Allen optimistic after IU spring game

Simmie Cobbs catches a touchdown pass for the Cream team in IU's annual spring game. (WXIN April 13, 2017)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Tom Allen’s first spring football practice with his Indiana Hoosiers ended in overtime at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington Thursday night.

The Crimson beat the Cream team, 42-36, in a wide open affair that saw both the offenses and defenses make some big plays.

Why go extra time after a month’s worth of workouts and practices?

“I want my team to experience every game-like condition possible,” said Allen.  “We may have to face extra time during the season, so this was a good thing for them.”

Allen, the architect of the Hoosiers incredible defensive turnaround under Kevin Wilson last season, won’t change much schematically on his side of the ball, but the IU offense will have a completely different feel under new coordinator Mike DeBord. Senior starting quarterback Richard Lagow knows it will take time to learn, but he likes what he’s seen so far.

“We won’t put everything in until this fall, but so far, so good,” said the senior.  “We’re having fun.  This game was about celebrating the end of spring practice and also to put on a show for the fans on what we’ve learned, so I think it went well.”

Lagow threw a TD pass to Simmie Cobbs, the 6-4, 220 pound junior who missed all of last season with a knee injury.  Cobbs will play a key role this fall. Lagow’s backup, redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey from Cincinnati also tossed a TD to big tight end Ian Thomas, both could be factors.

“Peyton is good for Richard,” said Allen. ”We all need to be pushed to keep us sharp and focused, and that’s what should happen with our quarterbacks.”

As far as accomplishing the team goals in spring?  The coach checked all the boxes.

“I felt like we wanted to improve fundamentally,” said Allen. “We wanted to experiment with some schemes.  We wanted to develop depth.  You wanted to end spring as a better football team and I believe we accomplished all of it.”

The Hoosiers also came out of spring ball relatively healthy.  Allen’s top returning defender, cornerback Rashard Fant came up with an interception before leaving the game in overtime after a head-on collision with Terre Haute running back Ricky Brookins. Fant was able to walk off the field.

IU opens the season at home Thursday, August 31st against the Ohio State Buckeyes.