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Allen takes away some positives after Hoosiers’ loss to Louisville

Hoosiers host Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Hoosiers found themselves in a 21-point hole after a miserable first half against Louisville Saturday.

Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium played host to the bruising border battle between two coaches fans in Indiana are used to seeing every Saturday — IU’s Tom Allen and former Purdue coach turned Louisville leader Jeff Brohm.

School change aside, Brohm was back to dominating Allen’s Hoosiers early. The Cardinals offense scored 21 points in the first half while the defense completely shut down anything Indiana wanted to do. The scoreboard read 21-0 at halftime.

The Hoosiers regrouped in the break and came out firing. An opening drive touchdown was followed by a Cardinals interception that led to another IU touchdown. All of a sudden, it’s a seven-point game.

That’s where the comeback stopped.

Indiana couldn’t convert a 4th and Goal on the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter. That would be the game. Hoosiers head back to Bloomington on the wrong end of a 21-14 final score.

“Man, just proud of our team’s fight,” said Allen. “Really didn’t have any momentum going into halftime. The guys bowed up and showed a lot of fight to be able to shut them down in the second half, give ourselves a chance offensively to win the game. Just proud of that.”

Quarterback Tayven Jackson was visibly upset after the final Hoosiers drive. Playing in Lucas Oil Stadium was not new to the Greenwood native. Jackson helped the Center Grove Trojans win back-to-back IHSAA 6A state championships in that building. He couldn’t keep the win streak going Saturday.

“Growing up as a little kid, you’re always in the backyard pretending ‘Three, two, one … I’m diving for the
endzone.’ When you finally get that moment, and it doesn’t go as planned, that is a hard pill to swallow,” said Jackson.

Jackson finished the afternoon completing 24 of 34 passes for 299 yards, one touchdown and one interception — most of that success coming in the second half.

“Man, Tayven. It’s a big eye opener,” said running back Jaylin Lucas. “I love the way he was making the right decisions, but Tayven played his butt off today, like every drive it was hard work. He had a winning mentality. After coming in and losing 0-21 at half, I feel like we were executing well in the second half.”

“I think once we started playing fast. I’m used to that,” Jackson said. “I think it brings out all of us as a group of quarterbacks and wide receivers. We all know how to play fast and when we play fast we play free.”

This was Jackson’s first true start for the Hoosiers, after splitting snaps with fellow quarterback Brendan Sorsby the first two games. Jackson’s growth in the game impressed his head coach.

“You could see him growing up throughout,” said Allen. “There’s things that happen that you don’t always see, especially in the first half, just mistakes being young, the clock, different formations, checks, seeing guys in motion, things like that, but those will continue to get better and better.

“I just love the fact that he just makes plays,” Allen continued. “He’s able to create, extend plays, eyes downfield, finding receivers. Those are things you can’t teach. That’s just instinctual things that he has. He’s got a lot of confidence, a lot of moxie that I’ve said from day one is one of his strengths. Those things are showing up. We’re just trying to find a way to move us down the field.”

All that positive couldn’t climb the Hoosiers out of the 21-0 hole.

“We got to play two halves of football,” said Allen. “That’s really the bottom line.”