Tom Allen talks Michigan football ahead of Saturday’s showdown

The Indiana Hoosiers have lost 20 straight games to the Michigan Wolverines when playing in The Big House and Corn and Blue will look to continue that streak on Saturday night.

Michigan just suffered a tough loss to rival Michigan State last week and will need to refocus when they face the 2-6 Hoosiers this week.

The Hoosiers have now lost four straight games, and Indiana’s only two wins are against Idaho and Western Kentucky – not exactly powerful wins. Indiana has been pretty beaten up all year with the injury bug, having now used three different quarterbacks in seven games due to injury.

Head coach Tom Allen spoke about his quarterbacks on Monday during the Wolverines’ presentation. He says freshman Donaven McCulley, who started last week against Maryland, is the guy they plan to use against Michigan.

“I think they both continue to be week to week (Jack Tuttle and Michael Penix Jr.) and we’ll see how they progress this week,” Allen said. “Little unknown with Jack’s injury to see how fast he bounces, and Michael throws and moves, and does things – a better pace than we thought. At the same time, Donaven is the healthiest right now and he’s the guy we are getting ready to play. For me he showed a lot of positive signs of the things I expected from him. I know not everyone saw that against Ohio State, so it was a little frustrating – I know he was a better quarterback than he showed. That was what it was and that’s how he played – he responded. Donaven is the guy and has to keep preparing him to play every week.

With Indiana being 2-6 this season, he must win to make it a bowl game. Tom Allen said it’s not really something to discuss as his captains know what’s at stake for the Hoosiers. Allen spoke about the opportunity that is presented to his team and it would be an important victory against Michigan.

“I had a great opportunity this week to travel to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines,” Allen said. “A very talented football team which is going to be a tough test for us as we progress through the season and look for a very important victory.”

Michigan is known for its ongoing attack this season led by Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum. The Wolverines could only muster 146 yards on the team rushing against the Spartans last Saturday, but Cade McNamara managed to throw for a career-high 383 yards. Tom Allen spoke about the Wolverines running game, as well as the quarterback game.

“Yeah, there’s no question they’re leading the ball really, really well – a really big, physical offensive line,” Allen said. “Two really talented running backs that were really, really effective. They have talented receivers and a good quarterback (Cade McNamara) who appears to have a lot of moxie and tenacity – shifts the chains and makes a lot of plays, more with his arm than with his legs. They have a second quarterback (JJ McCarthy) that they use up a bit and have packages for him. The bottom line is, they’ve established – you can tell from the start of the season – the racing game. They did a really good job at that. Even this weekend’s game, they scored a lot of runs and yards, Michigan State just scored more runs than them – it’s not like they’ve stopped them.

“Big challenge for our guys, they are doing a good job blocking up front. They have big, tight ends that can block and catch the ball and run well. It is a very different offense than the past two years. It’s a bit like being back to what it was before – especially with the multiple formations and regroupings of staff and the emphasis on managing football. Less of a prevalent mindset and more than two tight ends and multiple looks like before.

The Wolverines and Hoosiers will kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Fox this Saturday.

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