Notes: First-half fail an exercise in frustration

The end of the first half might have been the nadir of frustration for Indiana on Saturday, as the Hoosiers had two chances to put points on the board in the final two minutes.

On the first drive, IU drove from its own 25 to the Penn State 10 before facing a 4th-and-1.

Following a time out, freshman quarterback Michael Penix extended his hands for the snap and instead tight end Austin Dorris went in motion to the left side of the formation. Penn State’s Cam Brown jumped across the line of scrimmage but quickly got back before IU center Hunter Littlejohn could snap the ball. Littlejohn snapped the ball anyway, but no flag flew and Penix, seemingly surprised to get the ball, overthrew Nick Westbrook on a fade pass near the goal line.

That wasn’t how things were supposed to work, as Indiana coach Tom Allen said snapping the ball was a mistake.

But instead of getting an offsides call or kicking a field goal, the Hoosiers got neither.

Quarterback Peyton Ramsey, who was on the sideline, saw Brown move on the play, which worked successfully in the fourth quarter at Rutgers with Ramsey at the helm.

“We tried to draw them offsides. The freeze call, I think. Tried to get them to jump,” the redshirt sophomore said. “It was close. I don’t think you can blame Hunter too much for snapping that ball. It was close.

“… I did see a little movement from my angle on the sideline. It looked like we might have gotten a linebacker off the edge to show some movement, but I’m not 100 percent sure.”

A look at replays confirmed that to be the case, but it also showed the snap came too late to draw the penalty.

Meanwhile, the Indiana defense held firm and forced a poor Penn State punt that rolled out of bounds at the 42, setting the Hoosiers up with a short field.

Ramsey re-entered the game for what Allen called “experience, clock management.” It didn’t work, especially after a holding penalty negated a completion to Donavan Hale at the Penn State 17.

On the next play, Ramsey hit Ricky Brookins out of the backfield, but Brookins was tackled in bounds and the final seconds ticked off the clock as the Hoosiers found themselves in mass confusion with players trying to run on and off the field for either a fourth-down play or a field goal attempt.

Scott steps up

After totaling just 163 rushing yards in the past four games, freshman running back Stevie Scott resurfaced for Indiana with 26 carries for 138 yards. Both the attempts and the yards were the most since his 31 carries for 204 yards against Virginia in the rain.

“I guess the coaches had faith in me just running the ball, that this would be a running game,” Scott said. “Especially with the wind and things like that that could possibly affect the passing game. They just gave me my shot, and I just ran.”

Ramsey appreciated the effort.

“We were able to run the ball really well,” he said. “The offensive line did a really good job. Stevie was finding creases, running hard. We ran the ball a lot better than we had been. We have to continue to do that, because it helps out the pass game a lot.”

Scott’s third 100-yard game of the season shares third place on the IU all-time list for a true freshman. Anthony Thompson’s five in 1986 ranks first with BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ four in 2003 second.

Scott’s two touchdowns give him six on the season, second-best by a true freshman behind the seven of Green-Ellis. Scott now ranks fifth among true freshman with 695 rushing yards on the season.

Harassing the backfield
Entering Saturday’s game, Tom Allen called Penn State’s offensive line the best Lions’ front he’d seen during his three years in the Big Ten.

But Allen’s Hoosiers posted six tackles for loss and three sacks. Defensive end Allen Stallings matched his career high with two tackles for loss and his second sack of the season.

“We just got after it, to be honest,” Stallings said. “Just continued to play hard. We didn’t do anything special or anything different, just pass rushing.”

Player of the game
Trace McSorley, Penn State, quarterback, senior, 6-foot, 201 pounds

The Nittany Lions’ all-time leading passer saw his streak for consecutive contests with a touchdown pass come to an end at 34 games.

But that didn’t keep him from the end zone.

McSorley scored twice on the ground, posting touchdown runs of four and five yards, while totaling 107 rushing yards and 220 yards through the air. his second career 100-yard rushing game and upped his career total to 1,453 rushing yards.

“Glad I’m not going to see him again because he’s just a tough, tough kid,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “I mean, just competitive, gritty, man, he’s just tough. He can beat you with his legs, his arm, and you know, we did some good things against him, but he’s hard to keep in check. He’s so good. I’ve got so much respect for him.”

16 comments

  1. Ramsey in for clock management? The coaches are the one’s that burned up the timeouts, resulting in the clock running out and no scoring attempt.

    ramsey

  2. Wow…Been out most of the evening and just saw the Purdue vs. OSU score.

    Fred’s days may be numbered.

  3. Outside of Shelby’s special teams ineptitude on kickoffs (he needed to be fired 4 games ago) the 1st half officiating was the best display of bias and/or incompetence I can recall. Actually, the officiating in the first half cost IU at least 2 scores and any momentum they may have had. Of the 8 calls, only 1 when replayed might have been legit. 1 call on PST and it was inconsequential. IU recievers mugged 2 times with official standing right there, and nothing.

  4. One can only imagine how different this season may have unfolded had Penix been given early season time to develop and establish a comfort level with the offense and receiving crew….rather than thrown into a situation with tropical storm winds against a deeply talented team.

    Something is very amiss to have kept this young man on the sideline ….An inexplicable shackling of the offense has cost us dearly. Winds of change were in the air…and our coach decided to not raise the sails and explore and exploit the possibilities.

  5. I agree with Brad. During the Purdue-OSU game PU Qb grossly under threw the ball and PU got the call and announcers said you will get that call every time. Not so fast. Same thing in IU game. We don’t get the call and Grease says good no call. That is the first time I have seen that. 2 of the offensive holding calls were not holding at all. It is hard to win when you have inept coaching and officials are against you. PU in right direction but that will end when Brohm bolts for UL after Petrino gets fired after this season. Brohm is excellent coach. Meanwhile, we have TA.

  6. Brohm is in high demand already. IUFB has a bigger problem as our STC is poor. Need to get a better one to set up as our next coordinator/HC.

  7. A big part of the game the officials did a bias job calling penalties on IU and very few on PSU. Missing blocking in the back on KO, holding plays on IU pulling flags late on very good plays, etc. I like Brohm and he is a great OC HC but he inherited two older QBs with talent and IU was left with little talent in QB room by Wilson. When Penix went in it showed the short passing game is about Ramsey at QB even though I appreciate his toughness. You can see in the game when he bails from the pocket the OL player loses his man as a result and looks back at Ramsey like WTF. Ramsey makes it easier for defenses especially since he bails out to the right almost every time. Penix hung in the pocket and completed passes. Too many fans see Ramsey’s completion % and think he is good. I break down the films as much as I can and I see the problems Ramsey causes due to his limitations. The OL played much better most of the game until 4th quarter when the defense could unload on the pass rush time after time. I hope people noticed how that didn’t happen with Penix because of his arm strength and looking down field. Even the underneath crossing routes the receiver had room to run after the catch instead of being nailed after the catch.

    It can be rough having a coach learning to be a head coach but many coaches that have worked with him think he will be a good head coach just as I hope he will. The advantage is IU has a coach that will stay and he motivates players. He has showed that he evaluates games they play in the off season and makes tough choices on what he deems weaknesses.

    I have to say I am puzzled by the Penix situation and I hope IU can pull in more QBs like him as they are working to bring in one each year. The Debord question is more in question because the offense change dramatically when Penix was in so it is clear it is Ramsey’s limitations are the bigger issue.

    The 4th down play to draw off PSU to jump offside showed why I don’t like the center making the decision. Sometimes coaches out-think themselves and to me having a center control when to try and catch the defense off-sides is out-thinking yourself.

    1. My oldest is a freshmen at Purdue. He said the experience inside the stadium last night was amazing. I don’t know that feeling as an IU grad. When the worst thing you can say about their coach is that he might leave some day, that’s pretty high praise. When the best thing you can say about our coach is that he’ll probably stay because no one else wants him, well that’s setting the bar pretty low. I also don’t understand the idea that TA is a great motivator. He inherited what was supposed to be IU’s best defense in a generation paired with a 5th year quarterback and 2 year college starter. He promptly lost more games than the year before. TA has lost 49-21, 45-14, 45-17, 42-16 and 49-26 to ranked opponents. He’s taken 1 ranked opponent to overtime and has 1 loss within a touchdown (yesterday). So where are these amazing motivational performances? The team seldom plays more than 2 good quarters and usually starts by giving up a touchdown. And what mistakes you see at the start of the year, you see in the middle of the season, and you’ll probably see at the end too if last season is an indication. Seems the reality is he’s a good defensive coordinator that isn’t cut out to be a head coach. And while DeBord might not be all of the problem, he’s clearly not the answer. Wow Brohm called a great game last night. Glad my son got to be there. Wish I knew what that felt like.

  8. v13, T.A. is running out of time. The fans and recruits won’t wait for him to learn how to be a good head coach. That’s the problem for a program like IU in hiring an un-proven head coach. That’s the problem with Fred Glass being such a cheep AD. All you have to do is look at Purdue’s team and compare it to IU’s team. The difference, achieved in less than two seasons, is enormous! Purdue’s trajectory is incline upward at a steep angle. IU is pointed down. Purdue beat the crap out of OSU last night. The game was not even close! It is not within T.A.’s ability to produce that kind of performance.

    Fred Glass is 100% responsible. And therefore, if IU eventually fires T.A., Glass should go with him.

  9. V, PSU handed IU so many opportunities to win the game. We blew it yet again. IUFB is NOT the program to train any coach at any level. As far as the Brohm problem Purdue faces after this season. When did IUFB last have that problem of anybody wanting our HC? There is a reason nobody offered them HC positions before or after they became ours. Again, Glass you’re adding to the program problems and you need to go fix it. Enough is enough.

    1. Fred is a very successful fund raiser with deep democrat roots. Unfortunately, that has little to do with his job. IU needs to move him over to admin and hire a very seasoned, connected, successful AD. Fred then could put his efforts to work in paying the replacement’s salary: As a side note, if TA was legit he would’ve fired Shelby weeks ago. The kickoff coverage is embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as the defensive schemes.

  10. Idea, Hire a head of football operations to dive into the program. Obviously our AD is unable to change the direction.

  11. Fred may be a fund raiser, but for his athletics department, a winning football team would raise a lot of money too. Anybody read the numerous articles about all the money coming into Alabama? They can’t spend all the donations that result from their football program. Winners (i.e., wealthy people) like to associate with other winners. If we were able to compare the difference in Purdue’s football revenue to IU’s football revenue at the end of this season, I think we’d all be sick to our stomachs. Fred Glass has failed as an AD. He needs to move on to something he’s good at. No other Power-Five Conference school in the country would allow an AD who has overseen a football program with 11 consecutive losing seasons to keep his job. It is embarrassing that IU’s administration does not understand that!

  12. Unfortunately one good basketball season (highly likely) and Glass is safe. Football will remain the ugly stepchild.

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