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Indiana football vs. Penn State: Tom Allen postgame press conference highlights

Here’s what the Hoosiers’ head coach said following the loss.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Indiana Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana football head coach Tom Allen addressed the media following the Hoosiers’ 45-14 loss to Penn State at Memorial Stadium.

Here’s what he had to say:

Q: On Connor Bazelak, Jack Tuttle starting and flipping from Brendan Sorsby to Dexter Williams

Allen: “ Yeah, Connor is dinged up, so obviously he wasn’t dressed. But felt like Jack is our next guy. Did some good things. Obviously got injured, so trying to figure out the final diagnosis for him. But we have two young quarterbacks in Dexter and Brendan, so to me those guys are very, very similar. So didn’t really have a plan to use a lot of those guys today. Obviously with Jack going down, that created that. They’re very equal. I think they both have a lot of talent. I think Dexter did some really good things. There’s no doubt about it. But both good quarterbacks and guys that I think will be a big part of our future. That’s kind of where we’re at, and we should get Connor back next week.”

Q: On Indiana’s defense, tackles and tackles for loss

Allen: “Yeah, you know, I think it’s about us trying to — those negative plays, the tackles for loss, the penetration. You have to have that up front. It starts with our defensive line, just trying to manufacture those as best we can. I know that it’s something that we focus on a lot and something we’ve always been really good at. It’s been a trademark for what we do here. So trying to create negative plays, whether it’s sacks, tackles for loss, and those lead to take-aways too. So I think it all kind of goes together and fits together. So still continuing to try to find answers for that. It is something that we spend a lot of time working on and taking a lot of pride in. Yeah, you’re right. It wasn’t quite what it needed to be a year ago, and this year we haven’t done a good job of getting it fixed. That has to be a big part of who we are because you get people on the negative side of their drives and the first downs, negative plays. Those TFLs you are talking about affects third down and gets us in better situations for that whether it’s third and five or third and eight and nine. Even some of the third downs were very close. Just try to get balls out. I thought, like, one of our pressures, you know, our husky got blocked off the edge and didn’t keep the edge. And Lance Bryant is chasing from the inside-out, and it would have been a sack if he stays on the outside. That situation there is executing the call properly and staying outside and leveraging the quarterback. We just have to continue to develop our guys and recruit players that can be explosive and violent and create those negative plays because obviously it’s a big part of it.”

Q: On Brendan Sorsby and Dexter Williams

Allen: “So I would say this. Those guys are very, very — they’re both young. They’re both talented guys. We probably see more of Dexter than we have of Brendan for sure. I think both of them have bright, bright futures. So to me it’s just — there’s really not a — I think they’re very close. There’s no doubt about it. I actually thought today Dexter played better, so made more plays. You don’t know until you play them, right? To me they’re both very equal. There’s no doubt Dexter has been here longer. At the same time moving forward to me it’s just those guys are going to be battling it out without a question. I liked what I saw from Dexter, to be quite frank with you. I think just the consistency of making throws. Obviously the pick was not a good decision. So we have to eliminate those. Obviously, Brendan threw a pick. A little bit different, but at the same time you would like to be able to have both those guys be developed in our program and continue to compete because I think they have both really have a bright future.”

Q: On the offense tonight

Allen: “Well, I think the bottom line is no matter how much time you have or don’t have, you have to execute. I feel like it’s really difficult up front not being able to give our backs a chance to get seams to run through and the quarterbacks time to throw. That to me is really the bottom line. I think we have to really focus on getting ourselves continuing to work to get better there because it’s not good enough, and it’s killing us right now. It’s making it very, very difficult for our offense. I don’t care who the quarterback is or who the running back is. There’s no doubt. We played a team I think that has a lot of good players, and they do a lot of good things defensively, so you knew it was going to be a challenge without question. Especially if you get behind the sticks and behind your schedule on offense, which happens too many times. I felt like it was first downs that really kind of hurt us more than anything tonight. But yeah, to me it’s a frustrating thing. In order to move the football, just have to start up front. And we have to do a better job in that area for sure, and I don’t feel making changes as much as possible and got to keep working on that. That to me, like I said, there’s no magic scheme. You have to block them up front. When you block them up front, then everything works a whole lot better. It’s about getting our playmakers the football and letting us have a chance on offense. I’m excited about these young quarterbacks, but at the same time we have to get better up front so we can highlight those guys and let them do what they do.”