Ramsey named new starting quarterback

Tom Allen has made his decision.

Indiana will no longer rotate quarterbacks.

Peyton Ramsey will be the starter when Indiana hosts Charleston Southern on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, Allen announced at his weekly press conference Monday. The change comes after the Hoosiers used both Ramsey and former starter Richard Lagow during the season’s first month.

Now, the position belongs to Ramsey.

“As you look back at the first four games and where we’re at, and our ability to move the football and score points and build a team around whoever I feel gives us the best opportunity to have success on game day, I feel like, and our staff feels like, Peyton Ramsey is the person for that responsibility,” said Allen, IU’s first-year head coach.

Both Ramsey and Lagow were informed of the directional change on Sunday night, one day after IU’s offense underwhelmed during a 45-14 loss at No. 4 Penn State.

Ramsey and Lagow each struggled to consistently spark the offense against the Nittany Lions. Lagow, last Saturday’s starter, completed seven of his 15 passes for 97 yards, too often missing open targets for chunk gains.

Ramsey wasn’t much more effective through the air, though.

The redshirt freshman entered in relief during the second quarter and played the duration of the contest, finishing 8-for-17 for 78 yards with one touchdown and one deflating interception to begin the second half.

Although Ramsey didn’t significantly outplay Lagow as a passer Saturday, he continued to bring mobility to Indiana’s backfield, a quality that Lagow does not possess. Ramsey, IU’s second-leading rusher through the first month, ran for 53 yards on 12 carries against Penn State.

“We’ve had, in some ways, a little bit of two offenses in that we’ve done things with Rich that have been different with Peyton and vice versa,” IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said. “It’ll enable us to put everything around him now and do a little bit more that way, too.”

Indiana’s objective for October will be merging Ramsey’s skill set with the offensive approach it felt most comfortable using under Lagow.

With Lagow, the Hoosiers appeared more at ease in the intermediate passing game, using the team’s big receivers that comprise the strength of their offense.

However, Lagow’s inconsistencies from 2016 bled into this fall and the Hoosiers struggled to reliably tap into their strengths. Lagow has completed merely 56 percent of his passes for 661 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.

Lagow performed admirably in the season opener against Ohio State, totaling 410 yards on a program-record 65 attempts. But his play during the ensuing three games was unspectacular.

With Ramsey, the same downfield passes ordered up for Lagow did not always seem part of the plan. The Cincinnati native does not possess the same arm strength as Lagow, and he will have to overcome his limitations as a downfield passer in order for Indiana to most effectively take advantage of receivers such as Simmie Cobbs and Donavan Hale, along with tight end Ian Thomas.

Ramsey has completed 60 percent of his passes, mostly relying on shorter routes to move the ball. He’s thrown for 316 yards with four touchdowns and one interception, but will have to demonstrate a greater ability to take shots downfield.

His mobility is a plus, but unless Ramsey can prove he can threaten a secondary, defenses will utilize a spy and load the box to take away his running room.

Ramsey, however, has flashed the potential to become a more complete passer. Arguably his most impressive throw of the season was a 32-yard touchdown strike to Donavan Hale at Virginia, where Ramsey rolled out to his right and threw a perfect ball while on the run.

“That will be something that we continue to build upon,” DeBord said about challenging Ramsey to throw downfield. “We’ll look to do that. We’re gonna have to do that. (Ramsey has) done it in practice and we’ll have to do more of that. We did it more with Rich than we did anybody, but Peyton’s gonna have to do it as well.”

Settling on one quarterback is an important decision to make at this juncture, with one non-threatening non-conference game left this weekend before Big Ten play begins in earnest on Oct. 14 against Michigan.

Indiana will now spend the next few weeks tailoring its offense exclusively to Ramsey, hoping that handing him the keys will yield the favorable results that IU needs to win in the Big Ten.

“To me, it’s about moving the chains and creating scoring opportunities for our team,” Allen said. “The building of the game plan around that that’s going to be featuring Peyton’s strength. And so there’s a leadership piece that he has to step into and all that that entails. And so I just feel like at this time, where we’re at and what we’ve evaluated and the body of work that we’ve been able to examine, that this is the best decision for our program.”

27 comments

  1. HC how they build the offense around Ramsey they can still get the ball to our receivers. In fact they need to make a more concerted effort to do jut that as they are our best playmakers. Only having two underclassmen on the roster doesn’t give coaches much of an option. Wilson’s roster management was atrocious and I believe his demeanor was harming offensive recruitment. We are full up of young RBs but not quality senior and junior backs. The OL is short of player to the point a TE was converted to OT.

    This team has a strong enough defense to win if the offense moves the ball consistently and the team eliminates turnovers. Notice TN’s offense has decline since DeBord left.

  2. I understand the decision because Lagow has missed far too many easy passes, throwing too hard on short passes, throwing too high, and is generally immobile. But I can’t help but feel that Allen and DeBord contributed to his problems when they started subbing Ramsey for Lagow in the middle of the games. It can’t help a starting quarterback’s self confidence and focus to be looking over his shoulder and wondering when he’ll get yanked. My guess is that, for one reason or another, Lagow will be the starter again before the season is over. Ramsey’s going to face defenses that don’t respect his arm and will load the box, daring IU to throw long, which I do not believe is his strength. Plus, if he keeps running the ball as much as he has, he’s going to get beat up.

    1. So your plan was to lose the game at U VA so Lagow’s confidence would not be damaged. Absurd! Peyton Ramsey is simply the better QB. You should play your best and try to win today. Lagow will start again only if Peyton is injured and IU elects to keep Tronti’s red-shirt year. Peyton can make every throw and his decisions are far better than Lagow’s. Lagow looked the part but could not win on the field. Ramsey looks average but does win.

  3. Lagow has not change, he was throwing to hard on short passes last season and he was throwing to high on passes last season….nothing has changed…i remember all to well Mitchell Paige and Ricky Jones looking in disbelief at some of those passes. Roster management is okay, the OL is not short any players….If I remember correctly they changed OL Ja Merez Bowen (redshirt senior from Cincinnati) from the offensive line to the defense line. I think the conversion of Danny Friend to an OT was made because of the development of Ian Thomas and the fact that under the Mike Debord offensive the TE is more of a receivers, while the wide receivers are decoys.

  4. It really does not matter much because IU fb lacks a major league quality qb and things are not going to change in the foreseeable future. That is why they are at IU. They are not major league. They are doing their best to become major league but lack ability. As usual one can pass better than the other even though that one makes lots of errors in his passing game plus is not physical and can’t run. The other can run a little, not overly physical, a gamer who has limited passing strength. Ramsey and Lagow will look good against Georgia Southern a gas will the team. Then comes Mich and back to reality.

  5. v13, I think your statement that “Wilson’s demeanor was harming offensive recruitment” is too broad. Wilson (and staff) were effective recruiters of offensive talent while at IU. The number of offensive players that were recruited while Wilson was IU’s coach that are now playing for NFL teams speaks for itself. But I would say that Wilson’s demeanor, or perhaps his reputation, was not conducive to recruiting high quality quarterbacks to IU. He arrived in Bloomington with a reputation of being a “quarterback guru,” having coached Sam Bradford and other high quality QBs while at Oklahoma. But Wilson never signed any quarterbacks for IU that were even close to the quality of quarterback talent he enjoyed at Oklahoma. My guess is that he developed a reputation of being extremely demanding and intolerant of quarterbacks. Combine that reputation with the normal concerns about IU’s ability to protect quarterbacks, which were undeserved, and why would any 4 or 5-star rated QB choose to play for IU? Certainly, losing two mature, experienced former starting quarterbacks to transfer in the same year did not enhance Wilson’s reputation (those transfers were disastrous). Regardless, Wilson’s performance regarding the recruitment of quarterbacks never lived up to the reputation he enjoyed upon his arrival in Bloomington. Can DeBord and his young QB coach improve the quality of quarterbacks they recruit to IU? My guess is that yes they can. The bar is not set very high and DeBord appears to be a more quarterback-friendly Offensive Coordinator.

    1. Name Wilson’s NFL offensive players: Spriggs, Feeney, Coleman. Howard was UAB’s recruit. The wide receiver/ returner for the Broncos was Hep’s/ Lynch’s.

  6. Podunker, Maybe I should explain the roster management issues and Wilson’s demeanor hurting the offense. First I supported Wilson until I found out about his treatment of some players. Reading Zander Diamont’s article about Wilson should never be a HC because of the way he talked to players made clear how bad things were. It definitely hurt our QB situation as we have only one left originally recruited by Wilson -Ramsey. Wilson had to get a JUCO QB to make up for missing on King and not having QBs in the pipeline behind Sudfeld. If you breakdown other offensive positions there are inbalances in roster spots but some don’t see it that way. Clearly RB isn’t a strength of this team above the freshman level although there is hope for a couple of sophomores.

    The biggest way to measure Wilson’s problems, 2013 and 2014 were his highest rated classes despite losing seasons. 2015, 16, 17 were each lower than the previous with 16 and 17 as low as his first class in 2012. 2016-17 followed two bowl games yet the ratings declined.

  7. v13, you reference an article written by Zander Diamond. I’m not familiar with anything he has said or written that involves Wilson. What specifically were you referring to?

  8. And by the way, I just discovered that Zander’s younger brother, a sophomore in High School, has received an offer from IU. He started on varsity as a freshman (last year) and earned All- City honors. Unfortunately, he had a bad accident this summer, falling off a golf cart and fracturing his skull. He’s expected to make a full recovery, but may not play this season. If he does, he appears to be a slightly taller and slightly bigger version of Zander. As a sophomore, he’s already 6’1″ and 170 lbs. and ran a 4.5 40 last summer.

  9. Kevin Wilson is gone!!!! the roster is what it is??? This coaching staff have to deal with that problem, which they should be thankful, they inherited a fairly (good) stock roster. Going to Ramsey as the quarterback, means that Debord is convinced to throw the short passes. Meaning this offensive will be inching its way down the field (be prepared for some blow out scores, with IU on the losing end). Ramsey was the quarterback in the 2nd half of the Penn State game and the offensive did “ZILCH”!!! Not a fan of Richard Lagow, but he still give IU the best chance to win…oops, maybe that was with the Kevin Wilson offense.

  10. HC think what you will as I just try to describe what I see from my experience as a coach. Biassed if you think but I have no bias other than looking at the bright side of today’s situation. I did the same with Wilson so at least I am consistent.

    Po, I don’t remember where I read it on the internet but google it and I am sure you can come up with it. The talked about Wilson and him butting heads. He said Wilson has a lot of football knowledge and would do well as a OC but his way of talking to players he should never be a HC. He warned Wilson he would lose the players and said Wilson change for a short time.

  11. How silly to assign credibility to a Hollywood actor’s kid talking with authority about who could be and who can’t be a good coach. Novel from Hollywood.

  12. HC, you talk about “silly”? Are you related to Wilson, or is he a personal friend of yours? What does Zander’s father’s profession, or where he’s from, have to do with anything? Zander is a Hoosier. He’s an alumni. He’s a very intelligent young man. He played for Wilson for three years and probably spent thousands of hours in Wilson’s presence. We’re not even sure that Zander said anything on this subject (I can’t find any information about Zander criticizing Wilson). But Wilson did get fired, and at least according to Glass, for good reason. Unless you’re a direct relative to Wilson, or a very close friend, my guess is that Zander Diamont knows Wilson a lot better than you do and therefore has a lot more “credibility” on the subject of Wilson as a coach than anyone who posts comments on this site. Wilson got fired because of the way he treated some of his players. I don’t believe the Hoosier Nation went into deep mourning or depression upon hearing the news. But let’s not forget, he had six years in which to produce a winning season, and he didn’t get it done. In my opinion, Wilson is a very good Offensive Coordinator. He improved IU Football significantly, but I think he’s back to doing what he’s suited for, being an offensive coordinator. I doubt he will ever be a head FBS Football coach again.

    1. Zander on the previous coaching/training staff in the ESPN story that centered on the injured rower:
      Diamont said medical staffers were walking on eggshells and there was only one athletic trainer who would stand up to Wilson, whom Diamont describes as a poor communicator. “They were just always acting out of fear. Like there was always a pressure on them to treat us a certain way or not,” Diamont said. “It did inhibit them from doing their job to the best of their ability.”

      1. ESPN has always had an agenda to unveil “ugliness” at IU? Where is their agenda for UNC and the years of fraud?
        Why are the 15+ years of ghost classes at UNC not part of a ’30 for 30′ special?
        I’m pretty sure there is evidence of UNC’s corruption(outright fraud when fake classes are put on official college transcripts) that goes far beyond the circumstantial evidence/opinions aimed at Wilson by less than a handful of players. Zander, bless his fat stogie tokin’ soul, did not belong on a Big Ten field.
        He should be thanking Wilson immensely for not putting him in more danger when fans were exceedingly over-the-top concerning his talents while being enamored by the Hollywood vibe of Zanderpalooza.

        Funny how we have selective beliefs when it comes to the big breaking ESPN tales of wrongdoings at IU. Remember when ESPN broke the story of Crean’s possible corrupt ties to AAU/Indiana Elite and how it was immediately dismissed?
        But now ESPN is fully legit concerning an IU coach who would not take crap from most journalists/TV personalities….nor be manipulated to act a certain way by his AD? I tend to believe the sour grapes aimed at Wilson are primarily due to the fact that he is now working his offensive genius at one of the more prestigious college football programs.
        And what of the squeaky clean guy once our basketball coach? Though simply a stupendous coach, I guess he’s just too on the straight and narrow to find employment in the world of corruption found in all of college basketball.

        Bottom Line: ESPN hates anything successful from the Midwest. They particularly have great envy for just about anything special or successful blossoming from Indiana schools. There is always contempt for overriding the decency and integrity of Indiana….Compared to the scum that has been unveiled at PSU and UNC, they envy and their bias(built on the overwhelming numbers of journalists coming out of East Coast alma maters) is understandable.

  13. I could not have expected anything more from you. Seeing what the offensive staff is serving up this season supports my opinions of Wilson’s work at IU. The remarks of a kid from Hollywood are tainted with craving to enlighten all that he knows people and/or coaching.

  14. Thanks, Jeremy. Zander’s comment, as you posted above, seems to corroborate what other IU players have said about Wilson’s behavior regarding injured players.

    HC, again, what does Zander’s home town have anything to do with his ability to assess the behavior of his previous coach? Your anti-LA bias is ironic. When I’m out in California, I constantly encounter native Californians who think people from Indiana (and other midwest states) are hicks. Most of them could not find Indiana on a map, and they have no idea what a great University IU is. Having spent many years in both states, I assure you that the quality and competitiveness of High School football in California is much higher than it is in Indiana. That’s not the case for basketball, but for football, it’s not even close.

  15. Do you have any new thoughts you wish to tell me? If not you cannot tell me anything about California I haven’t known for decades.

  16. I assure you that the quality and competitiveness of High School football in California is much higher than it is in Indiana. That’s not the case for basketball, but for football, it’s not even close.

    Considering the population differences, that is a beyond asinine statement. If you’d consider the amount of talent on a per capita basis, Indiana outshines all population centers of the East and West.

    Zander only came to Indiana because it was likely the only major program that would even put him in a uniform. It’s good that he got a wake up call….Getting hit by defenders playing for OSU, Michigan, PSU, etc. will tend to do that. I don’t envy any Indiana QB asked to be behind center as the disparities in depth and athleticism between powerhouse programs and a school attempting to get out of a historical bottom of a top heavy conference continues to be a losing battle.

    Did Wilson push the envelop beyond the dangers of already glaring decencies and mountains to climb for Indiana Football? Zander is lucky he walked away from Indiana fully intact. He simply wasn’t meant to play against the size and forces in the Big Ten. He often looked like he was running/scrambling in the sort of desperation a gazelle would run from a lion. Getting caught wasn’t going to turn out very well. I think it’s natural that he is attempting to save face….and his bravado.

  17. Something to think about??? Indiana recruited a high 2* star quarterback (Nick Tronti – Mr Football) from the state of Florida and bypass on a local product Max Bortenschlageer (Cathedral high school Indianapolis IN) a low 3* quarterback. Max is now the starting quarterback for Maryland (due to injuries to Maryland starting qb’s) . These injuries may have benefited Max in that he is the starting quarterback at Maryland and has a chance to really develop, while Nick Tronti sit the bench maybe redshirting this year. It will be very interesting to see how these two quarterbacks/individual develop over the next three-four years at their respected position. Both quarterbacks where technically third string at the start of the year. An I do realize that Tom Allen and Mike Debord like a mobile quarterback and Max is a pocket passing quarterback. It will be very interesting to see if this coaching staff recruits a quarterback in the 2018 class.

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