Peyton Ramsey sparks IU football to victory off the bench



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Redshirt freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey runs the ball during the 2017 IU spring game. Ramsey is the new starting quarterback for IU, replacing senior Richard Lagow.  Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

After making his collegiate debut with a handful of pass and rush attempts against No. 2 Ohio State last weekend, freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey was praised by coach Tom Allen for having “a lot of great attributes.”

Ramsey didn’t leave a significant mark on that game, as he picked up just 10 yards passing and 10 more on the ground. But in those few plays, Ramsey offered a glimpse into his potential that Allen – and fans at last year’s IU football spring game – seemed to already know about.

Ramsey broke out in a big way and put his talents on full display in a 34-17 IU win over Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. The freshman, in just his second career college game, replaced Lagow early in the second quarter and provided 215 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

Lagow struggled in the early going, but he wasn’t the only one. Neither the Hoosiers nor the Cavaliers scored a point in the first quarter, and Lagow completed 3-of-10 passes for 24 yards. When Lagow threw an interception early in the second quarter, Ramsey replaced him.

The Hoosiers were stifled on one more possession before Ramsey took over and engineered three straight scoring drives. A 29-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr. capped the first drive and gave IU its first points of the game.

Then, Ramsey flashed the running skills that earned him looks on several option plays against the Buckeyes last week. A 26-yard scramble into the end zone put the Hoosiers up 14-3, and they held their lead from there.



Ramsey sparked an IU offense that looked lethargic in the first quarter and managed just 35 total yards of offense through the 15 minutes. The running game helped him out as well, as IU had 121 rushing yards as a team. 

The freshman quarterback finished his day completing 16-of-20 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 42 rushing yards and a rushing score.

Now, with IU set to play Florida International next Saturday in Bloomington, a quarterback question could emerge. 

However, when asked after the game, Allen said Lagow would remain the starting quarterback.

When Ramsey stood out in the spring game last April, Lagow – the incumbent and presumed starter at the time – had praise for Ramsey. 

If they wrestle for control of the job the rest of the season, it could provide some consistent uncertainty for the Hoosiers, but as long as the team wins, Allen will likely consider his quarterback “problem” a good one to have. For his part, Lagow was shown supporting Ramsey from the sidelines throughout Saturday’s game.

Back in April, Lagow was optimistic about Ramsey’s time at IU. But Lagow, as with many others, might not have known that time for Ramsey would come so soon. 

“I think the world of that kid, and I think he has a really bright future,” Lagow said.

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