Indiana’s defensive woes this season are well documented.
The horizon might look worse with the loss of a key freshman in the secondary.
Safety Antonio Allen, a 5-foot-10 Ben Davis graduate, will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, coach Kevin Wilson announced Tuesday.
Allen was seventh on the team in tackles with 35 and had played in all seven games for the Hoosiers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten).
The 63-47 loss to Michigan was Allen’s first career start for IU. He had nine tackles against the Wolverines before the injury.
Linebacker Forisse Hardin, cornerback Tim Bennett, backups Dawson Fletcher and Brandon Grubbe and freshman Chase Dutra, who was going to redshirt this season, are under consideration as replacements for Allen.
He was kind of running the sideline and got hit, Wilson said of Allen. It’s going to require surgery, which is going to knock him out, which is unfortunate for him.
It’s unfortunate for the rest of the defense, too, which once again is a bottom-tier unit in the Big Ten.
IU gives up more points (37.1) and yards (498.1) per game than any other conference team.
Tuesday, the third-year coach redirected the blame from defensive coordinator Doug Mallory.
Wilson trusts him. His players do, too. And the defensive staff has an opportunity to right the ship with a bye week before homecoming against Minnesota on Nov. 2.
There’s short-term fixes, there’s long-term, but what you don’t do is you don’t panic and get passionate, Wilson said during his weekly press conference. You stay with your process. This is what we are, this is how we’re doing it, and let’s keep doing it.
Purdue is sticking with its process, as well.
The Boilermakers (1-6, 0-3) enter a bye week after the program’s worst start since the 1993 season. Coach Darrell Hazell has played enough freshmen to field a full team, and as the season has gone on, the number of first-year players seeing significant time has expanded.
That’s good for the future, Hazell said. It might be good in the present, as well.
Purdue showed some improvement in its 14-0 loss to Michigan State on Saturday. Freshman quarterback Danny Etling and the offense were shut out, but the defense played better than it has all year against the Spartans.
We’re looking forward to another formidable challenge on the Nov. 2, said Hazell, whose team plays Ohio State in West Lafayette after its bye. Every week, we’ve gotten a little bit better in some area or areas, which is what you look for. You look for growth in individuals, you look for growth in the scheme. So I’m not displeased at the progress that we’re making at all.