Hoosiers facing another week of questions at quarterback

Indiana will prepare for Saturday’s noon game at Illinois with lingering questions at the quarterback position.

Starter Peyton Ramsey’s status remains undecided after he suffered an apparent leg injury during IU’s Oct. 28 loss at Maryland.

Ramsey, who dressed but did not play in Saturday’s 45-17 home defeat to Wisconsin, participated in Sunday’s practice, but Indiana coach Tom Allen says it could be at least a few more days before the Hoosiers have a grasp on Ramsey’s status for this weekend.

“That will continue to progress,” Allen said Monday. “We would love to be able to get him physically ready to go. We’ll know more as the week unfolds.”

If Ramsey is unable to play, the offense will once again belong to Richard Lagow.

Saturday marked the first time since Oct. 22, 2016 that Lagow, IU’s former starter, took every snap at quarterback in a single game. He performed well for the most part, completing 20 of his 34 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

After the game, Lagow said he felt comfortable sliding back into the starter’s role after seeing his first sustained action in a month during the Maryland game.

“He made some great throws and there were some he probably wishes he could have back,” IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said. “… He’s just been a guy that’s been steady in all ways. I know he had weeks off there and then had to come back in and play and sometimes that’s tough. Plus, man coverage, you have to be accurate with the ball all the time, not some of the time. I think he’ll continue to get better at that.”

The Hoosiers were also thankful that Lagow was able to play the full game. If Lagow would have needed to exit the contest for any reason, Indiana would’ve had to reach deeper down the depth chart.

Allen said Ramsey would not have been able to play against the Badgers, even in a pinch. So the Hoosiers prepared true freshman Nick Tronti as the backup last week.

But Indiana would much prefer for Tronti, last year’s Mr. Football award winner for the state of Florida, to redshirt. DeBord said Tronti has progressed well during his first season with the program, but he’s not yet ready to take over the offense.

The hope remains that the Hoosiers will be able to once again keep Tronti’s redshirt season intact this week against the Illini.

“Coming in new, it’s new terminology, new plays and then he hasn’t had a lot of reps because Peyton and Rich got all the reps,” DeBord said. “This past week was one week where he got a lot of reps and you saw a lot of good things out of him, but he’s a true freshman and that’s just a position that takes a lot of time to develop to get to where you need to at a certain level.”

21 comments

  1. Sure hope Lagow can put a good game together and not turn the ball over with interceptions and fumbles against the Illini, but not at all confident that he can pull that off. If Lagow and this team can’t beat Illinois, they have absolutely no chance to beat Rutgers and Purdue, which would be meaningless games anyway if bowl eligibility is no longer a factor. A 3 and 9 season would be a huge disaster for Allen and his coaching staff.

    I am shocked that IU opened as a 9 or 10 point favorite at Champagne. What have those odds makers been smoking? If I was a betting man, I would mortgage the house on IU not covering the spread!

    Too bad Ellison can’t hold onto the ball. He is by far our best running back, but his fumbles keep putting him in the dog house. I guess Cole Gest must have gotten hurt in the Md. game (possible concussion?) since he didn’t play against Wisconsin. To have any chance of a running game and a victory this week, Gest and Ellison need to be getting the majority of the carries. They are definitely our best two running backs.

    1. I totally agree on Ellison and Gest! They are our IU RB’s. We must have a 4-5 yd/carry average and 150 yd/ game rushing performance to win.

  2. Good thing you’re not a betting man….because IU will easily cover the spread.
    The Illini are very, very bad.

    Indiana 37
    Illinois 13

  3. Lagow is TO prone, but can take advantage of the downfield passing game. Ramsey coughs it up less, but has not been effective in the vertical passing game. While Ramsey offers more mobility, I think the coaching staff overrates him a a true runner. True, Lagow offers nothing in that dimension, but Ramsey really isn’t a legit running QB who deserves his number called frequently as part of the game plan. He’s not THAT fast or THAT elusive.

    So, we’re pretty much up the creek as far as QB situation, as neither guy is an ideal starter. So I say go back to using them both depending on the matchup, who’s hot, etc. Again, not ideal, but neither one brings enough to merit the full time gig. Honestly, our offense outside of the receiving corps is just a mess this year. Although the D is good by our standards, it’s not dominant enough to win games for us on its own.

    1. Agree 100% on assessment of QBs but especially Ramsey’s running capabilities. He is a play extender not a playmaker with his wheels.

  4. DBone, I agree that both QBs should play if Ramsey is healthy. I wish Lagow could overcome his TOs but he just hasn’t and it really hurt in the 3rd Quarter against Wisconsin. Using both QBs increases the preparation by the defense and gives IU a chance to go with the hot QB.

  5. I think both head coaches should play…

    This two quarterback thing is a grand distraction…It happens all of the time at IU. It happened when we had Tre Roberson….It happened when we were experimenting with Zander Diamont (a kid who had no business playing D-1 football).
    It’s a grand distraction to keep fans chattering about things that simply don’t matter in the ‘grand’ scheme. Fans are most content when they can play armchair quarterback. When a program/coaching staff manufactures quarterback controversies, only a pointless debate is the dessert served on a losing dinner of a season.
    The season has been sacked. The season isn’t going long. The season has no run game. The season didn’t get it into the ‘breakthrough’ end zone. The season fumbled the snap. The season was flushed out of the promises pocket and dropped for negative yards once again.
    IU football is a rerun of promises and fruitless debates. There is no quarterback controversy. There IS a program controversy. No leadership under center. No leadership on the sideline(far too much whining and emotional roller coaster demonstrations). No leadership in the administration.
    Another coaching experiment. Another no-name head coach deserving benched far more than any quarterback trying to survive on an undermanned roster. Another decade of the same old IU Football it’s always been.
    Manufacture all the little controversies to your hearts content, sports fans. You are in a zombie land consumed with gnawing on the dead flesh of IU Football.

    The only true controversy that could ever hit Memorial and garner some headlines? …That would be the day the earth stood still on SportsCenter. That would be the day IU Foolsball decided to move out of the basement of a conference it’s never belonged.

  6. It’s all connected. Without a legitimate threat to run the ball, Lagow must throw more passes into defenses that are prepared to defend the pass. That’s going to produce some INTs once in a while. Saturday, Lagow threw two INTs. One was his fault, and one was due to the receiver not being where he was supposed to be. In spite of his tendency to throw some INTs, Lagow is the best option to beat IL this week. My guess is that Ramsey is going to be too gimpy to be effective in extending plays and would be at risk of making his injury worse. I’d keep Ramsey on the bench for the remainder of the season unless Lagow goes down. Let Lagow get back in the groove as the starter and avoid making Ramsey’s injury worse. I keep thinking about Lagow’s first two and a half quarters against OSU. He was very effective. It would be a different story if Ramsey was fully healthy, but that’s not the case.

  7. Lagow with receivers and assume they are practicing this can go down field. Depending on injury situation Ramsey should be practicing with particular players implementing their strengths. So ,both should play unless Ramsey is injured. Also if Tronti can go play him if it gives you a chance to win (however, not sure it would).

  8. t, I agree with you about the way to use both QBs if Ramsey is healthy. This staff won’t play Tronti unless Lagow and Ramsey are hurt as they want to hang on to his redshirt year.

    For others calling Allen a failure, the so called no name coach has developed a very good name with a lot of coaches in the college ranks. We won’t know how good he will be until he gets his three classes in at IU. It took Wilson three years to get to 5-7 followed with 4-8 before going 6-6. Yes he started from further back but the point is he had to get his players in to get to 5-7 then went 4-8 with them before breaking even with his players. Give coach Allen time to build his roster before throwing him under the bus.

  9. V. I agree though it sounds like a broken record T.A. needs his own 4 years. Plus though I felt IU had some decent players coming back, not sure how good of shape K.W. left program. K.W. did creatively recruit some good offensive players but they were always thin at those positions. Despite issues K.W. had he was just hanging on struggling to play 500 ball overall. At this point satisfaction would be a P win but I don’t see it.

    1. The only reason we’ve had contracts to play a season-opening/college football kickoff nationally televise game and some Saturday afternoon major network/ABC games against the top echelon of the conference is Kevin Wilson. Wilson deserves both a big ‘thank you’…and a big ‘damn you.’
      Wilson can be sold as coming up short of truly getting over the hump….but there is no question of the cultural change he brought to IU Football. He was getting the middle finger rather than the “I’m so sorry you have to work there” look. There was an interest level in IU Football which I had never witnessed in the last three decades. There was a level offensive inventiveness and top running back talent making it a fun product to watch. Sure, he shot himself in the foot on more than one occasion by abandoning norms and conventional football tactics(tactics that usually squelch hopes far faster with rosters still attempting to build depth and more talent)….but at least he was willing to pull out all the stops.

      Allen deserves his chance….? God, does that sound familiar. All fine and good in “deserving” IU Football….But that’s the big difference between the past 25 years and Kevin Wilson. Wilson arrived into Bloomington changing the attitudes of “deserving” right out of the gate. Nobody deserves this. He didn’t want any part of such defeatism(see Jack Trudeau interview).

  10. I know Texas A&M is an excellent football program and expectations are high and they don’t mess around.

    Tennessee tries to be that way though some limited success.

  11. v13, who’s calling Allen a failure?

    I agree that T.A. needs some time. He’s going through a steep learning curve as a first year head coach. Let’s just hope he can prevent a decline in recruiting.

  12. Wilson brought the wave of public interest that was absent from IU football for decades. …..Allen was fortunate to have been right behind him, grabbed his board, and surfed the last of it. Now the difficult task begins. Can he light up a scoreboard and bring in some offensive talent capable of playing the game at the next level? A lot different riding the remnants of momentum than building your own. And at IU Football, it’s rarely much of a surf.

  13. H4H, I agree Wilson brought IU into the spotlight and I give him credit for that. It would have been interesting to have had his 2013 team with Allen’s defense as someone on another site showed S-P ratings would have them 3rd in the nation.

    Podunker, I am not saying anyone here is but on other sites there are idiots already calling Allen a failure of a hire.

    I am willing to give Allen a chance to build his team; I think he will get the job done. It is a shame this or any team had the beginning schedule IUFB dealt with. As much as people wanted this year to be an 8 win season you just have to look at FSU or MSU 2016 and see what can happen to the best programs. Those teams had years with their coach building his roster and still had a down year.

    1. How true. The season because of the front loaded + difficult schedule looks disappointing but that doesn’t mean the program is in peril. Especially so if a bowl game can be attained and won. Some off-season coaching decisions could actually put it on the rise. Allen is a clear thinker and nimble in making decisions.

  14. There are 3 winnable games left this year. Let’s play ball now! Then you can talk with actual facts to back up your position. Ramsey is the better QB when medically able to play: 64% v 57%, lower interceptions, lower fumbles, positive rushing yardage v Lagow’s negative.

  15. Tom Allen tenure will be a failure if IU does not win the last three games and make a bowl….Why?? because this IU team had some talent. Tom Allen was not left with a bare cupboard. I remember individual on this blog glad to see Devine Redding leave early because he was not that good of running back (was not a north/south runner, to slow, fumble to much), I remember some advising that they where glad to see Marcus Oliver leave, because he was to slow and could not cover (what happen to IU turnover margin). Yes, I for one consider Tom Allen tenure at the moment a failure. Tom Allen is facing the same schedule every IU coach will face (3 non-conference, The Big Ten East (Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers and Ohio State), and three teams from the Big Ten West). Tom Allen even built up the expectation for this year with the code word “BREAKTHROUGH”. If you are going to make these expectation you should or better deliver. Kevin Wilson had returned some fans to the game and raise expectation. The IU football team had a identity (scoring offense and no defense), but an exciting brand of football which the major networks like. Thereby this year IU was on national TV several times this year, we will see what the future holds, when Purdue, Maryland or Rutgers takes that minor spotlight away from IU and fans stop coming to the game….Yes, the Bill Lynch era has started again….This IU football loses eight defensive starters next year to graduation, your starting quarterback, tight end and maybe others. I can see fan support wavering in the future….maybe I am a little to negative. But these last three games will determine a lot about this coaching staff and the future of IU jfootball.

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