Call me crazy, but I think the Indiana defense might be on to something.

Before you drop the strength of schedule argument, consider a few things. For starters, this defense allowed 32 points per game to the likes of Southern Illinois, FIU, Western Kentucky and Wake Forest last year. The strength of schedule argument doesn’t really apply to Indiana because frankly, the Hoosiers haven’t stopped anyone in recent memory.

But on Saturday, they turned in their second straight solid defensive effort. The Hoosier defense turned in another above-average effort. Regardless of the final score, IU didn’t allow an offensive touchdown until the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Inside Indiana’s Alex McCarthy dropped quite the revealing stat. When Ball State finally got on the board with a field goal in the third quarter, it completed a streak of 56 minutes and 31 seconds dating back to the FIU game that the Hoosiers didn’t allow a point.

It was the first time that IU held an opponent scoreless in a half in four years.

This group allowed 47 points to FCS Southern Illinois last year. Even Purdue put up 36 against the Hoosiers last year. To say that IU’s defense was porous in 2015 would be putting it lightly.

There was nothing porous about IU on Saturday. Allen’s group just looks different. They aren’t on their heels, they group-tackle and they always seem to be in the right place.

You heard all week about their pick-sixes fueling the win at FIU. Pick-sixes from Rashard Fant and Tegray Scales put an exclamation point on Allen’s coming out party. It was still FIU, and it was still IU.

But Saturday solidified that at the very least, IU can handle itself on both sides of the ball against inferior competition.

Keep in mind, this was a Ball State team that beat Indiana three straight times. They averaged 37 points per contest in those games. The question shifted from “will IU end an embarrassing skid?” to “will Ball State score a touchdown?”

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That’s a credit to Allen. The 4-2-5 has looked every bit as advertised. IU fans have grown tired of the same offseason narrative.

“This is the year we finally pick up the slack on defense.”

You know what? Maybe this actually IS the year. The Hoosiers don’t have one guy making all the tackles, they don’t look like a “bend-don’t-break” defense. They really haven’t bent much so far with Allen.

Nobody is saying that the Hoosiers are about to become Alabama’s defense. They don’t have to. This offense is good enough where IU can be mediocre on defense and still win eight games.

They might build dual statues for Allen and Kevin Wilson if that happens.

Jokes aside, this group has the ability to do something we haven’t seen in the Wilson era. IU might be able to win a game that isn’t a shootout.

Crazy thought, right?