TheHoosier - 'Enough is Enough': IU addresses its faults before, during OSU loss
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'Enough is Enough': IU addresses its faults before, during OSU loss

Indiana's coaching staff, primarily head coach Tom Allen and Kane Wommack, came into its weekly press conference with a clear message after Indiana players cited a lack a focus in practice in the week leading up to their matchup with No. 6 Ohio State.

"Enough is enough."

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Indiana defensive coordinator Kane Wommack came into the week after Ohio State with a clear message for his players – enough is enough.
Indiana defensive coordinator Kane Wommack came into the week after Ohio State with a clear message for his players – enough is enough. (IUHoosiers.com)

Coming off of Indiana’s biggest loss of the Tom Allen Era, the players were left reeling in large part. There was no music in the locker room after the game, not a lot of talking, left tackle Coy Cronk said. The team had been thrown off course after being flipped from delivering a 52-0 win against Eastern Illinois to being on the other side of a 51-10 loss to No. 6 Ohio State.

The Buckeyes, who had been viewed as the measuring stick for how successful the 2019 Indiana team could be on many different levels, exposed the Hoosiers at their foundation – from the running game that had been a point of concern all season to missed tackles that were thought to have been cleaned up in Week Two and many things in between.

In response, Tom Allen and defensive coordinator Kane Wommack came into the new week, in preparation for Connecticut in Week Four, with a clear message – enough is enough.

“I told the players this morning, this is a program-defining opportunity,” Wommack said Monday. “We wanted to play Ohio State and defeat them. We didn’t get that done. But how we play and respond to this adversity when we know that we’re capable of so much more, as an entire program, enough is enough.”

Allen’s disappointment in not meeting the expectations he said he, his coaches and his players had for themselves was clear in ways other than him explicitly explaining why he was upset. He didn’t name any players of the week like he usually does every Monday, and some of his most impassioned speaking came when he, once again, explained that fundamental tackling – wrapping up ball carriers and driving through with kicking legs – is something he and his staff needs to work on.

Wommack supported Allen in his frustration.

“He should be angry. I think we all were,” Wommack said. “That was not the product that we believe we are capable of putting out there on gameday.”

Related: Tom Allen, Kane Wommack, Kalen DeBoer and players preview Connecticut

Wommack had frustrations of his own. He cited communication issues with his defensive line and that he became too hasty when getting play-calls in. He thought his linemen were prepared to receive those calls much later against a high-tempo Ohio State team, but that often led to defenders being out of position when the ball was snapped. He and Allen both stressed that the run-fits need to improve when plugging gaps as well.

It requires effort to get to the point where addressing those concerns is possible – the same effort linebacker Reakwon Jones said Saturday he didn’t see during the game. And there were mixed reviews regarding practice leading up to the game Saturday. Wide receiver Donavan Hale said the Hoosiers “didn’t have a good week” of practice, but quarterback Peyton Ramsey expressed the opposite feeling.

Related: Indiana players react to 51-10 loss to Ohio State

Defensive end Allen Stallings aligned with Hale on Monday, in that the team “wasn’t as locked in as (it) should have been” during practice leading up to Ohio State. When asked how that could be a reality when the No. 6 team in the country was traveling to Bloomington, Stallings was the only player to provide a substantive answer.

“Individually, as grown men, I feel we should all be able to get ourselves emotionally ready to come out and practice,” he said. “If that doesn’t happen, then that’s what happens on Saturday.”

It doesn’t take a loss like Indiana suffered to get the team focused again, Stallings said. It simply takes leaders identifying when players aren’t locked in and finding ways to strengthen the focus. Leadership isn’t a concern for Allen, who said he believes the leadership in the current locker room is strong.

But that doesn’t mean the head coach isn’t eager to see how his leaders address the less-than-acceptable performance, from effort and execution perspectives.

“I'm looking forward to seeing this team respond, both the coaches and the players,” Allen said. “That is what I expect to happen. It has to be the case. The leaders have to understand you take it personal. You work so hard, you invest so much into this, that yeah, you're ticked, because that's not how we want to play this game, the way that we did. And that's not how we want this team to be known.”

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