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NOTES: IU begins preparation for Ole Miss; postseason honors for Allen, McFadden

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Start the countdown: 12 days until kickoff in Tampa

Indiana v Michigan State Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

For the first time in three weeks, Indiana is ready to go through a full week of practice.

After halting team activities on Dec. 8 — three days after playing what turned out to be their regular season finale — the Hoosiers are getting back to work. IU coach Tom Allen says his program has been cleared to return to full team practices this week, giving Indiana two normal weeks of training to prepare for its Outback Bowl matchup against Ole Miss on Jan. 2.

“We’ll have the time to get ready,” Allen said.

The practice fields outside Memorial Stadium have been mostly quiet since Indiana returned from its win at Wisconsin on Dec. 5. IU’s COVID-19 concerns began to sprout while the team was in Madison, and the program entered into a pause early the next week. Since then, IU players have only been able to work out in cohorts.

Although the temporary shutdown cost the Hoosiers two weeks of games, there was a football-related positive to come from it.

“That gave us a chance to get some guys who were dinged up, get those guys healthy,” Allen said. “The guys that tested positive should all be back (for the bowl game).”

Allen a finalist for Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

After guiding Indiana to one of the best seasons in program history, Tom Allen is compiling an impressive list of postseason honors. During the past few weeks, Allen has received the Big Ten’s Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches vote) and Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media vote) awards to go along with the American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year trophy he recently took home, too.

Soon, he may add another honor to the list.

The Football Writers Associated of America announced on Monday that Allen is one of nine finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Allen is IU’s first finalist since John Pont won it in 1967.

Allen is included in a group of coaches that includes San Jose State’s Brent Brennan, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell, Colorado’s Karl Dorrell, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Alabama’s Nick Saban, BYU’s Kalani Sitake, and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

McFadden earns All-America honorable mention recognition

Pro Football Focus named Indiana middle linebacker Micah McFadden to its list of All-America honorable mention selections, the publication announced Monday.

McFadden leads Indiana with 52 tackles, 39 solo stops, five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss to go along with two interceptions and three quarterback hurries.