After starting the game at quarterback, junior Connor Bazelak was replaced by sophomore Dexter Williams just three drives into the game against Ohio State Saturday in Columbus, Ohio. Williams received opportunities to play in last week’s loss against Penn State and after impressing coaches, head coach Tom Allen gave him more of a chance this week.
Indiana’s offense started the game with three straight punts before the staff decided it was time to give bring in Williams. On his first possession of the game Williams hit junior receiver Andison Coby for a 49-yard gain down the middle of the field.
Using both his arm and his legs, Williams led the Hoosier offense down the field for its first touchdown of the game. While Ohio State was already in control of the game, this gave some hope to the Indiana offense.
“Williams was always expected to get some playing time, but we believed he played well enough to stay in the game,” Allen said.
While Ohio State was marching up and down the field, Williams was getting positive repetitions against one of the best teams in the nation.
“We tried to maximize Dexter without putting too much on him, really liked what we saw from him,” Allen said.
Williams ended the game completing just six of his 19 attempts for 107 yards and two scores. His second touchdown came early in the second half to former quarterback and current sophomore receiver Donaven McCulley.
[Related: COLUMN: Ranking Indiana football’s six losses from most to least entertaining]
While Williams' completion percentage was low at just 32%, he extended plays and made throws both in the intermediate and deep portions of the field.
Possibly the biggest takeaway from the performance was his lack of turnovers. Williams threw zero interceptions and didn’t fumble while keeping the offense going with his legs when the passing game was ineffective. He finished with 16 carries for 46 yards and ended the game as the Hoosiers’ leading rusher.
With the change at quarterback, it will be intriguing to see who the Hoosiers give the job next week against Michigan State. Both teams have struggled to win games so far this season.
Indiana fell to 3-7 on the season after the loss to Ohio State. Questions about the most important position on the field will fuel speculation during the next two weeks as the Hoosiers gear up for the regular season finale against the Boilermakers on Nov. 26.
Support the Indiana Daily Student to beat Purdue's student newspaper, the Exponent, through making a donation to the IDS Legacy Fund! Whichever publication raises more money before the Purdue v. IU football game Nov. 26 "wins" the challenge, but all donations go to support student journalism at the respective publications. To help IU beat Purdue and support the IDS, follow this link to donate.