BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana Hoosiers recorded their first loss of the season in a road game versus the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday. Read the full transcript from head coach Tom Allen's press conference following the 45-24 loss. The full press vis attached.
—On what went wrong in the first half...
ALLEN: "Gave up some double moves. Some of our best guys got beat one on one. It was disappointing without question. We played a lot of things we believed in in the first half and made some adjustments without question to give them some help, and we obviously needed to get that help, but it felt like we took some advantage of those things in the first half.
Those three big pass plays were the difference for us. Really disappointed in that. Our defense let us down in the first half, and so we made some adjustments coverage wise and kept those guys out, but just not something we were used to doing in those ways like that, but at the same time you got to be a complete defense.
We still have to run today. We got to stop the pass, so we got to play four quarters, so dug too deep a hole for ourselves in that first half."
—On where the offense is efficiency wise...
ALLEN: "I think that there's no question that you get that first first down, and that's where we want to be able to emphasize and be able to get into rhythm and flow, and when we do that, a lot of good things can happen and got a lot of different weapons.
When you put yourself behind the chains, and they can lay their (inaudible) back, and that's what they're able to do because of the score and that really hurt us as the game progressed, but I think it's critical that we stay numerically where you need to be in terms of the chains, and I think that really affects us in a negative way.
I like the things we were able to do with it, but we weren't consistent in our execution. To me, that was really the key today and then just kind of snowballed as the lead got further and further away from us in the first half because the defense was giving up good plays.
We had some special teams penalties consistently that put us back and made us start inside the 15, inside the 10, and it's really hard to drive the ball 90 plus yards against anybody let alone a really good defense like Cincinnati.
That really set our offense back too, but the defense kind of laid their ears back on them. Definitely didn't play the way we know we have to play obviously and didn't establish ourselves up front, but it's a matter of getting that first first down, getting the rhythm we need wanting to play the tempo we need.
Sometimes it's fast at times, and sometimes it's being able to adjust to what they're doing and using our looks and being able to get the call we want per the defense that we're getting so you want it to be a good combination of those three things.
To me, didn't really feel good about the rhythm that we had throughout the game."
—On getting off to slow starts...
ALLEN: "Yeah, it's concerning. There's no doubt because then you start developing a pattern. At first you have your growing pains, and you have some new guys now in week four, that needs to be behind us, but first time on the road, you have to be able to handle that.
It's the reality of what's ahead but definitely has to be a point of emphasis. Not that is hasn't been but obviously not good enough since we're still struggling on getting off to a fast start on offense cause it has to happen, so we got to make some changes and practice to be able to get to where we need to be."
—On the last 32 seconds of the half...
"Well I would just say you can take a knee or run the football and get out of the half. It's obviously a tough half, but we're trying to get in field goal range because we got a really good kicker. We thought we could get him a couple shots, get him to the opposite 40-yard line, and that was the goal with the 32 seconds left when we first had the ball.
Then you get the sack, cause fumble and it's disastrous for them to get a scoop and score right before half and go up four scores instead of just three, so you're trying to cut it to down by 21, hopefully get a field goal right before half with the kicker we believe can kick a 55, 56, 57 yard field goal.
That was the thought process there, and even just before the fourth and one to try to make something happen. We jump offsides, and it's inexcusable to me, but it was typical for tonight. Too many mistakes in all three phases.
—On if practices need to change...
ALLEN: "What we're doing needs to be re-evaluated cause it's not creating the change we want, so if you want to get something different, you got to change what you do everyday. That will be the next step.
To me, you have to do in practice first before you do it in the games. We felt better about today coming into this one in terms of execution, but obviously sometimes when you go through your scout team coach, you have to decide how much you go against each other to create more of that intensity to help us get a better look potentially from the other side of the football to help get our guys ready.
It's about consistent execution. That's what it comes down to to me. It's been our achilles heel so far and it was too much to overcome in the first half for our team."
—On the run game...
ALLEN: "Part of it when you get so far behind, it makes it tougher for sure, but for me it's about trying to find creative ways to run the football and be able to take advantage of what we have and the strengths of our team.
We have two really good backs that I believe can make plays for us and got to give both of those guys a chance you know, so to me it's about trying to create a — I wouldn't say balance in regards to even numbers, but the effectiveness has to be there.
We have to have the run game, we know that and did have some good things going at times, but a lot of that was to (inaudible) yardage wise off of all the sacks, which is the reality of how the game works so to me, it's a complete team effort offensively as a staff and as a team trying to figure out ways to run the football."
—On what the message was at the half...
ALLEN: "The challenge is we have to play our style of football. We have to be able to execute. We have to come out there and flush the first half. We can't do anything to change it.
I talked about finding out what this team's made of, what kind of character we are. We talked about having great character, having those kinds of qualities, but we've never been down by 28 in the first half this season.
I wanted to see who I can count on when things get hard. I wanted to see who I can trust when everything is going against us. I was proud of the guys for responding without question. There's no doubt that's a positive thing, but sometimes the hole's too deep when you play a really good football team.
This team has character. This team has fight and grit. There's no question about that, but you can't get down by four scores in the first half, bottom line.
—On getting the team to come out aggressive in the first half...
ALLEN: "Tell them it's half time right before we start. It's frustrating because we work really really hard and not to come out at a high level with intensity. Several mistakes on defense, some one on one guys getting beat.
It's disappointing. It wasn't that we weren't locked in focused in terms of playing hard. That's never really been the issue. It's been more execution on offense and making sure we're disciplined with our eyes on defense.
Bottom line is things didn't go the way we wanted them to go, so what are you going to do? We're going to go back to work. We're going to focus on what we need to do better. This team's going to fight. We have a great challenge for all the guys in the locker room.
That's what this team is all about. One game doesn't make or break your season. Very disappointing performance without question. Got to take ownership of it. It's my responsibility to get this team ready to play and so we got to find a way to get started fast out the gate and that's going to be the focus all week long."
Related stories on Indiana football:
- INDIANA FALLS TO CINCINNATI Indiana football suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday at Cincinnati. The Bearcats defeated the Hoosiers 45-24 as quarterback Ben Bryant passed for 354 yards and four touchdowns. Next up for Indiana is a road trip to Lincoln, Neb. CLICK HERE
- LIVE BLOG: Indiana football brings a 3-0 record to Cincinnati for a matchup with the Bearcats at 3:30 p.m. ET. Here's our live blog, where you can catch all the action in real time live from the press box at Nippert Stadium. CLICK HERE
- GAME DAY PREDICTION: Indiana (3-0) travels to Cincinnati (2-1) for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Nipper Stadium. The first road game of the year represents a chance for Indiana to avenge last year's loss to Cincinnati. Here's my prediction. CLICK HERE