Indiana Hoosiers defensive coordinator Tom Allen is one of 40 nominees for the Broyles Award, the Frank and Barbara Broyles Foundation announced Wednesday. The honor is given to the nation’s top assistant coach. It was established in 1996 and named after former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles, known for producing successful assistants.
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) November 23, 2016
Indiana Defensive Coordinator Tom Allen Nominated for Broyles Award
Allen is the architect for one of the most impressive defensive turnarounds in college football this season. His first year in charge of the IU defense saw the unit realize massive improvement in virtually every important statistical category from a year-over-year basis.
The Hoosiers currently rank 48th nationally in total defense, giving up an average of 382.2 yards per game. Last year, that number was 509.5 yards per game and eighth worst in all of college football. No other school improved as much in that department. In 2015, IU was ranked 127th out of 128 FBS schools in pass defense. A year later, they’re in the top half of college football at 57th.
Limiting opponents ability to convert on third down and find the end zone have also been important. IU’s 30.23 percent opponent third down conversion percentage is tenth best in the nation. And they’ve allowed 28 fewer touchdowns in 2016 than they did last season.
Not only are the raw statistics impressive. There have also been some phenomenal individual efforts in 2016. Linebacker Tegray Scales leads the Big Ten in both total (106) and solo tackles (78). No other player in college football has as many pass break-ups (16) as Hoosier cornerback Rashard Fant. And linebacker Marcus Oliver‘s 11 career forced fumbles (four of which came this year [T-7th nationally]) is a school record.
Current Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson is a former recipient of the Broyles Award. Wilson took home the honor in 2008 while at Oklahoma as the Sooners offensive coordinator.
The Hoosiers close out their 2016 regular season with the annual Old Oaken Bucket rivalry matchup with Purdue. With IU still needing a win to get bowl eligible, much is at stake against the Boilermakers. Kickoff is set for noon Eastern Time in Bloomington with the game being televised on ESPNU.