4 storylines for Indiana’s opener at FIU

1. The Indiana quarterback(s)
It’s Peyton Ramsey’s job now, and while he is firmly in place as IU’s starter this week, he may not be the only quarterback to appear in the backfield. Depending on the situation, Indiana coach Tom Allen may look to get true freshman Michael Penix some snaps this weekend, given that IU would like to introduce him to the field during a game or two early in the schedule. Penix isn’t the only one. Classmate Reese Taylor, who moved from corner to quarterback earlier this week, could also see the field. Whether he lines up at quarterback, running back or another skill spot remains to be seen.

2. Separation at running back
Without leading returning rusher Morgan Ellison, IU will once again utilize a running back-by-committee approach. That rotation will likely begin with sophomore Cole Gest and senior Mike Majette, though senior Ricky Brookins and freshman Stevie Scott are also likely to factor into the conversation. Can any of them do enough to earn more carries in the weeks ahead? FIU should present a decent front seven for Indiana to gauge where its running game stands.

3. Putting the Panthers away early
This series hasn’t necessarily come easy for the Hoosiers, who have trailed the Panthers in the fourth quarter during each of the first two meetings between the schools. During the 2015 game at Memorial Stadium, an FIU touchdown early in the final period gave the visitors a 22-19 lead before Indiana posted 17 unanswered points in the final 11 minutes to seal the win. In 2016, the Panthers led 13-12 entering the fourth quarter before 22 straight Hoosier points sealed the 34-13 win in Miami. Can IU avoid late-game drama this time?

4. Little room for error
It’s difficult to classify a season opener in the must-win category, but this one’s close. Although Indiana has a reasonably navigable schedule this season, these first three non-conference contests — as usual — are crucial for the program’s pursuit of bowl eligibility. All three out-of-league games (FIU, Virginia and Ball State) favor Indiana, though Week 1 contests are often funky and difficult to accurately project. Regardless, the Hoosiers can’t afford an early letdown.

17 comments

  1. The only game that should be difficult to project is Virginia if you are any good. IU no turn overs by Ramsey and team….as Northwestern did against Purdue on road. N.U. not near perfect but no turnovers on road first game. Solid.

  2. The only game that should be difficult to project is Virginia if you are any good. IU no turn overs by Ramsey and team….as Northwestern did against Purdue on road. N.U. not near perfect but no turnovers on road first game. Solid.

  3. I am looking forward to seeing this game as there are several answers we won’t get until the game starts. How much has the offense improved, how good will this year’s defense be, and how solid are the special teams. FIU is a team IU should handle with little problem which doesn’t mean easily but be in control all game.

    There are many parts of the team that could be very good and how many of those players play at the level will determine how good this team will be this year. We need a year where they all playing outstanding football and IU excels instead of playing teams close.

  4. I don’t care what anyone says, the FIU game is absolutely a must win game for IU, for reasons that go beyond this season’s record. In fact, each of the first three games are must-win games for IU!

    1. You know, it’s not for IU. I am not criticizing the sports media but IU seems to do a pretty good job of keeping these things under their hat.

  5. V. IU is only going to get answers as to organization, communication, and how well coaches and players know plays etc (things like that). There will not be hardly any answers to improvement unless they lose until they play a major league team and not necessarily a good to very good team. Virginia will be a start but only a start. Then, get some more honest answers by playing a couple big ten games. Indiana State beat Quincey 49 to 0. See how they not only play Louisville but in Mo Valley where they are picked last. And yes I know F.I. was 8 and 5 last year at their competition level and lost to Temple in bowl game 20 to 3.

    1. Just not so. Many, many Q’s will be answered from this game. More so for Allen and staff than us fans.

    2. You said it in your post at the end, but you totally ignore it in your statements. FIU is good; they are a “major league team”. Temple makes a living beating “major league teams”! Davis is a top coach. FL has more top HS talent than any other state, including CA and TX. Every win is B1G for IU!

  6. H.C. Many many questions? Please give 10 specific questions that will be answered beside what I in a general way referred to. Interested on your take.

  7. H4H. Sums it up probably 70 out of the last 80 years. I’ll be generous/fair and give 10 years for exceptions.

  8. I think this is a few years ago that IU traded Central Florida for F.I or F.A. and then upgraded back up to F.I. Lol. Last couple years IU barely won against F.I.
    PURDUE and Northwestern open, N.D. and Mich, Ball State and N.D., I.S.U.and Louisville play in pre conference season. IU take your pick of the truly legitimately exciting pre conference game. Virginia, next is Ball State, and then F.I. Even winning all 3 which may not happen makes for slow take off and crash waiting to happen.

  9. Team speed, position speed, individual player speed, DL/OL physical strength/dominance, ST’s performance, LB’s lateral movement, D Takeaways, Team depth by position against FIU’s 12th man-Miami temperature, % Offense pass to run, Does Penix play much, Does Taylor play 1 position, Cole Gest breaks away from RB back-ups, Does Ramsey facilitate positive things happen, Do WR’s get separation + YAC – all pretty superficial visuals a non-coach can’t wait to see. v13 is an x’s & o’s man and will be looking for more details. GO HOOSIERS!!!! Christmas starts at 7:00 tonight!!

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