent performance. That's what we're shooting for.

That's what great teams do. They perform to their standard. If you can't play to our standard, we're going to run you right over. That's what I want. We haven't always done that in the past and I'm aware of that, so we're trying to change that.

Q. What prevented you guys from creating turnovers in those first games?
TOM ALLEN: Well, you know, the very first game I think just the way the nature of the game and what they were doing schematically, they did a good job protecting the ball. They didn't throw a lot of balls that were in those windows to get tips and picks and those kind of things. They kept us from pressuring them based on the situation and their scheme, and they were max protecting. So that's where we get our chances for takeaways. Then last week we got two and got them both taken away with penalties.

So really that would be five on the season and we really wouldn't be as disappointed. I don't think it's a concern, I just think it's the nature of how they come. Just got to keep getting them. Got to have them.

Q. As far as the strategy with Ramsey and Lagow, what is the scheme as far as knowing how to devise that strategy?
TOM ALLEN: I don't feel like there is a situation where you've got different skillsets, you get a feel for the game and how it's going, it's kind of how they're defending this. It's kind of how is that guy playing? These games are long now. There are a lot of snaps. I feel like you need to have platoon football in every phase because of the way it works.

So I just have a whole philosophy about it. I love to play two deep on defense and just roll them in and just have two. That's what we're going to get to eventually as we recruit on both sides of the ball, and to be able to rotate guys in, keep them fresh and keep them playing. I just think that's important.

It also keeps more guys involved and motivated. Those guys both played and they both played well. So I just think -- I heard some guys and some other teams got some quarterbacks hurt today, some serious injuries, other teams, so you better have a bunch of guys that can play. I feel like that's what we have and we're going to keep playing them.

Q. Do you feel like you Rich threw the ball enough coming off that bye week, having three weeks without throwing it, did he throw it enough to get in rhythm for the rest of the season?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I think he did. I'll go back and watch more closely. But I thought he was throwing the ball well this week and threw the ball well during the day. We obviously tried to run the football. We're always going to take what they give us for formations and schemes. But, no, I thought that it was effective. Scored 50 points, and obviously didn't press the envelope in the end there. We tried to get a lot of time off the clock, half of the third quarter and the whole fourth quarter. So I think you've got to take that into consideration too.

But our job is to go out there and execute, play high level, and we could have scored more points, I think, if we would have gone full bore. But that's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to get guys involved, guys ready, and proud of all the guys that go to play. Lot of people involved with our team.

Q. The run game, Brandon Knight, this is the first game with MackenzieNworah at right guard, I know you haven't watched film yet, but how do you feel those guys did?
TOM ALLEN: Based on the production of what happened and not seeing a lot of negative plays, I think they did a good job. The film will tell me more. Once again, got to have more guys, we're seeing some guys step up, great to have Brandon back. He's a great athlete and really good football player. So that's big for our program.

Q. You mentioned you came out and all pass plays and the very next drive was pretty balanced. Is that sort of a change of philosophy?
TOM ALLEN: No, because we are PRO many of those, and some of them could have been called passes and some could have been called runs that becomes a pass based on the scheme. So I'll have to look at the numbers. Especially early in the game, we script a lot of stuff early. So probably not. Just how it kind of played out, but that's the nature of the offense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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