Ramsey settles in for 27-0 win over Charleston Southern

It was a crucial week in Peyton Ramsey’s development, never mind the opponent.

In naming the redshirt freshman Indiana’s starting quarterback on Sunday night, coach Tom Allen did so with routine in mind. With Big Ten season beginning in earnest next week, Allen wanted Ramsey to use this week to settle in to his new role, understand what it was like to take the majority of practice reps, handle media and set a template to follow in the weeks to come.

All things considered, this week produced an auspicious beginning to the Ramsey era.

Ramsey’s first week leading Indiana’s offense ended with Saturday’s 27-0 romp over Charleston Southern before a sparse crowd at Memorial Stadium.

Against an overmatched Football Championship Subdivision opponent, the Hoosiers (3-2) used the afternoon to get its passing attack in synch with Ramsey in charge.

That, they did.

Ramsey was mostly sharp in his first career start, finishing with 375 yards of total offense. He completed 32 of his 41 passes for 321 yards and two scores, and also ended the day as IU’s leading rusher with 54 yards on 15 carries.

In doing so, Ramsey established the routine he will trust for the duration of the season, continuing with next week’s showdown with No. 7 Michigan at Memorial Stadium.

“I thought that was important,” Allen said. “He seemed to be very calm and ran things and protected the football. (He) had that one pick that was tipped, but just really, really important, I think, to get this game under his belt to go back into Big Ten play. Good flow for us on that.”

Ramsey twice connected with classmate Taysir Mack for scores, including a pretty 12-yard strike in the first quarter and a 45-yard connection in the second. In between those scoring drives, Ramsey also recovered a Devonte Williams fumble in front of the goal line midway through the second quarter and ran it in for a touchdown.

“I think coming in, knowing you’re the guy (helped),” Ramsey said. “I didn’t change anything preparation-wise, but it’s easier just to get in a rhythm at practice every day to get all the reps. You may not be getting certain plays in practice (if you’re not the starter). It helped me get into a rhythm and feel real comfortable out there.”

So consider it a valuable dress rehearsal for the conference games that Indiana will play during the next seven consecutive weeks.

No, Charleston Southern was not built to challenge a Big Ten opponent on the road.

No, the Buccaneers didn’t have talent comparable to what the Hoosiers will see during the next two months.

But this game, like the Georgia Southern contest two weeks ago, was another example of Indiana beating up a lesser opponent without many, if any, lulls.

For a program that hasn’t always succeeded in doing so, Saturday was a success.

“Our schedule gets really tough,” Ramsey said. “Big Ten play is not easy, so I think it was good to play a team like Charleston Southern. Not taking anything away from them, but it was good to try some things and get one under my belt.”

In addition to Ramsey, Saturday was equally successful for the Indiana defense, which posted its first shutout since Oct. 30, 1993.

For each game this season, Indiana designates a word of the week. The Hoosiers’ selection this week was “dominate.”

They certainly followed through against CSU’s option offense.

The Buccaneers (2-3) managed merely six first downs and failed to make a single appearance in the red zone. Quarterbacks Shane Bucenell and London Johnson also failed to complete a pass, combining to go 0-for-10 on the day.

It was the first time since Oct. 19, 1985 that Indiana allowed zero completions. In limiting Charleston Southern to 134 total yards, it marked the first time since Sept. 6, 2008 that Indiana held an opponent under 150 total yards.

“Any time you can shut somebody out, I don’t care who they are, collegiately, it’s not easy to do,” Allen said. “It’s our first one since ’93, and that’s a big deal. So I’m really proud of our guys.”

Indiana rotated bunches of players throughout the day, and no defender had more than linebacker Tegray Scales’ five tackles. Defensive tackle Mike Barwick played well up front, posting four tackles, including a sack and 1.5 for loss.

But on Saturday, Indiana’s most important player was the one controlling the football.

Ramsey announced his presence yet again, meeting this week’s challenge ahead of next Saturday’s test against the Wolverines.

“He just seemed to be comfortable and in rhythm,” Allen said. “He was just kind of methodically distributing the football to a lot of different guys, and just didn’t seem (rattled). They were bringing different looks and schemes and trying to get after him. The game just kind of seemed to be very slowed down for him.”

11 comments

  1. Ramsey just a slightly bigger version of Zander Diamont….IU playing a FCS school cannot manage to have a running back over 50 yards, cannot manage to have a running back score a touchdown, your quarterback is your leading rusher and your quarterback has to attempt 41 passes to beat a FCS school….this does not bode well for victories in the BIG 10……Also what was the deal with leaving the starters in for so long (esp. with all the injuries IU currently has)?? An I never want to hear any criticism of Kevin Wilson clock management again after that fiasco 4th quarter today. you are still passing the ball to your number one/best/top receiver with four minutes left in the game…an the IU offense where still running plays with 10-20 second left on the play clock. Did the offensive cord fall asleep, with all his years of experience he should know how to run out a clock. Very poor clock management in the 4th quarter.

  2. IU79, you make some good points. But IUFB fans are naught if not optimists, so here goes:
    The season is on schedule. Late editions of KW’s teams thrilled with close games against top-rated foes, so getting clubbed by PSU and OSU this year is a disappointment. And raise the question of how much fight Hoosiers have in them this year. But so far we’re beating the beatables, which KW’s teams didn’t do with any consistently. The 17 points over UVa this year was a substantially greater margin of victory than any of IUFB’s wins over any “normal” (Power 5) team last year. There are no pushovers for IUFB, but Mary, Ill, Rutgers, and Pee-yew are beatables; beat them and that’s seven wins.
    Charleston So. was a practice game, so Allen wanted Ramsey to work on passing; hence the inattention to the run game (and why starters were playing late minutes- like getting to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice). Yep, receivers are the IUO’s strong suit and, oh my, would it be nice to hit them deep downfield, but good receivers can be valuable anywhere if the QB can hit them.
    Noticed something about attendance. Today’s 36k may have been “spasre” but today was originally a bye, so no surprise there. IU did draw 43k v. Ga. So., (who?) which was 10k more than saw a much more interesting match-up between #23 WashSt. and (then) #5 USC in Pullman last week.

    1. I couldn’t agree more with your post davis. IU has beaten the teams we’re supposed to beat and lost the ones we’re expected to lose. If you’re giving up because we lost to Penn State and Ohio State then all I can say is your standards are very very high and quite unfair.

  3. Statement by the Big Ten network’s commentator; “I have been to a lot of Big Ten Stadiums, but I have never seen any Big Ten Stadiums this empty.”

    This game was a joke. Glad we shut out Charleston Southern and that almost everyone on the team got to play, but it was still a joke. This game should never have been played. It did nothing to enhance for IU Football.

    IU 79; my wife was watching the game and said, “our new quarterback is going to get squished when we play a big ten team.” I think she agrees with you.

    1. JPat I could not agree with your thoughts more. This was a bye Saturday until 3 weeks ago. A hurricane and then a wild rain storm created the image we saw in the stands yesterday. The game was absolutely beneficial to the program. How would only having an 11 game 2017 season been more beneficial? Or having 1 less home game? How would young depth chart players not experiencing college game action be more beneficial? Starters, key contributors and injured players still got rested. Impossible to justify giving Ramsey his 1st ever start against Meatchicken as more beneficial than vs CSU. This game was needed for the young arm of Ramsey. He excercised and displayed good stuff between the ears. Also the game proved Mike Hart’s coaching in regards to ball security is not getting it done. He still has not evaluated the rotational talent of the RB’s correctly. I’ll bet Allen and DeBord clearly explain to him this week the continued fumbles garnered from his coaching is to be brought to an end.

  4. Podunker, the announcer made the comment after the deluge hit and people left a game that was well in hand. He was right as I bet less than 200 were left watching the game.

    IU79, this game did nothing except show IU doesn’t overlook teams any more. The next few weeks will show what kind of team IU really is. If Ramsey can keep completing over 70% of his passes and open up the running game like he did at UVA then IU will get to six wins and maybe more. It is a shame Lagow doesn’t have the accuracy Ramsey does as IU would be very prolific on offense. Ramsey will show us how effective he can be this week against UM.

    For what the game was and the weather they were playing in I thought IU played uninspired but got the job done; some times you have to win when you aren’t fired up

  5. If the ticket proceeds would have been given to assist recent hurricane victims, then this “joke” of a game could have had some importance (maybe even a sizable crowd would have turned out).

  6. Any attendance at this game was a blessing/positive, this game was schedule at the last minute on a schedule open date (when most people have made other plans) and never school break. The attendance did not matter so much, as to how the team played. Overall this was a total “DOMINATION” over a “FCS” team. But, you still come away from this game asking yourself question about the IU football team. Will they be able to run the ball? Can they pass the ball over 20 yards? Is the defense overrated (okay stopping “FCS” school, how about stopping a BIG 10 school – last in the BIG 10 in most statistic category)?? Will IU be competitive in the remaining BIG 10 games or doe we go back to beating “FCS” schools and getting “BLOW-OUT” by BIG 10 school?? The next four games are Michigan (home), at Michigan State, at Maryland and Wisconsin (home), so what you fans are telling me (IU fan) is that if IU goes 1 win and 3 losses I should be happy. An hope that IU can win at least two of the last three games against Illinois (away), Rutgers (home) and Purdue (away).

  7. I wonder if any prospective recruits were taking their official visit to IU this weekend? Hopefully, Allen and staff scheduled all those for next weekend, when Michigan should draw much higher attendance in Memorial Stadium.

  8. IU79, I don’t think anyone would be happy with going 1-3 over the next four games but the roster is what it is. QB isn’t the only position short of quality players. I hope coach Hart sees Ellison and Gest are his RBs because the others cannot run through a tackle. yes each have fumbled but so have the others. Get Majette and Williams invloved in the passing game. As I stated before it is a shame Lagow couldn’t have the skills Ramsey has because with our receivers our offense would be prolific.

    Our defense needs to step up and shut down the coming teams so IU can win more than 1 out of the next four. Our special teams need to come up with some game changing plays too. Both of which requires getting injuried players back to healthy status.

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