Oct 31, 2020; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen claps during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana football coach Tom Allen earns big raise

Indiana is rewarding football coach Tom Allen with a raise, bringing his annual average compensation to $4.9 million through the 2027 season.

A year also was added to Allen’s existing contract because the Hoosiers qualified for a postseason bowl in 2020, finished 6-2 and reached as high as No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

ESPN reported that Allen’s previous contract paid him $3.9 million annually, with the new money coming from outside marketing and promotions.

“Tom Allen has proven himself to be not only the right person for our student-athletes and our program, but one of the best football coaches in the country,” Indiana athletic director Scott Dolson said in a university statement issued Monday. “The enthusiasm and outlook for our program is at an all-time high, and the future of Indiana Football is in great hands. I look forward to Tom leading our program for many years to come.”

Allen, who turns 51 next week, was named the American Football Coaches Association’s National Coach of the Year as well as the Big Ten Coach of the Year after the 2020 season.

In four seasons with the Hoosiers, Allen’s record is 24-22, but Indiana leadership sees a program on the rise. In 2019, the Hoosiers were 8-5 and had their first winning Big Ten season in 26 years.

He led Indiana to the 2020 Gator Bowl and the 2021 Outback Bowl — both losses. It was the first time in program history, however, that Indiana has played in January bowl games in consecutive seasons.

The Hoosiers finished the 2020 season ranked No. 12 in the final AP poll for their highest season-ending ranking since 1967.

–Field Level Media

Nov 21, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Ty Fryfogle (3) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Whop Philyor (1) during the third quarter against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana’s Whop Philyor declares for draft; Ty Fryfogle stays

Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor announced Saturday he’s entering the NFL draft, the day after fellow WR Ty Fryfogle said he’s returning to the Hoosiers for his final season.

Fryfogle, the 2020 Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year, led Indiana with 721 yards and seven touchdowns, while Philyor had the most catches with 54. Philyor gained 495 yards and added three scores.

The Hoosiers finished the season with a 6-2 (6-1 Big Ten) mark. Their only losses came against Ohio State and Ole Miss in the Outback Bowl.

Both announced their decisions on Twitter.

“My time here has changed me and taught me many things,” Philyor wrote. After long and thought-out discussions with family and close friends, I decided that it is time for me to move to the next level in life and pursue my dream of playing in the NFL.”

Fryfogle said in his Twitter post that he has unfinished business at Indiana.

“After long talks with my mom, family, friends, and coaches I have decided to return for my last year of eligibility at Indiana University,” he wrote.

“My work here at Indiana University is not yet finished. There are many great things in store for this football team in 2021. The future is very bright and I am excited to be a part of it.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Jack Tuttle (14) throws the ball as Mississippi Rebels linebacker Sam Williams (13) pressures during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Corral’s late TD pass lifts Ole Miss over Indiana in Outback Bowl

Quarterback Matt Corral passed for 342 yards and two touchdowns to lift Ole Miss to a 26-20 win over No. 11 Indiana at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

Corral connected with Dontario Drummond on a 3-yard touchdown pass for the go-ahead score, putting the Rebels up 26-20 with 4:12 remaining. Then, the Ole Miss defense came up with a late stand, as Indiana turned the ball over on downs with 55 seconds left after driving to the Ole Miss 41-yard line.

Ole Miss (5-5) amassed 493 yards of offense despite playing without three of its top offensive players — wide receiver Elijah Moore, tight end Kenny Yeboah and running back Jerrion Ealy.

Running back Stevie Scott rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and for Indiana (6-2), which lost its sixth straight bowl game dating back to 1991. Scott helped rally the Hoosiers back from down 14 points in the fourth quarter with two rushing touchdowns out of the wildcat formation. Scott’s second rushing touchdown tied the score at 20 with 5:58 left.

Indiana quarterback Jack Tuttle was up and down in his second career start, completing 26 of 45 passes for 201 yards and one interception.

Corral passed for 235 yards and one touchdown in the first half, helping Ole Miss build a 13-3 halftime lead.

The Rebels drove 57 yards on seven plays on their opening possession, but a personal foul penalty stalled the drive in the red zone, resulting in a 26-yard Luke Logan field goal to give Ole Miss an early 3-0 lead.

The Hoosiers answered later in the first quarter, tying the score at 3 on a 50-yard field goal from Charles Campbell with 2:47 left. But IU’s offense sputtered for the remainder of the half, and Ole Miss took advantage, scoring the next 10 points. Logan put Ole Miss back ahead 6-3 with a 24-yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then, Ole Miss put together an 18-play, 76-yard drive on its next possession, converting twice on fourth down while holding the ball for six minutes. Corral capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Casey Kelly, putting the Rebels up 13-3.

Ole Miss had a chance to pad its lead at the end of the half, but Logan’s 49-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Indiana at the end of the half, keeping the score 13-3 at halftime.
Logan also missed a 37-yard field goal attempt and extra point in the second half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2020; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Ole Miss Rebels  head coach Lane Kiffin reacts to a call during the fourth quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansa won 33-21. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss tackles motivated Indiana in Outback Bowl

Indiana is looking to make the most of its second straight bowl trip to Florida when it faces Ole Miss at the Outback Bowl in Tampa on Jan. 2.

The Hoosiers, No. 11 in the CFP rankings, were spurned from a New Year’s Six Bowl bid in the Fiesta Bowl based on Iowa State being ranked one spot ahead of them. Indiana (6-1) posted its most Big Ten wins since 1987 and its highest AP ranking (No. 7) since 1968.

“It’s another chip on our shoulder,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “Something to go out and prove.”

Indiana hasn’t won a bowl game since 1991, a string of five straight bowl losses. Last year, at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., the Hoosiers let a 13-point lead slip away in the final five minutes in a 23-22 loss to Tennessee.

The game will be a homecoming for 10 Indiana players from the Tampa Bay area, including All-Big Ten linebacker Micah McFadden (Tampa Plant HS), All-Big Ten wide receiver Whop Philyor (Tampa Plant) and All-Big Ten safety Jamar Johnson (Sarasota-Riverview).

Allen, too, has Tampa ties, having started his high school coaching career there and serving a one-year stint as defensive coordinator at USF in 2015.

Quarterback Jack Tuttle will make his second career start for the Hoosiers after passing for 140 yards and two TDs in Indiana’s 14-6 win over Wisconsin on Dec. 5. Indiana had its final two games of the season canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team that involved 28 players and coaches.

Ole Miss (4-5), under first-year coach Lane Kiffin, was among the best offenses in the SEC this season, ranking first in the conference in rushing (217.67 yards per game), third in scoring (40.7 points per game) and third in passing (344.8 yards per game).

“The big play is definitely a huge emphasis for them,” Allen said. “They live off those. The deceiving part is that they also rush for 220 yards per game.”

Ole Miss will be playing in its first bowl game since the 2016 Sugar Bowl, a game in which it beat Oklahoma State 48-20.

The Rebels are led by starting quarterback Matt Corral, who has passed for 2,995 yards with 27 TDs and 14 interceptions on the season. But Corral will be without two of his top targets for the second straight game, as wide receiver Elijah Moore and tight end Kenny Yeboah opted out for the NFL draft.

Without both standout receiving threats, Corral struggled in his last start, throwing five interceptions in a 53-48 loss against LSU.

“It was not an effort issue that’s for sure,” Kiffin said. “It was just decision making and I didn’t think we called a great game. I don’t think we put him in the best spots at times.”

It won’t get any easier for Corral facing an Indiana defense that leads the nation with 17 interceptions.

“It should be good for our players to get motivated that you’re playing a great team,” Kiffin said. “Statistically, they have special things.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers players celebrate winning the Old Oaken Bucket by defeating the Purdue Boilermakers, 44-41 in 2 OT at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana-Purdue game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The annual rivalry game between Indiana and Purdue was called off for the second, and final, time on Tuesday.

The two programs, which play for the Old Oaken Bucket, issued a joint statement on Tuesday to announce the cancellation of the game because of COVID-19 issues on both campuses.

The teams initially were scheduled to play Dec. 12 in Bloomington, Ind., but virus cases and contact tracing left both programs short of players. The Big Ten rescheduled the game for Friday as part of its final-week schedule.

“Upon the advice of our medical professionals and in following the guidelines and protocols established for this season, we are not able to play Friday,” the joint statement said. “As we stated last week, we know the history and tradition of this great rivalry game and how much it means to our current students, alumni and fans. Both universities worked extremely hard in an effort to play, but at this time it just isn’t possible. We are certainly disappointed that we cannot play in 2020, but look forward to seeing each other on the field next season and competing once again for the Old Oaken Bucket.”

The in-state rivals have played every year since 1920. Indiana won the 2019 game, 44-41, in two overtimes.

The season now is over for Purdue (2-4), but No. 12 Indiana could wind up with an invitation to a showcase bowl game. The Hoosiers’ only loss came on Nov. 21 to No. 4 Ohio State.

Indiana coach Tom Allen was named the American Football Coaches Association Region 3 Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman David Moorman (68) cuts the goal post down with the Paul Bunyan Axe Trophy after defeating the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry games back on in Big Ten

The Big Ten announced its final week schedule on Sunday, highlighted by Ohio State and Northwestern meeting in the conference championship game and a pair of rivalry games.

The Buckeyes and Wildcats are slated to play on Saturday in the title game at noon ET in Indianapolis.

Following that game, Minnesota and Wisconsin will meet at 4 p.m. ET in Madison, Wis., for the 130th time. The teams, who play for the right to take home the Paul Bunyan Axe, saw their Nov. 28 game canceled because of COVID-19.

“The Minnesota and Wisconsin rivalry is one of the best in sports,” Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. “This game means a tremendous amount to the student-athletes, coaches and fans of both schools. We are excited play and extend this rivalry.

“In a year of constant change, we appreciate the Big Ten, both administrations and each conference member institution for preserving this rivalry.”

Also on the schedule for “Championship Week,” as the conference is calling it, are a pair Friday contests featuring Nebraska at Rutgers and Purdue at Indiana.

The Boilermakers and Hoosiers were supposed to play this weekend, but the Saturday game was canceled amid COVID-19 outbreaks in both programs. The teams have played annually since 1920.

Additionally on Saturday, Michigan will play at Iowa, and Illinois will travel to Penn State. Michigan State will visit Maryland at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Spartans and Terrapins were supposed to play Nov. 21, but the game was called off because of the virus.

–Field Level Media

Nov 30, 2019; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers players celebrate winning the Old Oaken Bucket by defeating the Purdue Boilermakers, 44-41 in 2 OT at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue-Indiana canceled due to COVID-19 spikes

Saturday’s showdown between No. 12 Indiana and Purdue was canceled Wednesday due to rising COVID-19 cases at both schools.

“We’re certainly disappointed that we had to cancel the Old Oaken Bucket game. We both understand the history and tradition of one of the best rivalries in college football, but the safety and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff is our primary priority,” read a joint statement issued by Purdue athletic director Mike Bobinski and Indiana AD Scott Dolson.

“We will continue to monitor the situation on both campuses and listen to the advice of our medical professionals.”

The regular-season finale for the host Hoosiers (6-1, 6-1 Big Ten) and the Boilermakers (2-4, 2-4) had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, Ind.

Purdue leads the all-time series 74-42-6, dating back to 1891. The schools first played for the Old Oaken Bucket in 1925, with Purdue boasting 15 wins in the past 23 meetings to take a 60-32-3 edge in that series.

The Hoosiers edged the host Boilermakers, 44-41, in double overtime in last season’s meeting.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Jack Tuttle (14) throws a pass under pressure from Wisconsin Badgers defensive end Garrett Rand (93) and Wisconsin Badgers defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (97) during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Indiana looks to stay hot vs. Purdue in rivalry game

Indiana quarterback Jack Tuttle proved a quick study in his first career start last week, throwing for two touchdowns to lead the No. 12 Hoosiers to an eight-point win at Wisconsin.

As Indiana prepares to host unranked Purdue on Saturday, however, Tuttle figures to draw upon information he gleaned long before this season, as well.

“My dad is not a big fan of Purdue, and neither am I,” Tuttle said. “It is a great rivalry game, and we are looking forward to this week.”

To be sure, Tuttle’s father, Jay, a former Indiana placekicker, taught his son about the Old Oaken Bucket rivalry between the in-state Hoosiers and Boilermakers.

While series bragging rights certainly factor on the Hoosiers’ radar, a win against Purdue (2-4, 2-4 Big Ten) also would give Indiana (6-1, 6-1 Big Ten) its most Big Ten victories in program history as the schools close the conference-only regular season.

Starting for Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award semifinalist Michael Penix Jr., who suffered a season-ending torn ACL in a Nov. 28 win against Maryland, Tuttle went 13-of-22 passing for 130 yards while connecting for touchdowns with Peyton Hendershot and Whop Philyor.

Indiana ended a 10-game skid against Wisconsin and tied a program record with its sixth Big Ten win of the season.

“I think most people wrote us off because we lost Michael Penix, who is a special player,” Hoosiers coach Tom Allen said. “But we are a football team.”

The Hoosiers’ defense forced two turnovers, running its season total to 20, and Indiana overcame the Badgers’ 342-217 edge in total offense.

Purdue has lost four straight games and is coming off a 37-27 home loss to Nebraska in which it was unable to overcome an early 14-point hole.

Question marks concerning various players’ availability entered the equation early in the week, as Purdue canceled Tuesday’s scheduled practice “to evaluate the results of recent COVID-19 testing,” according to a university press release.

The Boilermakers already were missing starting defensive lineman George Karlaftis, who tested positive for COVID-19 in late November, as well as linebacker Jalen Graham.

“As you know, there’s things going on in the world with sickness, so I can’t reveal what’s going on, but he’s going to be out with some issues because of that,” coach Jeff Brohm said of Graham.

The Boilermakers were penalized 11 times for 126 yards against Nebraska.

“It’s playing hard,” Boilermakers linebacker Derrick Barnes said. “It’s football. It happens sometimes. It’s just competing. We can eliminate some of the dumb penalties. But we’re going to compete and play hard to the whistle.”

Purdue receiver David Bell enters play ranked sixth in the nation and first in the Big Ten with an average of 8.8 receptions a game. His eight receiving touchdowns and 104.2 receiving yard average ranked first and third in the Big Ten, respectively.

Purdue leads the all-time series 74-42-6 in a rivalry that dates to 1891. The schools first played for the Old Oaken Bucket in 1925, with Purdue boasting 15 wins in the past 23 meetings to take a 60-32-3 edge in that series.

The Hoosiers edged the host Boilermakers, 44-41, in double overtime in last season’s meeting.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2020; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9)  in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Indiana turns to backup QB vs. No. 16 Wisconsin

No. 12 Indiana is moving forward with a new quarterback but the same mindset heading into Saturday’s Big Ten Conference showdown at No. 16 Wisconsin.

The announcement that starting Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was done for the year with a torn ACL on Monday was tough for players and coaches to accept, but the Hoosiers (5-1) are prepared to rally around his replacement, sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle.

“Setbacks and adversity is part of this life,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “We told the team, even last week, it is about how you respond to these challenges that define who we are.”

Penix suffered the injury during Indiana’s 27-11 win over Maryland last Saturday as he went to the sideline to finish a 21-yard run in the third quarter. He finished the year with 1,645 yards passing, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Tuttle went 5-for-5 for 34 yards in relief of Penix on Saturday. A four-star recruit from San Marcos, Calif., the 6-foot-4, 215 pound Tuttle transferred to Indiana from Utah before the start of the 2019 season.

“We still have full confidence that Jack Tuttle that he can come in and control the game and the pace and lead us to victory as well,” said IU running back Stevie Scott III, who rushed for three TDs in the Maryland win. “Jack is also a great leader and I feel like he’s definitely going to show and prove this week. I’m excited to see Jack play.”

Allen is counting on the rest of the team to step up and help Tuttle on Saturday. IU’s defense has posted a nation-best 16 interceptions and 18 takeaways on the season. The Hoosiers also rushed for a season-high 234 yards in the Maryland win, with Scott rushing for 80 yards and freshman Tim Baldwin rushing for 106.

“It’s about every group elevating one percent, every position group, every phase of the game,” Allen said.

Wisconsin (2-1) is eager to get back on the field after its game against Minnesota was canceled last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Minnesota’s program.

“With the way things finished out last week, we kind of chose to try to take advantage of a couple of days of getting little practice in, getting a little recovery in,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “Excited to start in earnest preparation for Indiana.”

After averaging 47 points in wins over Illinois and Michigan, Wisconsin’s offense took a step back in its last game, a 17-7 loss to Northwestern. The Badgers have been paced by quarterback Graham Mertz, who has thrown for 605 yards with eight TDs and three interceptions on the season, and freshman running back Jalen Berger, who has rushed for a team-high 180 yards on 6 yards per carry with one touchdown.

“Jalen has been good, and very new at it, a true freshman,” Chryst said. “The things that other people aren’t seeing, that’s the fun part about it, each week is a little bit different and there’s obviously a component of how do you prepare mentally as a team, the film study that goes into it.”

–Field Level Media