Tom Allen shares insight into thought process, final play call vs. Penn State
The one game Big Ten football fans are still talking about two days later is Indiana-Penn State.
This was an all-timer in Bloomington. After the Nittany Lions bungled their final drive of regulation it gave Indiana enough time to tie the game and send it to overtime.
But the memorable moment will forever be Hoosier quarterback Michael Penix Jr. reaching out and converting the two-point conversion to give Indiana the 36-35 win in dramatic fashion.
That final play has garnered so much discussion. It starts with Indiana head coach Tom Allen making the decision to go for the win and trying the two-point conversion while trailing 35-34 in overtime. Following that decision, Allen joined Marty Smith on his podcast “Marty Smith’s America” to discuss the crazy game and his decision.
— Marty Smith (@MartySmithESPN) October 26, 2020
As you can see in the tweet, Allen had no doubts about going for two. He was instructing his coaches with that in mind:
“I made my mind up, and I told our coaches: When we score, get a two-point play ready,” Allen said on the podcast.
Allen did a deep dive into how this all came to fruition while talking with Smith:
“We called a timeout only just to get a chance to make sure we had everything that we wanted,” Allen said. “But there was no discussion at that point, and I went to every guy and said, ‘We’re going to win this thing. We’re going to win this thing.’
“We’ve got the ball at the three-yard line. Let’s finish.”
Indiana did that as Penix rolled out and started to run. According to Allen, it was not a designed run for Penix but “it’s always a possibility when you leave the ball in his hands.”
As Penix dove toward the end zone, he reached out and looked to have brushed the pylon to convert and give Indiana the win. Depending on who you ask, Penix did make the goal line. Others may disagree.
Regardless of how you feel, Indiana came away with the win and Allen’s decision-making paid off.