For the first time as a permanent head coach at Indiana, Tom Allen is heading to a bowl game. After leading the Hoosiers to an 8-4 season, the program’s best year in 25 seasons, IU landed a spot in the Gator Bowl where it will play SEC foe Tennessee.

During his Gator Bowl press conference, Allen talked about what he saw from Tennessee on film. Though the Volunteers started out the season on rocky ground, losing to Georgia State at home in the opener and beginning 2-5, the team responded, closing the year on a five-game winning streak.

Allen says he’s impressed with what he’s seen in 2019 from the Vols.

“It’s a typical SEC team,” Allen said. “Very impressed with them physically, a lot of athleticism. The thing about them, you kind of look and they’re really playing their best football. They won their last five games, have kind of stopped turning the ball over, which we all know how big that is. And once they started doing that, it really allowed them to be successful. So Coach Pruitt’s done a really good job with this team. And I know they ended the season with a lot of high expectations and maybe had a couple early on that didn’t go the way they wanted to, but they learned from those and they’re playing really well right now, so it’s a really good football team we’re about to play.”

Since a 35-13 loss to Alabama on Oct. 19, Tennessee rattled off five-straight wins, defeating South Carolina, UAB, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt. No team scored more than 21 points on the Volunteers defense during that stretch.

Indiana started off the year 7-2 before dropping two of its final three contests. The Hoosiers did end the year on the right foot, defeating Purdue 44-41 in overtime to reclaim the Old Oaken Bucket.

The Gator Bowl is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 2. It will be the only bowl game played that day.