Tom Allen, Indiana Football Completely Focused on Rutgers

After a big win against Penn State, Tom Allen doesn't want his team to be caught up in all the national attention. He has the Hoosiers focused on Rutgers for the second game of the season.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Ever since Indiana defeated Penn State last Saturday in dramatic fashion, Tom Allen has been doing interviews everyday to talk about the win.

Allen was on SportsCenter, Stadium, College Football Live, Marty Smith's podcast and many more to relive the Hoosiers' first win over a top-10 opponent since 1987.

Allen even said himself that this week has been 80 percent preparation for Rutgers and 20 percent interviews regarding the Penn State victory.

The upside? It has helped Indiana with recruiting. That's Allen's biggest takeaway from all the national attention the program is garnering.

But for his team right now, being ranked No. 17 in the country, coming off a monumental win, what does it mean?

"Absolutely nothing," Allen said on his radio show Wednesday.

This is who Allen is. Indiana won its first game of the season, but there are eight more in just as many weeks.

He remembers what happened last season when Indiana cracked the top 25. The Hoosiers were ranked for six days before suffering a loss, then fell out of it for the rest of the season.

Allen doesn't want Indiana's big win to stand alone over the course of this season. He wants to build off of it.

"This was a big, big win for sure but it is only one win," Allen said. "This next week is just as big or bigger."

Up next for the Hoosiers is a Rutgers team that also had a huge upset last Saturday. The Scarlet Knights defeated Michigan State 38-27 and are ushering in a new era with Greg Schiano as the head coach and a plethora of new transfers.

For Allen, it was sort of a blessing in disguise that Rutgers picked up a big win last week and looked good doing so.

"When you put the film in, they are a completely different team than we played a year ago," Allen said Thursday. "Whatever thought that you had about Rutgers previously is erased. That's obviously shows us that the film never lies. They are a much-improved football team."

This isn't the same Rutgers offense that mustered up a total of one passing yard against Indiana last season. It's not the same Rutgers defense that allowed 35 Hoosier points, either.

Noah Vedral is their quarterback, a transfer from Nebraska who gave Indiana some issues last season.

"He hurt us with his legs, so that is what we have been practicing for," Jaylin Williams said. "He can throw the ball, too, best of both things. We are just being cautious of those two things because he can run and throw the ball. He is a big piece of that offense, so we have to keep our eyes on him."

As for their defense, the Scarlet Knights may have conceded 27 points to the Spartans, but they forced seven turnovers.

The Hoosiers forced three turnovers against Penn State.

"They played really hard," Allen said. "They created seven takeaways, which is unbelievably impressive to me, and they are a really good team. Bottom line is, it is our first road game, and we have to play better this week than we played last week. That is the key."

It's why Indiana's one word for this week is focus.

Allen always says earmuffs and blinders for the negative noise, but he said they need to use those same principles for the positive attention as well.

The Hoosiers can't afford to lose focus heading into week two because their ultimate goal wasn't to just beat a top-10 team. It's to win a Big Ten Championship, and that takes more than one game.

"Before there's a reality, there's a mentality," Allen said. "I wanted to change the mindset about this place because your mindset drives your expectations and your beliefs. That's my expectation, and that's what I believe."

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