IUs postseason pursuit falls flat in 28-21 loss to Purdue

After it all ended, and the final round of handshakes were delivered, there was only one last, long walk to make.

The Hoosiers moved slowly down the west sideline of Memorial Stadium, through the double doors and into a tear-filled locker room, where they put to rest the final disappointment of their unfulfilling year.

Inside, the pain of Saturday’s 28-21 loss to Purdue was still sharp as Tom Allen addressed his team. The second-year coach spoke about appreciating the seniors, reflecting on individual work ethic and the need to continue growing as a team.

The latter part is where Allen and the Hoosiers could benefit from some introspection. The 2018 season ended well short of virtually every tangible goal Indiana set for itself — another year of failing to finish close games, another season of struggling to beat comparable opponents and another year of failing to develop an offense potent enough to consistently win games in the Big Ten East.

Saturday was more of the same from Indiana (5-7, 2-7 Big Ten), which didn’t finish enough drives, didn’t create enough explosive plays and didn’t do the little things inside of a game that add up to the breakthrough moments that continue to elude this program.

“Just really disappointed,” Allen said.

Now, as he enters another crucial offseason, Allen has to decide what’s working and what’s not.

The offense, as currently constructed, has proven it’s incapable of producing enough explosive plays. In both of Allen’s first two years as coach, IU has finished near the bottom of the national rankings in explosiveness. To win in today’s brand of college football, check downs and conservative tendencies only get you this far.

There was too much of both from IU on Saturday, a game in which it moved the ball and out-gained Purdue 487-440, yet struggled to get into the end zone. The lone bright spot was running back Stevie Scott, who rushed for 104 yards on 20 carries and broke Anthony Thompson’s IU freshman record with his sixth 100-yard game of the year.

“They were switching up their looks a lot over the course of the game, so it was hard to tell what we were going to get from them, coverage-wise,” receiver Nick Westbrook said. “We did actually have some big, long throws dialed up, but they’d come out in a coverage we weren’t really expecting. That kind of messed with our rhythm that way.”

Meanwhile, a pair of big strikes by Purdue playmaker Rondale Moore, who scored from 56 and 33 yards out before and after halftime, put the Boilers over the top. Purdue (6-6, 5-4) never trailed on Saturday, retaining the Old Oaken Bucket for a second straight season and earning a bowl bid.

“To be able to come into this game, coming off two losses, one in triple overtime against a very good opponent and still hang in there and believe that you can go on the road and beat your rival when everything is on the line, is what it’s all about,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “This is why you play the game. Our guys performed under pressure and we found a way to win in the end.”

Despite the big plays from Moore, who finished with 12 catches for 141 yards, Indiana’s defense played relatively well for most of the day. It posted five sacks, recorded an interception and kept IU’s offense within striking distance. Missed tackles — a season-long issue IU never solved — were the blemish.

So were ill-timed penalties, another area where this Indiana team needs to grow.

A roughing the passer flag against defensive end Allen Stallings on third down in the first quarter extended a Purdue drive long enough for the Boilers to produce their opening score. Another unsportsmanlike flag against safety Devon Matthews kept another Boiler drive alive.

“It wasn’t the number of (penalties),” Allen said, “it was the timing of them. We had them throughout the season at critical times. Not being able to overcome those has been the problem.”

Scott tied the game at 7-all on an eight-yard run to start the second quarter, and IU trailed only 14-7 at halftime.

It was a 14-point Purdue lead when Blough hit Moore from 33 yards out late in the third quarter, and Indiana once again got within seven points when quarterback Peyton Ramsey scrambled 23 yards for a touchdown midway through the final quarter.

The backbreaker came not long after, when Purdue running back Markell Jones ran nearly untouched through the heart of IU’s defense for a 32-yard score with 3:48 to play. IU closed its season with a 40-yard TD connection between Ramsey and Westbrook that went for naught with just 1:17 to go.

The ensuing onside kick wasn’t close to being recoverable.

So a hugely important game for the direction of IU’s program turned out to be a bust, with Indiana offering merely more of the same sub-par football it authored all season.

Indiana’s program has no tangible momentum entering the offseason, and Allen now has some key decisions to make. Is this offense really sustainable? Should he continue to juggle both the head coaching and defensive coordinator duties?

Regarding the latter, Allen admits he’s considered delegating those duties to someone else. Working both jobs can be a burden at this level, and Allen is willing to change his approach based on what does and doesn’t seem to work.

That should make for an interesting offseason. IU needs a jolt — at least some sort of change.

Because in the all-important, regular-season finale, the Hoosiers offered more of the same.

“Just a matter of continuing another whole off-season, full spring, summer, fall camp to continue to grow our guys and develop them, keep getting the results that we want,” Allen said.

Allen appeared to remain in his Memorial Stadium office well after the game’s conclusion.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday — three and a half hours after the final seconds fell off the clock — the light finally turned off.

84 comments

      1. I think we are well positioned to go 5-6 next year.

        Penix will be moved to receiver where he will be injured the first game.

        In an interview after his retirement Debord will confess he did not realize you were allowed to pass inside the hash marks more than 7 yards downfield.

        Coach Allen will make a bold coaching statement by moving Stevie Scott back to linebacker.

        Five games into the year they will realize Reese Taylor transferred during the off season.

        Nick Tronti becomes a Heimsan finalist.

        Fred Glass extends Coach Allen’s contract citing his consistency.

  1. 2-7 in Big Ten play? Can play like last we did at Michigan, but not even in the ballpark of that level at home in a rivalry game for bowl eligibility. The opponent was solid, but not on Wolverine’s level. But, to be expected I guess when you juxtapose last week with the Iowa or Minnesota debacles. Another winnable conference game where we found a way to not do enough to pull one out.

  2. The offense looked toothless all game even when scoring. At no time would I be afraid of getting slashed by the offense of IU if I were PU’s defense. If it takes a new OC to get our QB to go for the routes that will lead to big plays then bring an OC that can do that job. Personally, I think it will take changing QBs as it looks like Ramsey is just too timid to light this offense up. I know we lost Penix but it just makes it clear to me that he needs to be the QB next year if IU is to win games that they played close this year.

    I hope the defense gets back to the standards coach Allen set the previous two years. Having young players get another year older gives them a good chance of doing that. I do worry about the depth of the DL but imagine some bigger DEs will be moved inside.

    Coach Allen will have to make some tough staff decision/s and will have to hit it out of the park with an OC hire. As good as the 2019 class is so far, I am concerned a QB hasn’t committed yet. IU is too thin at QB to have a class without a dynamic QB coming in for 2019. It will take several classes to strengthen the QB room if they can bring in dynamic QBs each year.

    Coach Allen’s tenure will be determined by the OC for next year and how well IU does with a tougher schedule next year.

    1. Haven’t felt this low about IUFB since the last 2 Mallory years. IU hard nosed D that could tackle is now a memory. How can youth be the excuse in game 12? Shelby/Joseph/Inge really had pass coverage beginning to become a strength at IU. Hire Teegardin and Wommack and hoards of opposing receivers get open with no defender within the camera shot. How can youth be the excuse in game 12? Stupid, egregious, untimely penalties and mindless mistakes committed over and over for 24 F-ing games. Youth? Really?? The real travesty is the blueprint for beating the PUkes was captured on film last week by Wisconsin. Run the ‘MF’ ball. Instead as DeBord has done all season he puts it squarely on Peyton’s shoulders to W or L. All that Ramsey needed to do was get behind center or in the pistol and handoff to big Scottie along with an occasional keeper. Instead 3 & out, 3 & out. DeBord is stupid! You build an offense to leverage players’ strengths not commit their weaknesses to primetime week after week. A good OC with focused scheming would make PR very effective on the field and in stats. 2 800 lb. gorillas in the same room at the same time.
      Hire a DC
      Hire a new OC
      Then install strict, absolute accountability across the staff then let them teach and evaluate also across the roster then let them learn and compete.

  3. I just listened to his press conference. I just think they are completely lost. He felt like they were prepared and gave it their all. We have no shot to get better with this guy as head coach. Do they all get participation trophies at the banquet.

    1. i have said before coach allen is not the man fore iu football. will never get any better as long as he is head coach.

  4. IU New creative paradigm. Hire Co head coaches. One for offense Matt Canada. One for defense Tom Allen. Compensate both same as head coaches plus adjustment for Tom Allen to buy out his current contract. Make them 5 or 6 year terms and turn program around in three years and they get extensions.

  5. I didn’t have high hopes for the game so it is what it is. Hopefully the DeBord expirement is over and we can move on. I’m on record from day one as hating the DeBord hire. It’s going to be an interesting off season in Btown.

  6. The excuses are getting old,, Purdue utilized Moore, I U used Taylor I U Football has been poor for a long time however, I can be thankful that I’m not a Michigan Fan that has spent millions of dollars for much more expensive coach’s excuses than I U’s bargain basement excuses.

    1. I’d rather have excuses about going 8-1 verses 2-7 in the Big Ten. If an IU coach ever wins 8 conference games, we’d put his name on the stadium.

  7. I don’t know which is worse, the undisciplined, unprepared coaching staff or the fans that continuously make excuses for them. Better results require higher standards. Tom Allen isn’t a Big Ten head coach, Ramsey isn’t a Big Ten quarterback and DeBord isn’t a Big Ten caliber OC.

  8. I watch an IU game and then watch Bama play. B10 East is difficult but I could not imagine IU playing Bama every year. They crush our division.

    1. Well, they crush any division but I’d bet they wouldn’t go undefeated every year if they had to play OSU, PSU, and Michigan every single year.

      1. Agreed, much easier playing Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, Miss St., Auburn, South Carolina, other push overs.

        1. …like Arkansas St., Lafayette and The Citadel + the down years of varying teams such as this years Arkansas and L’Ville…yup 5 gimme’s, it’s tough to be Bama…

  9. some on this blog, gave Indiana football and excuse of being young…well the youngest team in the BIG TEN “Minnesota” just beat Wisconsin and is going to a “BOWL” game after two years under PJ FLECK. WOW!!! Is PJ Fleck turning around the Minnesota program in two years and from the outside view looks like PJ is doing it the right way. Not to mention PJ fired the Minnesota defensive cord in mid-season. Minnesota doing it (winning) with 2 and 3 star players. PJ has a system and players are improving/developing, whereby the players at Indiana never improved from the beginning of the season (Indiana players made the same stupid mistakes at the end of the year that they made at the beginning of the year). In two years the Tom Allen script is getting old. Fred Glass made a mistakes!!

    1. Oh please. They are in the west. Their two biggest wins were against a 7-5 team and a 6-6 team and they were big upsets. They lost to Maryland (5-7), Nebraska (4-8), and Illinois (4-8). Illinois put up 55 points on them. Nebraska scored 53. Maryland…MARYLAND!… put up 42 on them.

      Since Maryland crushed them it’s safe to say they are better than 2 teams in the B1G East.

      All Minnesota proved this year is that they have the weakest schedule in the conference.

      1. Chet – first off Minnesota kick Indiana butt!!! An Minnesota is going to a minor bowl while Indiana is sitting at home. Indiana record shows they are only better than one team in the EAST. An at least PJ Fleck was smart enough to fire the Minnesota defensive cord after that many points was scored on Minnesota…..Indiana still has the whole coaching staff intact after this subpar seasons. The excuse that Indiana plays in the toughest Big Ten division is BS…It would not matter what divisions Indiana football is in, they are still the worst Power 5 football team/school in history, before the Big Ten split into division. All Minnesota did was play the teams on their schedule and beat 6 school, while Indiana choked.

        1. I don’t disagree with any of that.

          It still doesn’t mean they are worth a damn. They beat ONE team with a (barely) winning record and got their butts kicked a lot. They just played a very weak schedule and secured 6 wins. To claim they have done something special there is just silly.

      2. As bad as Minnesota was, they still beat Indiana with a freshmen qb making his first start. And for most of the game they made it look easy. Their coach also fired the DC mid season which helped spur the change. What did IU do? Double down with more of the same. What can we expect next year? More of the same. Accompanied by more excuses from Tom Allen’s dwindling supporters twisting and turning every stat to justify a lack of success.

        1. On the surface it appears Minnesota has done a better job than Indiana. They have certainly been more proactive and less ‘wait and see’. They had a very, very weak schedule on their side.

          Unfortunately, I think you are likely correct that we will see more of the same…with the same results.

  10. IU79-Well said. B1G network said IU had it all before them but they couldn’t finish. The theme coming into the season was finishing with 4 fingers in the air. Did someone forget to tell them what it means.

    Meanwhile, our coach is running around the field like a lunatic before the game.

    He needs to go back to high school. That stuff works in that environment. Then if he loves IU, he can send his best players to a real coach

    Glass, Do you have the guts to do what’s right?

  11. a. Dawkins quits …Dual threat qb gone.
    b. Penix was likely held out for as long as possible because his body just wasn’t ready for the punishment of BigTen play…Big arm qb gone.
    c. Ramsey has too little of an arm to make an offense dangerous.

    a + b + c = Zero QB

    This team did not have a truly legit qb capable to run an offense in the BigTen. Some of it was inadequate recruiting. Some of it was likely early mismanagement (before the season started). Some was misfortune.

    No matter how you slice it, it’s tough to win at this level of football with a rather pedestrian qb.

    Allen is a fine man. Ramsey is a fine young man. Unfortunately, limitations sometimes pick fine men.

  12. We had no sceme,, we recruited players with no plan on how to use their abilities, we were undisciplined, a HC with no idea how to put a program together and tried to continue as the DC, stupid penalties, and what exactly are you going to do with Ramsey next year if you want to use Penix at QB? We hav3 caused more problems for next year.

  13. Tom Allen is not a Big Ten head coach. Highly unlikely that he will ever produce a winning season at IU. Fred Glass should be fired tomorrow. He is simply a terrible Athletic Director. IU’s present leadership is a group of pathetic losers. This is ridiculous.

  14. I’m glad we’re not going to a bowl. It’s defeatist to allow a team to think they’ve had a successful season after only going 3-6 in their conference(even if we had won today).

    Rules should be changed. If you can’t go .500 in your conference, you should stay at home. PERIOD. Non-conference games should be the extra gravy and not viewed as the paramount victories that put you over the top when you can’t do diddlysquat in your own league.

    I don’t want a defeatist bowl game sucking attention away from our basketball program during December. Bowls should not be gifts from Santa…They should be earned via conference prowess(in the same manner the NCAA looks at conference standings for March Madness at large bids).

    IU Football is never going to attain “breakthrough” status until it can win 1/2 share of their games in the conference. A bowl would only be an award for falling way short of sell jobs and expressed preseason goals outlined many times by Allen.

      1. I’ll accept four…but you should not be rewarded with a bowl when you win 3 of 9 conference games.

        Measures of “breakthrough” and supposed success should not be predicated on spanking some cupcakes while getting your ass kicked in conference play.

  15. I’m not a Minnesota fan but what Fleck accomplished in the last 3rd of the season by having the cahunas to dump his DC and turn the gig over to Joe Rossi (just made permanent) is in football jargon, amazing. Thump IU, Purdue and blow out Wisconsin at CRS after 14 losses. Minny IS the youngest roster in the country. As for IU in the West,…huh? I believe the Hoosiers were 0-fer. Not only losing but not really competitive. You want a quick turnaround, better defense, more fundamental performance week after week, win at least 6 games a year, upgrade recruiting? A solid head coach that would bring in a ready made staff, great connections in Ohio and region,…former DC at Ohio State, interim HC and now HC at ranked Cincinnati,…tried and tested Luke Fickel. If Kansas couldn’t stand being the doormat any longer by hiring Les Miles then IU should make a similar, but less expensive yet solid move with Fickel. As for Glass, he’s made good selections in other hires of late but needs to get off the wallet and bring in a proven, realistic and affordable commodity.

    1. It doesn’t take big cahones to fire your DC when you are giving up 50 points a game to mediocre teams.

      That’s desperation.

      1. Really? Had TA had some maybe IU would be 6-6 and saved the season. He’s insecure as a head coach and it shows. Incidentally, I read the Minneapolis Star report when Fleck made the announcement to the players in the lockeroom, they were “deliriously overjoyed”.
        As it is now as others have pointed out this program is dead in the water….no extended practice, no bowl exposure, decent recruits rethinking their verbals…etc.
        Debord was left alone because of deep family ties. That must be a result of LEO.
        Morgan Burke was a great fundraiser but as an AD he was a joke. His hiring of Hazell was the final straw. He went on the cheap and that is what Glass is trying to do. The only difference is that Mitch Daniels won’t settle for low level performance and McRobbie likely thinks football is soccer.

        1. No argument from me. More should have been done.

          Firing a DC after giving up 50 points a game would be the same as firing an OC if you hadn’t scored all season.

          It is not a tough call.

  16. Maybe.

    He has produced exactly one winning season as a head coach. In fairness, the OSU team he coached to a 6-7 record was in tumoil but it was loaded with talent. Though never implicated he was pretty high on the food chain for the “tatoogate” scandal that brought down Jim Tressel. That might mean nothing.

    He is as big a crapshoot as anyone. He is certainly not the ‘proven winner’ people are clamouring for.

  17. What exactly does TA tell recruits after this season? Hi I am Tom Allen, I am learning how to become a HC, we have no idea what we are doing, we get recruits we don’t know what to do with, we have lost for decades, we have no way of competing in our division, and our fanbase is deteriorating every year. How do you sell that crap?

  18. In reality I think IU fb is a crap shoot based on its fb history/ tradition. Success and proven winner other places Doesn’t = winner at other places including IU. There are so many variables at play from so many different directions and often becomes settled in contradictions and hypocrisy. Many big money hot coaching hires are and have become failures.
    IU Defense is not that bad. It hardly ever gets help and energized by IU offense. Even when IU has what many thought was really good offense and defense cost games I always thought defense got a little bit of a bad rap. I guess it depends on how you look at it. 3 to 0 thinking vs 62 to 39 thinking for example.
    Currently, Tom Allen needs a couple things. 1. He has got to hire OC that can create and coach exciting offensive football utilizing offensive line plus Scott, Taylor, Walker (low 4 star recruit) and receivers (effectively take care of business that can score)
    2. A good big ten level quarterback (Penix may be). Ramsey back up when and if needed. Don’t know what is going on with Mr. football RT? Very disappointing. T.A. and Debord are a failure on offense side of ball. No adjustments, slow to change and think on feet effectively.
    So Tom Allen should stay at IU and keep honoring contract to fruition (couple more years). Then extend contract or go different direction.

    1. The really infuriating part is the lack of discipline shown by the players. Penalties after the whistle completely changed the game against the Boils. It wasn’t the first time.

      As you said, nothing is guaranteed.

      Ask Chip Kelly.

  19. It is difficult after to evaluate a team and coaches following a tough loss. Much of the criticism is warranted but this squad is in the same position it was since 2013 and that included a 2015 year with two NFL OL players, an NFL QB and RB and playing PU when they had a bad coach.

    I want to see what changes coach Allen makes after this season. It is clear after two years what many of us want – a new OC with experience of running an explosive offense. The true evaluation of this program can’t happen until we see what happens prior to Spring Practice. Coach Allen making good moves can give the team momentum heading into Spring Practice.

    1. Agreed, evaluation is damn tough after a tough but deserved loss. The evaluation that is presently being expounded is based on the past 24 games. Much to much data, bad decisions, squandered opportunities along with performance based poor results to make light of and dismiss. There is now a clear picture of the animal being described. In full 10-14 color.

  20. There’s more questions than answers for now, the key date is December 14th early signing day. First what recruits are signed, seond what coaching changes are made after the early signing day.

  21. Wow…50 entries on this thread.
    Of course, without Chet there would be about 35. Chet has been in a very dominant mood of late. Chet has always made nice use of white space.

    I think t came in second place with 5 entries.

    davis gets it right ….with one very succinct entry.

  22. I didn’t base my thoughts on Purdue game. It played out to what I expected. Rather, thoughts are based on mostly since Debord has been there. I thought Debord was a decent hire because of T.A. first major college coaching job and good for young players. It backfired and I was wrong. Now, new creative OC needed, now.

  23. Kingsbury just got axed at Texas Tech. Glass should be on the horn right now offering him the OC position.

      1. Interesting that he went from being an offensive genius to getting fired the season after he hired Kevin Johns as his OC.

    1. Graham Harrell is my choice for OC if Allen remains HC. He has learned under Mike Gundy, Dana ‘Air Raid’ Holgerson, Mike Leach and presently OC for Seth Littrell. We’d get a young aggressor creating ways to score TD’s. Penix and the receivers would flourish, Scott would advance even more.

  24. Maybe Harbaugh becomes available after such thorough humiliation in Columbus? Wonder if he’d be interested in a job at Indiana?

    Best defense in America? What a joke. We played OSU tougher. Guess we belong in the top four.

  25. Plus Harrell former qb that might bring excitement and utilize skill positions talent. Much needed. 235,000 per year, as salary.
    I remember Kevin Wilson first taking job lined up some impressive assistants including one from Boise State. Every single one that had really good credentials backed out and KW had to go alternative route for assistant coaches. He still put a lot of emphasis on offensive linemen and a pretty good offensive staff.

  26. HC, I like your idea about OC and wish coach Allen would too. He has to encourage DeBord to retire as the offense didn’t come close to meeting Allen’s goals with experienced players in most spots. I hope coach Allen can make a bold move and not just a safe move.

  27. DeBord can make a choice; retire (which would be nice way) or be fired. His choice. Plus Debord makes good money and could get another job.

  28. This isn’t a coach losing games because he didn’t inherited talent. He came on board after back-to-back bowl games with the most returning players in the Big Ten and a 5th year quarterback. This isn’t a coach losing games because they implemented a radical new system. They went from a 1 back spread to a 1 back spread. He’s losing games because he’s just not a good head coach. Given the lack of growth from year 1 to year 2, it’s a safe bet he won’t be a good head coach next year or the year after either. If the administration doesn’t make changes, I hope the fans stop showing up and force their hand. Supporting bad football only encourages more bad football.

      1. Thanks Chet. Some people on this blog seem to think Indiana is some kind of football powerhouse with a great fan base.

        1. Lets assume $80 per ticket and 6 home games, that’s $4.8 million for a drop of 10,000 fans per game. Even to high rollers like Fishspinners and Chet, that’s real money. And the 10k loss is less than the increase that Purdue has seen under Brohm.

          1. Totally agree. I was just commenting that the attendance issue is not new.

            Put me in the “pull out all the stops” column.

            Pay the money, get the staff. I am totally on board. I am a lot more likely to donate more if I think we are on the same page.

    1. Cmon man! There wouldn’t have been back to back bowl games if Allen didn’t come on board as DC prior to the second year of the back to back. The offense took a step back that year and for the Hoosiers sake, Allen transformed the defense into a good unit (something they hadn’t had in years!). And that 5th year QB you mentioned sucked at football. He had a cannon but that was about the only good thing I can say about his skill set.

      Stop acting like Indiana is some kind of tradition rich program that deserves to have Saban or Dabo on the sidelines. Give Allen time to make his mark on the program and get Indiana going in the right direction. If they take a step back next season then I might start to worry about Allen. IU finished this year right where I thought they would be (between four and six wins). I expect a bowl game next year and there shouldn’t be any excuses not to make a bowl unless they retain DeBord.

      1. What’s the point about Allen as DC got to do with anything? HC Allen had the same DC. He could have hired a new DC but didn’t. That’s on him. And what’s magical about year 3? Why not year 2 or 5 or 13? I can already hear the 2019 excuses- “this player got hurt, that coach left, he deserves another year of on-the-job training.”

  29. These comments are hilarious!!! I needed a good laugh. With the exception of a choice few, and you know who you are, the FFI (Functional Football Illiteracy) on this board staggers the imagination. You have some thinking Alabama has it easy in the SEC west. I can think of 4 teams right now in that one division who would dominate B1G. If can’t name them, you don’t know football, and you prove my point of the FFI problems on this board. Next year there will probably be 5, and I’m not even counting the east.

    It is not that SEC FB is so good, it is B1G, B12 & P12 FB is so bad. I don’t care about the conference’s bowl W/L, they are meaningless. Unless you’re in the championship series, most teams are not going to go all out. Half the top players won’t even play to avoid injury before the draft. Just the nature of the modern college FB beast we have created.

    Here’s another hilarious one, complain about the QB having a weak arm one hand and then turning around to complain about the OC’s lack of creative play calling. Kind of hard to be creative when you have to shelve at least a third of your options if you can’t throw the ball anywhere on the field. Funniest thing wass the criticism of the OC using the same scheme at UT. Only problem is he did quite well at UT. Yes, he had better talent, but he was also in a much tougher conference. Even if it was the SEC east.

    This season was lost in camp with an open completion for QB which wasn’t. The only surprise win was the dysfunction which is Maryland FB, should have gone 4-8. The only question on anyone’s mind should be, who made the decision on the starting QB? Everyone knew the D would be replacing a lot of starters and would need the support of an explosive offense, didn’t happen. The biggest disappointment would the poor play of the special teams, and that’s first place to make a change.

    Sorry H4H, I don’t buy the argument about Penix not being physically ready to play in the B1G. There have been plenty of skinny QB’s play at a high level in P5 FB. It is not about how pumped up you are, as much as it is about it being conditioned in the right manner. The biggest thing is how tough are you, PR has got it in toughness and even the conditioning you would desire, but training can only take a weak arm so far. I’ll take a skinny strong armed QB who knows how to move in the pocket and is accurate all day long.

    1. Dude, your post is like War and Peace….. how about just the Cliff Notes version next time? I don’t know about all your football literacy stuff, but I know I don’t want to have to expand my English literacy just to keep up…

    2. I know you don’t buy it….That’s fine. I just don’t believe he had the frame to endure the punishment. The qb position was still very mismanaged. Why recruit a dual threat guy all the way from Arizona and then make him feel like chopped liver? Why is the starter so weak in the throwing department hampering all aspects of a passing game? Why did we wait so long to give Penix a shot? Shoved into a corner against Penn State is when you finally decide to use Penix? These are all roster and management inconsistencies/inadequacies that ultimately fall on the shoulders of the head coach. And I completely agree with you (as stated in my post above)/ pretty hard to win football games with such limitations at the qb position.
      We agree on much. Penix has more talent…We only differ on how and why decisions were made to primarily limit him until PSU. I think he was being limited because of his frame….But the fans were getting restless and desperation was sinking in. Now we see why. We simply didn’t have the talent at the position to finish the season strong.

    3. Penix’s body would have never held up to dual threat utilization in the same manner as Dawkins. Dawkins is built like an NFL receiver…or cornerback. Penix looks more like a cello bow.
      Does Dawkins stay if camp was more an “open competition”…and if the starter wasn’t named a week prior to the first game? We’ll never know.

      I believe the original intention was to do everything possible to hold onto Penix’s redshirt. Dawkins departure exposed a much more fragile qb situation than most believed we would ever face.

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