Here's What Tom Allen Said on Thursday in Final Media Session Before Game With Cincinnati

Indiana coach Tom Allen talked about the health status of safety Devon Matthews, the improved play of the offensive line and how excited he is to see a sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium in Saturday.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana coach Tom Allen met with the media on Thursday morning after practice, answering questions for the final time before the Hoosiers' huge game with No. 8 Cincinnati on Saturday.

Here are the highlights of what he had to say:

-- On safety Devon Matthews' status:

"It's definitely very promising in regards to his rehab and development with that. We still don't know about Saturday, but we've been very encouraged with. the week that he's had.''

-- On Miles Marshall's role with the offense:

"Even though he hasn't had a lot of catches, he's been doing the little things that don't show up in the stat book, and that's a tribute to him for his work ethic and his attention to detail. When you do things the right wayh consistently, the ball is going to come your way.''

-- On what the sellout crowd means to him:

"Obviously we are very excited about it and very excited about the response of our fans. Selling the stadium out is an awesome thing and I know it is a big deal to our players. They are looking forward to it and it definitely ads to the energy in the stadium.

"You can definitely feel it, our players can feel it and at critical times in the game it is going to be huge — critical third downs when our defense is on the field and their offense is on the field and being able to gain an advantage there. Just the energy pushes you through adversity and allows you to gain momentum. Football is a game of momentum and crowds can be a huge part of that. We are very excited to have a home field advantage on Saturday.''

— On the Cincinnati defense...

"They have a lot of experienced players, a lot of juniors and seniors ... the defense end is special, they have two cornerbacks that both I think are really elite and very talented. When you think about the defensive end position and the cornerback position, those are two position puts a lot of value on because those affect your quarterback. They make challenging. 

"They put a lot of pressure on you and do a lot of different things. They have an excellent defense and are well coached. [Head] Coach [Luke]a Fickell is a defensive guy, and it shows in how hard they play, how physical they play and the fundamentals and technique and how well they tackle. You are going to have to be on point. They have impressive personnel. I know they are not in a Power 5 conference yet, but they have Power 5 personnel. We feel like it is just like playing a Big Ten football team.''

— On why D.J. Matthews was an important addition in the offseason:

"When he made the decision to put himself in the portal, he is a guy we have known before, and I have a strong relationship with his high school coach. Being able to know the kind of young man he was, even though we had not coached him here before, we knew a lot of that information. Then, just talking to him throughout that process, we thought he was a really good fit for us and the things he was looking for and the things that it presented to him as far as position and what we needed offensively. 

"We were excited once he made that decision and ever since he has been here he has been great. He has worked extremely hard, has a tremendous attitude and has a great smile. We are really excited he chose to become an Indiana Hoosier and are excited about the way he has developed so far. I believe his best football is ahead of him within our program. I am excited to see us get him the football and see him make plays like you saw this past Saturday. He is a special guy. A special person and a special player. I am looking forward to him being able to get a groove with Michael [Penix Jr.] and our offense and see him make plays.''

Tom Allen Thursday (Sept. 16) video interview

  • PARKING LOTS, STADIUM GATES OPENING EARLY: To better accommodate the sell-out crowd for Saturday's at Memorial Stadium, Indiana is opening the parking lots and stadium gates earlier than usual to better handle 50,000-plus fans. CLICK HERE
  • CINCINNATI CHASING RARE PLAYOFF SPOT: Luke Fickell has done a tremendous job at Cincinnati the past four-plus year, and the Bearcats are looking to be the first non Power 5 team to make the College Football Playoff. Big nonconference games like Indiana and Notre Dame give them a chance to make some noise. CLICK HERE
  • UPDATED BIG TEN POINT SPREADS: Here are the updated point spreads for the 11 Big Ten games this weekend, five of which are against nonconference teams ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 1975.  CLICK HERE
  • NDIANA GETS JAYLIN WILLIAMS BACK: Indiana has plenty of quality depth at cornerback, but it's still great news that starter Jaylin Williams will be back for Saturday's huge showdown with No. 8 Cincinnati at Memorial Stadium. He was injured in the season opener at Iowa, and didn't play last week against Idaho. CLICK HERE
  • HERE'S WHAT MICAH McFADDEN SAID ON WEEKLY PODCAST: Indiana linebacker Micah McFadden broke down last week's win over Idaho, his excitement over the big showdown with No. 8 Cincinnati this week, and he was joined by former Indiana standout Terry Tallen as a guest of the show. CLICK HERE
  • IDAHO REPORT CARD: Indiana got a lot of things fixed in its 56-14 win over Idaho, and their grades reflect the improvement. Here's the Week 2 report card. CLICK HERE
  • BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: There's a new No. 1 at the top of the Big Ten power rankings after four-time defending champion Ohio State lost to Oregon last weekend. Is this heaven at No. 1? Nope, it's Iowa. CLICK HERE