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COLUMN: This was the the right time to replace Lagow


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

This was the right time for a change to be made at the quarterback positon for IU. 

After 17 games as IU’s starting quarterback, senior Richard Lagow won’t be the starter Saturday against Charleston Southern. Instead, that role will fall to freshman Peyton Ramsey. 

It’s a welcome switch for the Hoosiers. 

“As you look back at the first four games and where we're at and our ability to move the football and score points and build a team around whoever I feel gives us the best opportunity to have success on game day,” IU Coach Tom Allen said.  “And I feel like and our staff feels like that Peyton Ramsey is the person for that responsibility.”

During spring practice and the preseason, all we heard about was how Lagow was improved and how he was more confident heading into the season. Lagow traversed the country in the offseason to learn from George Whitfield Jr., a renowned quarterback coach in San Diego, and worked as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in June. 

All that talk seems to have just been hot air. 

Lagow hasn’t looked any better this season and hasn’t taken that necessary next step forward. 

Through four games, Lagow has been pulled in favor of Ramsey three times. Lagow has thrown for 661 yards, but his completion percentage is 56.3 percent and he has three interceptions. 

Those numbers belie the inaccuracy that has plagued Lagow during his entire career. Against No. 4 Penn State, his incompletions were appalling as he consistently airmailed his receivers. Much like his career, he had throws that demonstrated his immense potential, but in between, there was too much inconsistency to be the leader of the offense. 

At this point in his career, Lagow is what he is and he’s not going to get any better. IU’s offense has a ceiling with him at quarterback because of his lack of poise and inability to lead IU to victories over quality opponents. In his time as the starting quarterback, the best win IU has had was a six-point victory over Maryland at home last year.

Ramsey is the unknown variable. We have not gotten to see him as the definitive quarterback that he is now, with the entire offense designed around him for an entire game. He brings another dimension to IU’s offense with his running ability. 

However, now that he’s the starter, defenses can key into his runs.

He doesn’t have the arm strength that Lagow possesses, but Ramsey has an ability to make the short and intermediate passes with more regularity than Lagow. When Ramsey is in the game, the offense moves with a faster empo that can catch defenses off guard and can help IU be more successful. 

The biggest thing with Ramsey is that there is room for growth and development. With Lagow, seemed like was never going to be the case. Ramsey’s size and arm may be limiting factors in how far he can take IU as a starting quarterback. 

Charleston Southern offers Ramsey a low-pressure chance to settle into his new role. Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord can open the offense and find the areas of the passing game where Ramsey can be the most successful moving forward. 

This is an exciting transition because the offense had grown stale with Lagow under center. Ramsey is so enticing because he’s something new and relatively unproven. His skillset is tantalizing and his playmaking ability can make up for any deficiencies in his game. 

It’s a new era for IU’s offense.


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