Penn State football head coach James Franklin spoke about Indiana and head coach Tom Allen in his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Here’s what Franklin had to say:
Q: You mentioned Tom Allen as the play caller for Indiana. What does he do from a defensive structure that challenges teams? Seems like during his team at Indiana he’s been a very tough out for a lot of teams in the Big10.
Franklin: “Yeah, I think this is like one of the first years he’s gone back to doing it, but I think obviously defensive coordinators and people with similar philosophies and things like that, he’s like a lot of defensive coordinators. It is very important for him to make you one dimensional and stop the run. He’s going to use as many resources as he has to to stop the run. Whether that’s in recruiting, whether that’s in scheme, numbers in the box, whether that’s angling or slanting or stunting or however you want to describe it, dropping safeties down the box like we used to do with Marcus Allen who actually sent me an autographed jersey yesterday, which was really cool. Super proud of him. A lot of different ways to do it, right? He’s committed to doing it and making you one dimensional. When you study all the analytics, that comes true over and over again. Not only this year, but really his career to your point. Really shows up on short yardage situations. Third and fourth down short yardage situations. And then they do some good things coverage-wise where they probably have a little bit more diversity coverage-wise through scheme to try to make up for the commitment that they’re make to go stop the run, to try to force you into some bad decisions through scheme. So like just like we have faced over my time here those coverages can cause you problems and create some opportunities, but there is weakness in every coverage as well, and hopefully you have the right play call at the right time and the quarterback is seeing it the same you are. It will be a challenge. Be interesting to see how it thing plays out.”
Indiana’s defense is tied with Nebraska in last place in the Big Ten in points per game, allowing 30.6. The Hoosiers are 12th in the conference in yards allowed per game, just above Michigan State and Nebraska, with 414.8.
Franklin made sure to mention cornerback Jaylin Williams, bull Alfred Bryant, linebacker Aaron Casey and cornerback Tiawan Mullen (“seems like he’s been playing there forever.”).
Here’s what Franklin had to say about Indiana’s offensive and coordinator Walt Bell:
Franklin: “Offensive coordinator, Walt Bell. I know Walt from his time at the head coach at UMass, as well as the offensive coordinator at Florida State and Maryland. High tempo offense, maybe the fastest offense in the country when it comes to tempo. Guys that we’re impressed with is the Auburn transfer at running back, Shaun Shivers, who we’re familiar with. The running back that is giving them juice right now, Jaylin Lucas as both a return man and running back. The quarterback, Connor Bazelak, who is also a transfer, and then a receiver that we’re familiar with Emery Simmons, is also a transfer.”