Indiana's Tom Allen Postgame @ Penn State 11/16/19
COURTESY OF PENN STATE ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
Q: What was the intent with the big punt and the guy taking through the sequence?
A: Yeah, it was supposed to, it wasn't. We had a true freshman made a mistake. So, Sean's [Wracher] had a great season. Awesome kid. As you noticed, Peyton [Ramsey] was surprised to get the ball, he wasn't supposed to so it's just a mistake. What do you say, you know, he was frustrated with himself. When he came off, he realized it. So it's just unfortunate, you know, pretty costly for sure. But, you know, he's done a great job, so he'll learn from it and it won’t happen again.
Q: Coach, tell us a little bit about the offense today. To simulate, every time they scored, you answered pretty well, you moved up the field pretty well all day.
A: Yeah, offense did some good things for sure. Peyton just tremendously, effective, tough, gritty. Seems like I say it all the time, don’t I? Well it’s what he is so. Got some big runs. Made some big throws. Brady to like I said, 20 years so get some big runs made some good throws. [Penn State] did some very very good defense, we played a good football team today. And we're a good football team too so it was back and forth, came down to the end. You know, our kids are tough: they compete, they fight, and we just got to keep getting better.
Q: Coach, on that last sequence going in where you ended kicking that field goal at third down, was there any thought of kicking it on first down?
A: We did. Matter of fact, I asked the question, “Well if we can score fast, we’d like to be able to get it.” Because it's obviously easier to score a touchdown when you’re that close. You’d like to be able to get the touchdown right away then you got 20 seconds or so. Then once the clock right inside of 20, we were like, “Okay, we got to kick it here.” But, initially we wanted to get it because then you get a chance to get the onside kick, and then kick a long field goal if you get a touchdown first. So you try to get touchdown first, but we couldn't get it so then we went and kicked a field goal. So, there's a perfect script for that, but we tried to follow as best we could.
Q: Don’t you need an explanation as to when Walk went down, they didn’t review that for targeting?
A: No, I don't understand that, but we have a protocol to follow for this and I'll follow up for sure. I did not agree.
Q: So, when you had an argument with them too about the punt?
A: Yeah, you just have to get away from it. When you decide not to feel it, you know you just got to get away, but you still want to put someone in that position. It was close for sure. I didn't think you test it.
Q: When you lose Whop Philyor, it’s the first time this season that the team’s really been without hii on offense. What was the immediate impact on the game?
A: Well I think first, you saw we had that one mistake right to start the half with twelve guys and that was David [Ellis] just not used to being in there as much so that would have been one outcome of that. And we had a couple of things like that wouldn't have happened if Whop was there. But, David did some good things out there and he's a talented player. Hopefully we get Whop back next week, but don't know about that yet. But the bottom line is Whop’s a great player, it hurts not having him. But, David Ellis is a talented player. He's his next man up behind him, so he'll make those plays, but it definitely hurts not having him.
Q: So with this team, I mean being on the side of one of these games, but not in a situation where you're constantly fighting to get to six where you're already well ahead of their ability. How do you address a game like this where maybe you still feel like one or two plays made differently, you could have found yourself in a different situation?
A: Yeah, to me, my approach after the game was I brought them all together and I was just very honest, you know, I was highly disappointed. We didn't not come here to be close. Some were just ticked off that we didn't get to finish for a variety of reasons and didn’t want to hear that talk to that locker room and they understood that, they were as upset as I was. It's a different feel, for sure. And we came here to win, and we battled them and their coaching staff is very respectful and they understood that and they recognize who we are and how we've changed over the last few years. We're day-by-day, step-by-step, we're building this thing, and the next step is winning these kind of games. You know, obviously [we’ve] never won here before, tough place to win, tough place to play, can't make a couple costly mistakes that hurt us. Those will come back to bite you in games like this but bottom line is that it was a tough hard fought battle to the bitter end. And that's where we are in our program right now playing a top-10 team to the wire, and that's what needs to be.
Q: Is there any sort of affirmation in Michigan State this game and Ohio State to three losses on the road games?
A: I just think it, you know, if you don't see it, I think you're not paying much attention. I think there's no doubt. Get on the road and those are tough places to play and, and we're right there. That’s to me, you talk about the progress you go through and how you build a program. This season we won games in the past that we've not been able to finish on against other teams and now we're playing highly-ranked teams and right there with them as well. It doesn't have the same feel to me. I feel like we are just battling in football games right now against really good teams, one of the best teams in the country. I just feel like it's just a matter of how you build this thing so we just we learn from it, we evaluate the film, and make the corrections you need to make and get ready for tough Michigan team this week.
Q: You had to use a couple of time-outs in the second, probably a lot more than you wanted to.
A: Yeah, didn’t want to. Yeah, the one was on defense and what happened was it came to third down and they came out in a different formation and we had a call on for a certain formation look and then I just, you know, I've learned from the past. If you want to get off the field, sometimes you just got to timeout even though I don't want to burn it. You know, it's better than having a call you don't want and then giving up first down that changes the game so bottom line was we chose to use it. Wish we could have it back but you know it kind of goes back to the whole thing with losing Whop and not having the personnel always be the same. But, I like to keep at least two going into the final quarter.
Q: Penn State had the ball for, I think, nine minutes on that last drive. We talk about having finishing games and why, if they were so difficult, did Peyton get off the field.
A: Well couple of those were conversions on fourth downs and get the third down. The thing that I kind of saw the more I watched the film was just the quarterback kind of scrambling on us. You know when we had the pressure, we recovered several times. There’s a couple of factors: number one, he's a good player. And he beats you with his legs and number two, their offensive line is a lot better. That to me is the biggest difference of this football team that I noticed watching film. I mentioned this several times before, they're able to stay on our guys and they’re just better, you know, and they've improved a lot in that area I think. So we had guys close to them and then the quarterback would step up and for me that was kind of the biggest issue. We had gotten a lot of third downs and several third longs we just couldn't get off the field, which is a frustrating situation. So it's kind of where you just say okay, you got to continue now to keep closing the gap, and now you’re trying to close the gap on a top-10 team in the country and find a way to beat them at their place and find a way to make those plays in those critical situations against really good football players. So that's where we find ourselves right now and that's the next hurdle.
Q: I know you said you the snap wasn't supposed to happen, but if you had gotten the right look there?
A: Yeah, we've worked on that a bunch and so we have them call, we check it, we do everything. I mean, it just wasn't there but it was just one of those things where, like I said, there was just complete shock and surprise but everybody that would that it was snapped the way it was so it was just a mistake.
Q: Coach, there were two illegal substitution penalties on your team today including the first play after halftime, was there some sort of miscommunication there or what happened?
A: Yeah, I think someone already asked about that. You know, Dave [Ellis] was in there, you know, because of what he had heard and wasn’t supposed to be in there on that personnel grouping. Then on the other, we had a miscommunication with our signal from the sideline for the personnel group. They're both personnel grouping issues with our offense and so I mean we don't usually do that, haven't had problems with that in the past, but I think with having Whop out, it just kind of threw our guys off a little bit maybe, but we just can't have those happen. Not in a game like this.