Indiana Daily Student

From stable to unstable, detailing the Indiana football quarterback room the last few seasons

<p>Then-sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle runs the ball Jan. 2, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Indiana football will play Illinois on Sept. 2, 2022 in their first game of the season.  </p>

Then-sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle runs the ball Jan. 2, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Indiana football will play Illinois on Sept. 2, 2022 in their first game of the season.

Indiana football burst onto the national scene in 2019 with a winning season and bowl appearance against the University of Tennessee. The Hoosiers followed it up with an even more impressive 2020, losing just one regular season game, and ranking as high as 12th in the nation before their bowl game against the University of Mississippi. 

The man at the helm for Indiana through the majority of this success was current starting University of Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr.

Penix, who dealt with a season-ending injury in 2021, ended up entering his name into the transfer portal. Then-freshman quarterback Donaven McCulley ended up getting plenty of action alongside then-junior Jack Tuttle as the team looked for a new signal caller.

McCulley requested to make the switch from quarterback to wide receiver this offseason, leaving the position up for grabs between Tuttle and recent University of Missouri transfer Connor Bazelak. Bazelak was a two-year starter for the Tigers where he had an 11-9 record during his time in Columbia, Missouri. 

Tuttle served as the backup to Penix for much of his time in Bloomington, but has gotten many opportunities to start games the last couple seasons due to injuries. His number of games started is far less than Bazelak’s, but Tuttle’s time in the program is invaluable.

Tuttle and Bazelak have been the focus of the competition throughout camp, but redshirt sophomore Dexter Williams II has also been mentioned as of late. 

Williams II didn’t see the field at all last season due to a torn ACL, but he enters this season as a dual-threat option for the Hoosiers.

[Related: ‘What was the outlier?’: Tom Allen reaches important program, quarterback conclusion]

“We have made a decision as we said we would, following the second scrimmage, and have talked to the individuals involved,” head coach Tom Allen said. “It’s not going to be made public at this time, but the guys know and it will be reflected in practice tomorrow.”

Allen emphasized the importance of leadership, ball security and offensive understanding as the key factors in deciding who would end up with the position.

When asked about the main things to focus on during scrimmages earlier in the week, Tuttle didn’t need an elaborate response to make his point clear.

“Move the ball, score points,” Tuttle said.

With the first game of the season just around the corner, Hoosier fans won’t have to wait much longer to find out who their quarterback will be to start the 2022 season. After last year’s hectic season, Indiana’s quarterback situation will be much more set in stone.

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