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September 14, 2019

Tom Allen

Bloomington, Indiana

Ohio State - 51, Indiana - 10

TOM ALLEN: Well, rough day for the Hoosiers. Very disappointed in how we performed. But I stand before you, take responsibility for how our team takes the field and plays each and every week, and it wasn't good enough. In my mind we have established a standard how we're going to play on both sides of the football and on special teams and in all three phases weren't good enough today. Nothing but respect for the Buckeyes and their staff and their team. They're an excellent football team, and they played at a high level today, and we didn't match it. Therefore you get the result that you got. We've got to evaluate the film and learn what we can learn from this, flush it, press on.


Q. Coach, as much as you talked about the missed tackles and such, the emphasis on that, you had a whole bunch more of that today. That had to be a disappointment for you?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, major disappointment, probably the biggest. There were several, but that one might be the leader of the pack. So just continue to -- I want to just really go back and find out exactly in this game who and how and get some answers on that because to me that's where it all starts. The bottom line is you have to run the ball on offense and stop the run on defense, and we didn't do either one of those today, and when you don't, you make it really, really difficult. Some of those were because of missed tackles. So yeah, it's just we've got to keep working on it. I know we've got a lot of young guys on defense, but those young guys are a year older than they were a year ago and they've got to rise up and tackle those big strong backs like they had today. Just very, very disappointing.

Q. I know you're just going to get into kind of breaking down the tape after we're done here, but what's in your mind the right way to tackle what went wrong this weekend and flush it quickly?
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, just to me, you've got to -- when you go through and you look at it, and once again, it goes back to last time after watching the film, we felt like it was due to lack of violent wrapping and leg drive, and so that was the whole emphasis all week with that issue that we were dealing with there, so I'll go through here and -- a lot of times, too, it's getting in position. If you're not in the right position against an elite running back like they have, then that's usually what happens is you get -- you start -- you bend at the waist, you're not able to sink your hips and you can't get the wrap that you want, and then you get -- they spin out or whatever and they miss them. Just being able to -- it's getting guys to the ball. Sometimes the first guy hits him and the second guy is there and bam, bam, bam. And their tempo had something to do with it, too. They go really, really fast. They do a great job with that, and they always do. It's just one of those things where today it really kind of mounted for us.

But now we're going to -- I'm not going to -- the first thing I'm going to do when we get done here is watching the film and figure out the tackling piece. Takeaways, tackling and effort, that's what we install every day on our defense, so that's the primary focus for me.

Q. At this point in time, when do you expect Michael Penix to be back at quarterback?
TOM ALLEN: I don't really know. I don't think it's going to be long-term, so we'd like to get him back as soon as possible, and he'll be rehabbing and getting himself squared away the rest of the today and tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday, and we'll see what next week, how that unfolds. But I think it's kind of a week-to-week thing at this point. That's my expectation for him in that regard.

But yeah, he's got to just do everything he can do and then we'll see where he is each week. But it'll be a weekly evaluation.

Q. I know the running game goes along with passing, but three games in, is the run game lack of production becoming more of a concern?
TOM ALLEN: It is for me, yeah. It's not good enough. And I said it, and so we've got to sit there and watch it again and evaluate. I know they had a lot to do with that today. But at the same time, yeah, it's not good enough. Three games in you've got a chance to get a pretty decent test case on where you're at, and it's got to be more effective, there's no doubt about it. It starts up front, ends up front.

Q. You've kind of used the same words to describe Big Ten games and you tend to hear (indiscernible). When the results don't materialize on the field, how do you keep going (indiscernible)?
TOM ALLEN: Well, you know, that's where grit comes in, and that's why that wasn't just our word for this week, it's our word for the whole season. It's perseverance and passion towards the long-term goal. And I feel like I have a pretty good perspective on this program, where this program has been and where we're trying to get this program. And so to me, losses like this obviously are very disappointing, but I have a big picture view. We're trying to build a long-term program, and I understand the team we just played, there's about eight teams in this country that look like those guys do, and I've coached in two of the conferences that have most of those teams in them, and I can say with eyewitness eyes that that's one of them.

And so you just have to understand when you're trying to do something, it takes a lot of grit because you get criticized, you get all these things, and rightly so. It's part of the deal. But the bottom line is when you believe in what you're doing and you understand that there's going to be all these arrows and all these things that come at you, but you're not deterred, and you don't let that stuff sidetrack you, and you go back and you honestly evaluate and you make changes when you need to make changes.

But the fight and just the internal fire that you have that makes you keep going, that never stops. It never changes, never goes away. And if you want to be special in this life in any line of work, you've got to have grit. You have to have that fight. But you also have to have the ability to make adjustments.

So to me it's making those adjustments that you need to make, and it's continuing to fight. You play a team like this, and there's no question -- every time we've played them, even though we've had chances where we're closer with them, there's always the feeling that they can just (explosion sound) on you at any second because of the volume of what they possess. I've felt that every time we go against them. But you just have to keep fighting, and that's really -- to me that's the bottom line.

There's a determination that you have to have, and you have to be laser focused, and you have to be an individual in a program that isn't deterred by setbacks because they're going to come, and one just hit us right in the face today, so how are you going to respond. That's what I just challenged our team. We're going to find out the character of our program and where we stand right now. I said today was going to show us a lot. Well, you know what, it wasn't in the way that I wanted, but we're still going to find out some things about the Hoosiers. Good question, though.

Q. When did you inform Peyton he was starting, and how would you evaluate his performance?
TOM ALLEN: You know, I thought he was very gritty. He didn't get a lot of time to throw at times, but he fought and clawed and scratched, and obviously we go through the process of letting him know when things may or may not happen, so we wanted to see how Michael was able to go and if he could throw the ball and feel good about whatever he was doing, whether he was planting, all those things he wants to do as a quarterback. But we let him know when he was going to be the guy, and he responded.

He did everything we asked him to do. We've just got to -- bottom line is we've got to protect him better.

Q. What did you see out of him today that was positive, and what should he work on?
TOM ALLEN: You know, the bottom line is being able to get the football down the field. The windows are always tight against these guys and the way that they play, so I thought he did a good job distributing the football. It's hard for me to tell right now going through the read progressions and all the things, the adjustments and the checking the fronts and all that. I'll be able to get that from the film. We'll evaluate that. But I thought he did a good job of that.

And he understands our offense even though he hasn't run it a lot because it is a new system. But he's smart, and even though he hasn't been the starter the first two weeks, he's been ready to be the guy at a moment's notice regarding the game plan, so I feel like he did a good job running in that regard, I just felt like he didn't have a lot of time to be able to function effectively. You talk about affecting the quarterback, that's the number one goal of the defense is to affect the quarterback, not give him time to get his feet set and get his eyes right and let him know where he needs to take the football.

Q. One of the things that you talk about with Michael all this time was his ability to throw the deep ball and you guys still tried to do that today, just about every series early and just didn't connect.
TOM ALLEN: Yeah, so there's a lot of different things with that. I think Michael does a really good job -- that's one of his strengths, and that's something that you need to be able to create some of those chunk plays against these -- you're not going to be able to systematically move the chains 75, 80 yards against this kind of a team. You need to get those chunk plays to be able to create that momentum and also get you down the field.

What I just -- that really kind of comes to me, we had the chance right before the blocked punt. It was a 3rd down and just need to get that completion, could have been called interference, it wasn't, but it was close, and then we get that -- so that was kind of a really critical missed opportunity with the deep ball that I thought really could have changed some things, how the game kind of felt at that moment.

But yeah, to me we need to be able to do that, so we've got to get him enough time to get the ball down the field, and that's something that I know makes us a better offense when we can.

Q. Not a good day for special teams --
TOM ALLEN: No, terrible.

Q. A missed assignment on the block --
TOM ALLEN: So basically one of our guys in the shield blocked the interior guy in the A-gap and wasn't supposed to and let his guy go. And to me, blocked punts are just -- they just make me sick because you don't win many game when you get a punt blocked. You can go back and look at the history; very rare that that happens. So a huge mistake by our special teams unit, and then he got flustered and then he shanked the next punt, which was not like him.

So just really frustrated with those -- you get a punt blocked, that's like a cardinal sin in special teams play, so I'm going to be ticked about that one for a while, but once again, I'm responsible for everything. So we've got to make sure that never happens again. Those are big.

And our special teams have been good the first two weeks. They've got to be big every week. They just can't be most of the time, it's got to be all the time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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