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Monday media: Tom Allen talks about Stevie Scott, IU's linebackers and knocking over a trash can


Freshman running back Stevie Scott points to the sky Sept. 8 after scoring against Virginia at Memorial Stadium. Scott had 58 rushing yards and one touchdown in IU's win at Rutgers. Jared Rigdon Buy Photos

IU began its season 2-0 for the first time since 2016 with Saturday's 20-16 home win against Virginia, a victory featuring a breakout game from true freshman running back Stevie Scott.

Scott ran for 204 yards in the Hoosier win, finishing just three yards shy of the IU single-game record for rushing yards by a true freshman.

But Scott's performance wasn't the only notable story line to emerge from the game, which was played in a torrential rain storm.

On Monday, following the Virginia win and prior to IU's game against Ball State this weekend, IU Coach Tom Allen, Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord and several players spoke to the media to discuss the season so far.

Freshman Stevie Scott takes the handoff from sophomore Peyton Ramsey in the pouring rain Sept. 8 at Memorial Stadium. Scott had 139 rushing yards for the Hoosiers in their loss to No. 4 Michigan on Saturday night. Jared Rigdon Buy Photos

Stevie Scott's distinctive patience, size and vision

Saturday's game revealed IU's newest backfield star. Scott ran with power and purpose against the Virginia defense, carrying the ball 31 times, including 23 times in the second half, to go along with a 40-yard rushing touchdown in the first half.

For his efforts, Scott was named the co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week. 

IU relied on Scott as the soggy conditions limited what sophomore Peyton Ramsey could do passing the ball. The offensive line responded to the challenge issued to it by Allen before the game by creating rushing lanes for Scott, and as a result, the entire IU offensive line was named IU's offensive players of the game by Allen.

"They were the reason why Stevie Scott got all those yards rushing," Allen said. 

Once the holes were opened, though, Scott took full advantage. He initiated contact with Cavalier defenders to gain extra yards, in part because of his experience playing linebacker in high school.

"Coach Hart always tells me to just be patient, and once you see the hole, just hit it," Scott said. "Eventually when I see a hole, just explode through it."

It's a trait Allen and the players agree is rare for a true freshman.

"Stevie stepped up and answered the call," Allen said. "It's the vision and patience and knowing how. Sometimes guys almost cut too quickly, but the really good ones have that ability to kind of just feel it."

Turnovers also aren't a worry with Scott. In his 51 combined carries this season, he's yet to fumble the ball, something made significant by the damp conditions he played in against Virginia.

"Back at home, my dad told me I always seem to play better when it's raining outside," Scott said. "Usually when it's raining outside, I don't wear gloves cause I don't really put my trust in gloves. I'd rather put my trust in my bare hands."

Raekwon Jones' increased role with the linebackers

When Chris Covington and Tegray Scales departed the IU program, it was known that two new starting linebackers would have to emerge.

It was assumed that senior Dameon Willis Jr. would fill one of the spots, but the other vacancy was to be filled by someone who earned the role.

Enter redshirt junior Reakwon Jones.

He barely featured for the Hoosiers in his first three years in Bloomington, but he already has a season-high for tackles with eight in the first two games this season.

During the offseason, Allen sat down with Jones and challenged him to elevate his level of play with Covington and Scales graduating. It seems Jones has taken the advice well so far.

"He was one that I knew had to rise and had to elevate his expectations for himself," Allen said. "He's always been a great kid, he's always done everything right, he's always been a guy that knew what he was supposed to do."

Jones is a player who's benefitted from IU's new strength and conditioning program. Like redshirt junior wide receiver Donavan Hale, Jones has gotten healthy and performed to expectation this season.

Before he left IU, Jones said Scales emphasized confidence to him, something Jones gained plenty of during spring practices as he ran defensive plays and had other players look to him as a leader.

"You never have to say anything directly to me," Jones said. "As soon as the Purdue game was over, it was a challenge to find who was going to be the next good, great linebacker at Indiana. Is he in the room already, or do we have to go get him?"

Tom Allen and the infamous trash can

As part of his postgame celebration following the Virginia win, Tom Allen littered. 

But, being the good man he is, the trash wasn't on the ground for long.

Allen bolted to the IU student section to celebrate with the students still in attendance. He made his way down the wall, sending high-fives to every outstretched arm he could see.

"I'm just so pleased and so appreciative for them," Allen said. 

Then, he kicked over a trash can.

"Someone asked me, 'what were you thinking about the trash can?'" Allen said. "I said 'I really wasn't thinking. I don't know why I did that."

The trash can and its contents remained on the Memorial Stadium turf until 6 a.m. Sunday, when Allen returned.

"It was still turned over and nobody had touched it," Allen said. "So I went out there and picked up all the trash and put it back in. I really felt bad, I said, 'Someone's going to have to clean that up.'"


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