Penn State matchup provides Indiana with opportunity to take 'next step' as a program, head coach Tom Allen says
Indiana has a tough test to open the season, playing B1G powerhouse Penn State. Instead of viewing it as a colossal challenge in Week 1, though, Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen considers it an opportunity for his program.
Allen spoke via Zoom to reporters about the team’s upcoming contest against Penn State. Fresh off an 8-5 season, IU is looking to knock off a big-name program and prove it can compete at the highest level in the B1G.
For Allen, the game is an opportunity to earn a big victory as a program and beat a legitimate Top 25 football program, something the Hoosiers are not known for doing. He knows it is going to be no easy day fighting to get Penn State’s offense off of the field while marshaling drives of their own for points.
Here’s what Allen had to say, according to Jon Blau of The Herald-Times:
Tom Allen, on his first game-week Zoom call, says Penn State is "tremendously well-coached." Really respects their talent on the offensive and defensive lines. #iufb— Jon Blau (@Jon_Blau) October 19, 2020
Tom Allen says his team has talked a lot about trying to win top 25 games, which the program hasn't done much in recent memory.
"Obviously, playing a team like Penn State gives us an opportunity. What's next for our program is winning these games." #iufb— Jon Blau (@Jon_Blau) October 19, 2020
Tom Allen, on opening with a team like Penn State, says it feels similar to playing Ohio State in his first game officially as IU's head coach.— Jon Blau (@Jon_Blau) October 19, 2020
"There's no chance to get guys broken in from an incremental standpoint." #iufb
Tom Allen reminded of PSU's success on the ground last season, and IU's inability to get off the field.— Jon Blau (@Jon_Blau) October 19, 2020
"They are one of the best in the entire country in that position … so our guys have to meet that challenge head on. … That's where the game is won." #iufb
Indiana was close to spoiling Penn State’s season in 2019, coming up just short in a 34-27 loss to the Nittany Lions in State College.
With the Nittany Lions Week 1, there will be no opportunity to warm up against a lesser team from a weaker conference, the gauntlet begins immediately. The game is set to kick off from Memorial Stadium at 3:30 ET Saturday.