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November 24, 2018

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Purdue - 28, Indiana - 21

TOM ALLEN: Just left a really hurting and disappointed locker room. A lot of tears, a lot invested by our seniors, a lot invested by our players and coaches. Just not the result we wanted.

But as I just told our men, young men, if you did everything in your power to prepare yourself to play your best during this week, and you played your heart out for 60 minutes, you got nothing to be ashamed of. But if you didn't, you know that, can't change the past.

It's about growing a young team. It's about appreciating the seniors and what they've given, what they've been through here, playing for a couple coaches, buying into everything we've asked them to do. The way they've worked, the way they've invested in this program, not the outcome that any of us wanted. That hurts because it's a special group of guys that I really wanted this win for for a lot of different reasons.

Just didn't create enough explosive plays in my mind offensively. At the end there we needed to stop the run. We were down by seven, trying to get off the field there, critical drive that really cost us. Didn't create enough takeaways. That kind of sticks out to me in the summary of the game.

But kids played hard. Just really disappointed.


Q. You mentioned not enough explosive plays offensively. I think it was probably around half a dozen times in their end, only seven points for most of the game. What were some of the issues offensively?
TOM ALLEN: They were stirring some things up. Different looks. Just we got pressure at times that didn't help us. Just didn't finish drives. We had more yards than they did, but that really don't matter. It's about points.

It's just a matter of finishing those drives and being able to keep our pocket clean, get the ball down the field, still continue the run the ball in that situation. Obviously you always have to do that.

I just felt it seemed like we got too much pressure on us in those situations. Go back and watch the film. Just from watching it live, that seemed to get us. We got some second- and third-and-longs in there quickly. That makes it tough to convert. They're dropping eight. That makes it tough to be able to get.

We had several of those fourth downs. No man's land, you can't really punt. The field goal is into the wind there at the end. Makes it tough. Already missed one into the wind.

Yeah, I think more than anything we just didn't get a clean pocket so we could get the ball thrown down the field.

Q. How would you grade your team's sense of urgency during the game today?
TOM ALLEN: I felt like our kids understood what was at stake. We came right out of the gate, got a stop, forced them to punt. Wanted to see us go down and score, get ourselves in front.

But, yeah, I just feel like, to me, I think when you go through as a team, you see where you are, a lot of times in games like this, sometimes your weaknesses get exposed a little bit, inability to do certain things makes it hard.

I feel like we got to take the ball from them. Got to get better. Certain positions got to grow, mature, execute better. I felt like those kind of things kind of showed up today. Not enough explosive plays on offense, create touchdowns. That's what you have to have, you got to score touchdowns.

I think our guys worked hard this week. Very focused practices, good energy. Just had a couple costly mistakes, penalties. We had six total, but two I thought were really untimely and really hurt us.

Q. The penalties, is there a way to diagnose the timing of some of them? It's not just penalties, but penalties cut off big gains offensively or extend a drive defensively.
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, there were two particular defensively. The one was huge. We were off the field. They're kicking long field goal, going for it on fourth down. Long ways to go. Gave them a first down on roughing the passer. To me, that's undisciplined. They just can't be.

The other one with Devon Matthews, I was shocked he was the guy that got called. I don't know what he did. Immature mistake. One of our best kids in terms of doing everything we ask, the way he handles his business. That was costly to me.

It wasn't the number of them, it was the timing of them. We had them throughout the season at critical times. Not be able to overcome those has been the problem. When they set you back offensively, you get behind the chains, that high-low block was a really costly one field position-wise, taking you back 15 yards. Not able to overcome those when they do occur.

Q. Explosive plays and finishing drives, those were kind of consistent issues for you all year. How do you fix that? Personnel, scheme?
TOM ALLEN: You go back and look at scheme, evaluate that in the off-season. To me, you continue to develop your down-the-field passing game with the quarterback position making those throws, the receivers getting open and contesting those balls, taking those shots, making those big plays.

To me, it's about continuing to work on our vertical down-the-field pass game with our quarterbacks. That's a big part of it.

Q. You have done that more as the season went on. Seems like almost all your deep throws are outside the numbers. Is trying to get more post patterns, using the middle of the field the next step for you in the passing game?
TOM ALLEN: There's no question. You go through and evaluate, you look and see, Where are the areas we got to take advantage of now to be able to create the one-on-one matchups that you're trying to get to, be able to take advantage of the safeties being involved in the run game, to be able to get the ball deep down the middle or on the perimeter, to evaluate how we can do a better job of that.

To me, that's such a huge part. Turnover ratio, explosive play ratio, those two things determine your success on game day. That's the whole objective of what we're trying to do.

Q. You didn't have Whop, a guy who showed the ability to stretch the defense, especially down the middle. How much did that hurt? Purdue scored five fewer points than its average. Would you have taken that coming in?
TOM ALLEN: I thought it would be enough to win, I did. I knew they were going to get some points. They're an explosive offense, have done it against about everybody. Yeah, I would have thought that would be what we needed to do.

But still, you got to get more than they do. We didn't. Defensively we had our chances to get some key stops and weren't able to step up and get those.

It's just about to me growing the leadership of our team and guys that rise up and have that swag about them, have that confidence about them to take games over. We got to get to that point defensively, have guys step up in those roles, take games over as a defensive unit.

Going to really work hard to develop that this off-season because we got a lot of really talented young guys. They got to grow, mature. To me, that's what happens when you get in games like this, you have to have somebody rise up and be the guy that takes over, verbally, physically, making plays on the sideline, locker room, halftime, instead of it always being the coaches. We got to grow that with the defensive side of the football, for sure. Even as a team.

I just think that, yeah, we played a good football team that's been a very, very dangerous offense the entire season. Their issues were just not being able to -- we got out-scored. That's why we felt like we could do that today, and it didn't happen.

Q. You alluded to overcoming your weaknesses. What are your most glaring weaknesses you have to get over?
TOM ALLEN: I think to me, first of all, up front defensively. We have to be able to be more disruptive and do a better job of stopping the run within that core group of guys, then being able to create pressure with that core group of guys. Big-body guys that can be firm in the interior, then win your gaps, be able to create pressure.

We did a good job of getting some pressure today with those three and four guys we were rushing. I think to continue to grow a young secondary is critical. They got to play better throughout the season.

I think we continue offensively. When you talk about the explosive play department, we got to be able to address that, continue to develop the guys we got.

We went through and identified our top, most explosive players on offense coming out of fall camp, probably three weeks into fall camp. Top three guys really didn't play most of the whole season, if not at all. Guy like Whop, even though he hasn't been back here lately, got hurt against Michigan State, hasn't been healthy since. A huge part of our offense. Got to be able to continue to recruit, where if you lose a guy like that it's not so devastating of a loss. Right now there's not a guy that's like him that takes the guy's place.

Other guys in the runningback room that do things. Obviously Stevie showed up and did some awesome things this year. But to me, it's just continue to develop that part of our game. Then also the run game has to just continue to grow and develop. That to me is a constant thing.

Today the weather was fine, but last couple weeks it's been very, very cold. You got to run the football. Keep growing the offensive line, developing them, get strong, replacing the guys that graduated, move forward.

To me up front is a big deal. Then explosive plays on offense, our secondary ability to cover guys. No. 4 today is a difficult matchup. Can't double cover him every single snap. When we didn't, he won some one-on-ones. Double cover him, weakens other areas. Couple times one-on-ones is when he made his big plays.

Just a matter of continuing another whole off-season, full spring, summer, fall camp to continue to grow our guys and develop them, keep getting the results that we want.

Q. You yourself have shown the ability and willingness to change your approach, shape yourself as a coach based on what the team needs. How does this year shape you as a coach going forward? Have you thought about putting defensive coordinator responsibilities on someone else and taking more of a head coaching job moving forward?
TOM ALLEN: Definitely something I've been thinking about because of all the responsibilities that fall into this position. Now that I've done it for a couple years, feel like I understand the time demands. There's no questions about it, as I've talked about, even last year saying there's going to come a time when I need to do that so I can be the head coach of the team.

A big part of that is recruiting, the amount of film and time it takes to be the head coach and the DC is really, really changing. The amount of film you have to watch during a game week.

I think, yeah, as I continue to grow as a head coach, to be able to coach the coaches, coach the players, be able to be involved in all three phases, there's no question that's something that I'm thinking about, for sure.

Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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