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October 7, 2017

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 27, Charleston Southern - 0

TOM ALLEN: All right, a little soggy, from the monsoon we just went through. But really happy with our players. Every win is a big win, I think. You just don't take anything for granted. Any time you can shut somebody out, I don't care who they are, collegiately, it's not easy to do. It's our first one since '93, and that's a big deal, so I'm really proud of our guys.

Played a lot of different guys, had a lot of guys out, so for them to be able to execute against a challenging offense, that was a positive for sure. Glad we got a lot of guys on the field.

I think we came out of it clean injury-wise, which was really huge for us. Get a chance to get some of these guys back for next week.

Holding them to zero passing yards, only the second time in school history that's happened, and zero completions, which is -- I guess that's -- the last time was '85. So really, really -- that's not their thing. I get that. But they had a lot of yards and catches last couple weeks.

Just attention to detail. That's what you have to do. And then offensively, just very frustrating with the fumbles. It's just not the way we have to play. That's kind of the only negative that I saw that stuck out to me. Peyton threw for over 300 yards, first freshman to do that since '06, and Taysir had over 100 yards receiving. First time since '08 we had a freshman do that. A lot of positives there. Simmie had 10 catches, almost 100 yards, and I felt like that was a touchdown, but that's not my call apparently. They didn't confer with me on that one.

But just always want to take every win and enjoy it and realize that it takes a lot of work to get those. It was a team we were supposed to beat, and we did, and so we just realize what we have and watch the film tomorrow and get ready for the Wolverines.

Q. Talk about this game for Peyton.
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, it was huge. For me I wanted to be named as the starter, have the whole week to have to deal with that, talk to the media, know you're going to be the starter, and prepare accordingly. You know, and then not come off the bench like he's done the last couple times he's been in there. I thought that was important. He seemed to be very calm and ran things and protected the football, had that one pick that was tipped, but just really, really important, I think, to get this game under his belt to go back into Big Ten play. Good flow for us on that.

Q. Talk about Mack.
TOM ALLEN: You know, he's one of our faster players on the whole team and really encouraged by his progress. He's a guy I identified through fall camp that I really thought had did some good things in the spring, had a good summer, did some good things in fall camp. So wasn't consistent once we started playing and then he got a chance to play because of some injuries. He's a guy that's got really good speed and made some catches and did some things with the ball after he caught it. Good job on that.

Q. Obviously Nick went down early, Donovan didn't play, Taysir steps up; how pleasing is that to see a guy when he has a chance to make plays --
TOM ALLEN: You know, it's what you have to do, and we make a big deal about that to our team, but talking about it and then going out and doing it are two different things. So to see them go out and play to that level was encouraging for sure, and we need it. Our team, we need those explosive plays, we need the ability to get the ball on the perimeter and make them pay for loading the box, and do a good job of yards after catch.

Q. You've talked about the need to fill depth, so how valuable was it today to get the No. 2s a lot of work in there?
TOM ALLEN: No, I think it's extremely valuable for sure, because once again, practice reps are important, but they're not the same as game day reps. Played a whole bunch of guys on both sides of the ball, and I just think that the more they play, the better they're going to get, and just being able to execute our defense, execute our offense, special teams play. Played a lot of young guys on special teams that we had out there, so pretty clean across the board in all those phases. A lot of positive things to build off of.

Q. Talk about the chemistry with receivers. I think Simmie only had one time where he was targeted. Just for Peyton in his first start, how impressed were you with the way he was connecting with guys?
TOM ALLEN: He was. He just seemed to be comfortable and in rhythm. He was just kind of methodically distributing the football to a lot of different guys, and just didn't seem -- they were bringing different looks and schemes and trying to get after him, so I thought just seemed very -- almost what I expect because that's what I see in practice. But I thought he did, the game just kind of seemed to be very -- slowed down for him, and he was able to distribute the football, which to me that's what a quarterback does is distribute the ball to your playmakers.

Q. When the rain starts coming down like that, how much does the focus kind of shift?
TOM ALLEN: You know, I never thought about that. I just thought about protecting the football. I thought for sure we were going to get a takeaway it was raining so hard and they're an option team, so I was thinking that, and I think our guys were getting excited. We had one practice I remember during fall camp where it just poured like this, and the guys get all juiced. So it was just -- to me I wasn't worried about guys getting hurt. I'm past that. You've just got to play football.

Q. Talk about the alertness of the quarterback and getting in on the fumble.
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I think that's a small thing, it's a huge thing. We don't want to put the ball on the ground, and he was literally -- I watched the whole thing, and he was moving towards it, and just a heads-up kid. That just kind of really defines him, just kind of the guy he is, and when you're always on top of your stuff, he literally is the -- we've said this for a long time, he's the first person at every single thing we do. He's the first person on the field at every practice. He's the first person every single meeting. Doesn't matter if it's position meeting, offensive meeting, team meeting. He's always that guy. And this has been just kind of the way he's -- that's his identity. That's how we know him as.

And so when the guy is like that, it doesn't surprise you when he's kind of right where he's supposed to be on the field, as well, and kind of doing the little things that add to winning football games. I think that's kind of a great little picture of how he does everything.

Q. What do you do during the week to work on the fumbles?
TOM ALLEN: Well, we worked on it a lot this week. I'm going to go back to the film and kind of watch each one and evaluate when they happen, how they happen, why they happen, because to me, we work on it as much or more than anyplace I've ever been. To me it's just a matter of us making it continue to emphasize -- I want to go through and watch each one of them and break down why that happened.

Q. Are you concerned about the big-play potential?
TOM ALLEN: I mean, you have to have that for sure, and I think that -- I know the rain in the second half was a little bit of a variable with that, but I think it's more about taking what they give you, you know, and so we'll look at it and continue to do that, but yeah, we've got to -- my thing is this: We want to build a football team that plays to the strength of our team, and that's from a defensive perspective, special teams perspective, and your offense. All three working together to win games, and we're just trying to build a -- that's why to me the fumbles were just such a huge negative because that's not part of the formula. But the other three phases, working together, taking care of the football, moving the chains, methodically moving the chains, and then you take your shots. And the thing is you've got a chance to make several big plays and then you get some of them called back, so that's frustrating. But at the same time, when you play great defense and you're really good on special teams, then that's kind of what you want to be able to do is control the football, and from a tempo perspective, whether you need to go fast, slow down, whatever you need to do, to ultimately win the game.

Q. I think you held them to 134 yards of offense. Early in the game you have a big stop on 4th and 1. Do you feel like that kind of set the tone?
TOM ALLEN: It did, because they got a couple 1st downs and a couple bad fits on the option. Once we got that 4th down stop, they never really kind of threatened after that. I think those stops are big. Psychologically, your confidence on one side of the ball, how they approach us after that, they kind of started 4th and 1s they ended up punting because they felt like they didn't want to put us in a bad spot again.

Q. You had a quick change after one of the fumbles, Jake gets a big sack on the 1st down and they end up with minus 11 yards, out of field goal position.
TOM ALLEN: Big time, yeah. We just keep preaching our defense no matter what happens. Something like that, we take the field, we put out that fire, and we embrace it. We embrace the opportunity to put the game on our back and put those situations in front of us where we've got to make a play, and that's what we want to be able to do.

Q. I know the option is kind of different from what you guys see a lot, but two option teams, you've done well defensively against both of them, what does that say about the character of your defense?
TOM ALLEN: I think the discipline shows. I think the maturity of our guys. We do have some older guys on that side of the ball. They're very coachable, and they believe in what we do schematically. I told them we had a good plan, we believed in the plan, and they executed the plan. To me, it's about being disciplined, being good tacklers. If you want to stop the option you've got to tackle extremely well, have disciplined eyes, assignment sound, and we played two of those teams, and I'm really pleased with the way the guys responded.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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