Penix’s status remains unclear heading into UConn

It remains uncertain whether redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will start for Indiana versus UConn.

IU coach Tom Allen said Thursday that his young quarterback still needs to be evaluated in the coming days to determine his availability. Penix missed the Ohio State game with an unspecified injury.

“We’ll probably know more today and tomorrow, when we do some things with him in terms of evaluation-wise that will help us a lot to get a gauge,” Allen said. “Don’t know exactly the status for Saturday yet, but we should know more pretty soon.”

Penix did dress for the Hoosiers last weekend but did not throw a pass during pregame warmups.  He stood next to starter Peyton Ramsey, handing the redshirt junior balls as he threw to the receivers.

Allen said Penix has been a participant at practices but not fully. Penix’s main focus continues to be rehab.

“He’s been participating some but not much,” Allen said. “We have certain roles we have him do as a part of practice, but no, it’s been a major emphasis on the rehab piece and a major emphasis on the mental piece of getting him ready to go.”

Earlier in the week, Allen did say he would like Penix to play, if available, especially since he’s a first-year starter. After the UConn contest, the Hoosiers will travel to Michigan State.

Allen and offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer have been positive in their assessment of Ramsey’s play, but the third-year head coach did somewhat admit on his radio show Wednesday that the Hoosiers do miss Penix under center.

Allen was asked by radio man Don Fischer if he believed it would have been a “different story” versus Ohio State if Penix had played.

“I picked him for a reason, to be our starter, but obviously he couldn’t go. Those are, I guess, things we’ll never know,” Allen replied Wednesday. “But the bottom line is I thought Peyton had a great week of preparation and was out there and fought hard and did some things.

“You gotta adjust. The thing about it is who knows what the future holds and Peyton has to be ready to go and Jack (Tuttle) has to be ready to go beyond that.”


  1. Is it just me or does this mysterious injury remind us a whole lot of the Jerome Hunter condition all of last year on the basketball side?

  2. Do we really have to worry about U Conn knowing who our QB will be? I hope not! IU needs a 40-20, or better, win!

  3. This will be a challenge for IU. Yes, if IU doesn’t play reasonably well IU may lose. Reasons: 1. IU is not that good as to have a very bad game and beat UCONN. 2. UCONN like IU sees this as a winnable game for them. Betting odds pick IU by around 27. I would take UCONN and the points on that one. IU should win 41 to10.

    1. ‘t’, You are correct. Considering UConn is in the process of leaving the AAC and football, a sad, but true analysis.

  4. So, it is shaping up for Ramsey again as repeat qb for 2019 with same issues as 2018. If Penix comes back; for how long if it is that fragile and iffy. Plus after frustration sets in to a degree at some point down the road when or does Tuttle replace Ramsey?

  5. We’re protecting kick returners…Devin Hesters of the world need no longer apply. We’re protecting the quarterbacks. If you roll on them the wrong way you’ll be flagged and fined for rudely invading their space. Helmets are now weapons of destruction. All these rules and changes to make a brutal game more family friendly….And, yes, Swiss cheese belongs on a ham sandwich and not on the brain.
    But please tell me how putting Doctor Nutrition Von Frankenstein in charge of making his men into Godzillas with Carl Lewis speed on crack….does anything congruent to making a game “safer?”

    And now no Devin Hester…or Neon Deon taking back a kick. Protect a qb? Hell, we’d have to build a uniform with a moat around Joe Namath. …He’d be safer at downhill skiing.

  6. Fischer asked if Penix not playing impacted the outcome of the game? Are you kidding me? Our defense gave up 44 points. We were more porous than a sponge. So no Don. If Penix had started IU still would have lost.

  7. Go with the QB that can play and I U Coaches move on, they have last year’s starting QB, and using Penix’s availability as their excuse for coming up short is BS. It’s Thursday and Penix has very limited practice the only question in my mind is his status for Michigan State. I U by all accounts has a very limited opponent in UConn, Penix should be held out and be ready for whatever game that his condition permits him to play .

  8. Yes, after 2019 fb season the reason/excuse again may be IU lost it’s up coming qb buying time for the future and next year looks better. After all it is a trademark of IU football.

  9. I just don’t see this bunch figuring out how to play competitive football. After 2.5 years, Tom Allen still sounds more like the head groundskeeper than the head coach. Watch Urban Meyer on The B1G Show and he seems like he was playing 3 dimensional chess. Watch Tom Allen and it seems like he’d struggle with checkers. If it looks like a duck, walks and talks like a duck, it’s probably not a head football coach. Allen will now overemphasize UCONN causing IU to beat the spread but also causing them to come out flat against MSU and take another beating. And when my prediction comes true, I hope others will admit the obvious: our head coach ain’t a head coach.

  10. Like I said after game #2, likely this is a dislocated shoulder. If IU’s medical magicians are able to ‘pop’ it in place and ‘hold’ he’s ‘day to day’. What the ambiguous checkers player doesn’t want to admit or tell anyone, Penix will very possibly need surgery. This smells similar to how the Colts handled Manning and Luck’s ‘day to day’ updates as days went to weeks, to seasons, to trades and retirements. As pitiful as this program is, one would think that ‘Checkers’ might at least be honest with the dwindling fan base. LEO. Yeah, right. Tally Ho.

  11. Didn’t someone on this sight/blog say this was the best quarterback room in Indiana University football ever…If so than it is time for the next man up (Ramsey and make sure Tuttle is ready). An if Mike Penix is hurt/injury he should sit out this game and any other games until he is physically ready to go…Didn’t Fred Glass just get rid of a coach for mishandling of injury players. Indiana should not struggle with UCON unless they do not come to play…this should give Ramsey and Tuttle time to be ready for Michigan State.

  12. I’m starting to understand why we didn’t see much of Penix last season. He gets nicked up too often. Which knee did he hurt last season, R – L? On Saturday he clearly had a brace on the right 1 while suited up on the sideline. If you have a QB with chronic injury rehabs you have no QB. Time will tell but a third of it is gone tomorrow.

    1. Oh HC!
      You are in trouble now, you agreeing with H4H!!! Worst thing about it, is the Jester may be right. If this is all true, the question is, “How quickly can Tuttle be brought up to speed. No one wants see a repeat of last year or worse. Without the ability to stretch the field with the deep pass, all we are going to see is last Saturday times 9, even if we win 2 or 3 more.

      As good a kid as Ramsey is, character wise, he simply puts no fear into defenses with his arm. Makes it too easy for the defenses to load the line of scrimmage for the run and overpower a less than stellar OL at this point. If we can’t get Penix healthy or Tuttle up to speed quickly, we are right back in the same place we have been for the prior two years. Unless you have an overpowering OL and RB stable, you simply can’t win without a B1G caliber QB. Even if the defense was up to speed, you still can’t win consistently without some help from the offense, even if it is not much more than avoiding mistakes.

      1. Let’s clarify my position(I could find the old post if you require):

        I felt Tuttle was the best choice to start in game one. I didn’t see the point in rushing Penix’s health/body/confidence in rehab. I certainly wasn’t for calling his number to run the ball(even against Ball State or Eastern Illinois).

        We recruited a kid who had interest from USC and Alabama…Maybe that interest dried up or was misguided. I don’t care. How bad can he be? I get him on the field and see what I’ve got in real time. BSU and Eastern Illinois are my audition for Tuttle…If the audition goes south, I still have an seasoned back-up actor In Ramsey who can keep the curtain from coming down.

        Now Tuttle is three games late to his own party. It’s going to be his party soon or later this year. Utahk the talk. UWalk the walk.

  13. And just one of many problems for IU football and has become a problem for basketball program as well.
    Why can’t IU just get a stud quarterback so to speak? IU football gets table scraps to often, meaning IU doesn’t seem to ever get the full package completely. There are decomits, not mobile, can’t throw very well, injury prone, and the list goes on.
    On the subject of recruiting: one observation is yes several several players have chosen IU over some good recognizable schools. However, they come to IU planning and becoming the main stay nucleus of IU football program in the starting lineup. Some schools on the IU players lists that recruited them would have had a much more difficult time for playing time let alone becoming a starter. Therefore, my observation is that many of the recruiting battles that IU has labeled wins over good recognizable programs are wins for these programs backup players. Yes, wins for what would be second and third strings for such teams. Maybe, not always the case, but often the case.

  14. Very good points in that last paragraph, t. I guess the counter argument could be that not everyone progresses on the same slope. In a couple years, that second stringer(even on a far more elite and deep team than IU) could mature and craft his skills to become a top player and a starter. At the end of the day, we’re still dealing with teenagers and a few slip through the cracks or develop late.

    But it is hard to rebuild a notoriously bottom-feeding program with test subjects. IU Football gets a majority of test subjects. As you explained, much of the hype around certain kids explodes because a better program had interest to merely build depth into their rosters(or view the talent as a potential much further down the road).

    One or two really top performers(especially a key position like qb) can make a very noticeable upgrade on a football team, but it doesn’t have near the impact compared to finding one phenomenal post player or point guard on a five man basketball starting lineup.

    And all the above does sort of make for an argument to land the biggest successful and established name possible to head a football team with so much losing history. Test subjects aren’t going to do it. The program needs a sort of shock treatment and the turning of heads from a much bigger lot top recruits(or top test subjects in much larger numbers) who hunger to play for the big name coach you landed.

    Indiana Basketball can still draw on the tradition, the passionate following, on campus… and the high percentages of Indiana hoops talent.
    Indiana Football needs a “WHAT!?…They got that coach.” Pretty sure there’s no tradition. Pretty sure there’s very little passionate following. Pretty sure there’s not much of a trophy room to show recruits(even if in a rather distant past).

    If there’s an easy formula for fixing IU Football, wouldn’t some Harvard School of Business wizards figured it out in a case study by now? Where would they begin? Would they begin with a qb….or a coach? Would they slap the old stadium a bunch of improvements to make it look new? Would catchy slogans(“breakthrough”) and generic billboard marketing do the job?
    Be the best case study in the history of case studies….Fix IU Football and you have a resume of gold gilt.

  15. My hope is that this staff has Penix & Tuttle who was ranked #11 in the country so I would call him a stud coming out of HS, and will add better QBs in the next few classes.

    1. If Penix is going to have on going issues Tuttle needs to mix in the fold now, with PR. My as well see if Tuttle can give a downfield game. That is if Penix continues not to play.

  16. Penix is still young. He just turned 19 and is not fully developed, physically. He will recover, sooner or later and reclaim his place as IU’s starter.

    As for recruiting new QBs, I doubt any “stud” (i.e., 4-star QB) will sign with IU for the 2020 class unless PR transfers. Why would a highly talented QB want to enter the program as the 4th string QB behind two guys that will have three years of eligibility remaining? Unless DeBoer has some kid in mind from his days scouting for Fresno State, we should assume that the 2020 class will not include another “stud” quarterback. We sign a 3-star QB who is deemed to have potential after a couple years of development, but it probably won’t be anyone ranked in the top 100 2020 HS QBS.

  17. Indianapolis Lawrence North QB for class of 2021. 3 star and offer from IU. Not sure how good he actually is.

  18. Tuttle is near a year away to be able to start. Ramsey is the only option to get 3 more W’s after UConn.

    1. I’m afraid you are correct. Based on the small sampling we have seen of Tuttle it did not instill confidence.

      Unless that was not representative of his play he is not ready.

  19. Ramsey can always come off the bench….as he basically did by starting against OSU.

    I go with Tuttle now. He’s two years removed from high school. Time to see what he can do. Some low level bowl game should not be our utmost concern. I doubt we win three more with Ramsey.

    I liked Tuttle starting game one. I like him starting tomorrow. Will that happen? Nope. Allen is too enamored with Peyton. This is last season in repeat …and will likely be Allen’s downfall. Of course, there will be tons of excuses per usual at season’s end….(a.k.a. same old..same old).

    Give Jack the ball.

  20. Lawrence North quarterback is not listed as 3 star per espn. Not listed at all. I watched a little of Carmel vs Lawrence North on tv this evening. He is a high school junior. I see him as a quarterback on Ball State level. Mac conference. IU is only power conference school that has offered so far. Some offers from mid majors. So I suppose IU is trying to be competitive in Ruoff Classic whether it is known or not. Kid is a junior and has his senior year next year.

  21. Now if this was the Washington Huskies? But it’s not. It’s our twin. Breakthrough still on perma hold.

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