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October 14, 2017

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Michigan - 27, Indiana - 20

COACH ALLEN: I love these players, our coaches. They give so much. They invest so much. They sacrifice so much. And they left it all out there, and played a good football team. And just came up short.

So not going to sit here and feel sorry for anybody. I'll take responsibility for whatever didn't happen. I love these players. Love these coaches. And they fought. They fought, fought, and fought, and I believe in them and they believe in us, period.


Q. You had first and goal at the one-yard line, can you take us through that?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, you're just obviously, when you get that close to the goal line, you really -- as crazy as it sounds, it can be very challenging, you know, especially as good as they are in their front.

You know, you try to punch it in there with running the football a couple of times, and then take a couple throws to try and -- off some movement, try to move the pocket. You can't sit back there. They are bringing saw pressure, which is both edges, and really just kind of playing Cover 0, man, and just kind of daring you to win the one-on-ones. Weren't able to win those, you know, unfortunately.

But tough. Tough to convert against those guys, for sure. But they whipped us up front with those last couple runs and as we rolled out on those last couple trying to create some space and couldn't convert, so disappointing.

Q. What was your view, a couple of plays that could have gone either way, officials called?
COACH ALLEN: Several -- yeah, several. Everybody's saying -- yeah, I understand how this all works. We have to earn the right to get those breaks, period. End of discussion.

Q. What do you mean by that? What do you mean by "you have to earn the right?"
COACH ALLEN: We have to be a football team that's competing week-in, week-out for the Big 10 Championship. That's what I believe.

Q. How was --
COACH ALLEN: You saw what I saw.

Q. How is Peyton's knee, he came up a little bit,?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, he just got tweaked a little bit. Tough kid. He'll be all right. Just kind of give him a little -- rubbed it a little bit. He felt better.

Q. Game like this, the streak's been going on for so long, what does it do for morale?
COACH ALLEN: It creates resolve. It creates a toughness and a fight. Stronger and tighter than ever. That's what it creates. It ain't no feeling sorry for nobody. It's none of this, "Oh, you know what, man, we're so close, you know, we just" -- no. Mm-mmm. This team has too much to them. There's too much love. There's too much fight. There's too much grit. There's too much invested.

No, they are going to keep fighting, more than ever. It's a great question, though. Because the average person would think that it would frustrate you and you would, Ah, you know what -- mm-mmm. That's not how we're built. That's not how I'm wired. That's now how we're wired, and that's not how this team is going to respond.

Q. What can you say about Griffin Oakes? He certainly had some ups and downs.
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, you know what, really respect him. He's having a great year. You know, the block wasn't on him. It wasn't a low kick, it wasn't a bad kick. It was just one of our guys got blown up, okay.

So he was frustrated by the call that we didn't get on the on-side kick and I had to calm him down and say, hey, we're going to need you to come kick one again and he came up to me after and -- because he didn't really want to hear that at the time, which usually you don't.

But he learned a valuable lesson there, so he came back and nailed it. Really, really proud of his performance and the way he's kicking right now. So he's doing a great job.

Q. You had problems a couple of times today wrapping up on tackles.
COACH ALLEN: We did. If I had to say a disappointment defensively was I just didn't think we had tackled as well as we've been. I just, I don't know, their back aren't that big. They are good backs, for sure, but they are not that kind of back. We just, you know -- I don't know. That's really disappointing for sure. That last play shouldn't have been a tackle for loss I thought, and then just -- that's it.

Q. You talk so much about takeaways. Is this the kind of game where you will assess what it could have done --
COACH ALLEN: Oh, there's no doubt. I agree. Field position, we had the one that we actually got, and that situation that we won't talk about.

And then you have, you know, John Crawford dropped one, and then I thought Chris Covington had a chance there. Those are big, because that' right before they have to punt, and we take about 40 yards away from field position. They are huge.

I'm not going to -- we just got to catch the ball. I tell you, you don't play defense because you can't catch, okay. You play defense because you're a great athlete. So no excuses there. Just got to catch the ball.

Q. You mentioned field position. Field position seemed to be a problem.
COACH ALLEN: It was. Especially in the first half and into the third. You know, we struggled. Their punter did a good job, and I thought we just -- you know, we didn't get enough first downs in key times in there to get the field flipped and I just still -- but I tell you, that wasn't really what -- the one time we got them on the 16, that's when we gave up the last touchdown in the fourth quarter. But yeah, that's a big deal. We talked about it all week long, how big that was going to be.

You know, just field position in a game like this, it proved to be true. Comes down to overtime.

Q. What did you say to J-Shun Harris before that big punt return --
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, I said, "Go score." I said, "Hey, let's get one. Let's house one," and he almost did. He's the reason why we got the chance to keep on playing. So great job by day Shaun. Great to have him back.

Q. What is it about Peyton that you're comfortable trusting him not just as the starter, but in a game like it against that defense, he had the ball in his hand so much.
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, well, you know, I tell you what, he's young and he made some mistakes. But he's everything I believed he would be. He's tough. He understands the game. He got some tough yards. He took some hits. He distributed the football. They are breathing down his neck all day long and he made some key throws.

You know, he'll keep getting better and better. I'm telling you, that's a nasty defense to play. It is. I'm going to give them credit. That's a great -- I know they struggled last week, but they turned it over, like, what, four or five times last week, or that game wouldn't even have been close to that score.

That's football. Everybody can say what they want about -- you know, they looked pretty good to me against Florida, and they have got a few athletes down there. That's a good football team we just played.

So I just thought Peyton did some great things and we've just got to keep working. He's our guy and we believe in him and the players do, too.

But anything that he has to work on, we'll get addressed and keep fighting together. I'm really, really proud of the way he competed.

Q. You seemed pretty animated after the interception got called back.
COACH ALLEN: Ya think?

Q. What did you see on --
COACH ALLEN: I saw a great defensive play with a great pick and we had the ball going that way. That's what I saw.

Q. What role (inaudible) -- is that something he's comfortable doing?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, he is. Yeah, you know, and where the ball was at, he kind of -- you had to get him on the move. We can't just sit back. They are bringing edge pressure. I mean, that's like suicide if you just drop back. But yeah, he can throw the ball moving to his left.

Q. On the on-side kick, what explanation did you get, because on replay, he didn't have one foot down?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, he did. He had a foot inbounds with the ball and he had it controlled. So they didn't see it that way.

Q. You've got a lot of film to watch, but just your initial impressions of what positive can you take out of this heading into this week?
COACH ALLEN: Yeah, you know, really, the positive is, we fought our tails off and we tied the game up, to go to overtime and had a chance to win and beat a top 20 team in the country. And I'm proud of our team for that.

But my heart breaks for these guys, because they have worked so hard and they believe so much, and they deserve the opportunity to come out with a win. And that's why I hurt for them.

But I'm proud of them. I'm proud of how hard they played. I'm proud of how they fought and how they finished. We've just got to find a way to make those plays.

Life isn't always about getting everything you want. It's about learning from, you know, coming up really close and creating a character and a resolve that will allow you to face any challenge that you come up against. We're building men here. Then we're going to win. See you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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