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Wednesday, May 22
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Tayven Jackson wins Indiana football quarterback job, will start against Louisville

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Redshirt freshman Tayven Jackson has earned Indiana football’s starting quarterback job, head coach Tom Allen revealed at a Monday press conference. After months of mystery surrounding the role, Jackson will be the Hoosiers’ signal caller against the University of Louisville on Saturday.  

Jackson — who went 18-21 with 236 passing yards and a rushing score against Indiana State University on Sept. 8 — rotated snaps with fellow redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby throughout Indiana’s first two contests. 

After displaying his accuracy and poise in the pocket en route to the Hoosiers’ 41-7 victory over the Sycamores, Allen decided Jackson had shown enough to warrant the starting role. 

[Related: Depth, versatile rushing attack power Indiana to dominant win over Indiana State

“We’ve got two quarterbacks that I believe can both successfully lead our program and do great things on game day,” Allen said Monday afternoon. “But Tayven Jackson is going to be our starting quarterback.” 

Allen and offensive coordinator Walt Bell have lauded the Hoosiers’ quarterback room all offseason, with the latter citing Jackson and Sorsby as having NFL potential. While Indiana’s offense sputtered against Ohio State week one, Jackson provided a stable rhythm in week two. 

Jackson completed 86% of his passes against Indiana State and accumulated a 180.1 quarterback rating. Monday afternoon, Bell said Jackson has improved significantly in his knowledge of the system, but he looks for the former University of Tennessee transfer to grow in his command of the offense. 

Even with Jackson earning the starting job, Bell doesn’t plan on dramatically shifting the offensive approach against Louisville. With Jackson and Sorsby bearing similar physical traits and skillsets, Bell said he’s had the luxury of maintaining a similar gameplan for both quarterbacks. 

[Related: ‘He's my guy’: Inside Indiana quarterbacks Tayven Jackson, Brendan Sorsby’s relationship] 

After making his decision following a film review Saturday, Allen sat Jackson and Sorsby down Sunday to deliver the update. To Jackson, the news was a weight lifted off his shoulders. 

“It was a dream come true,” Jackson said of receiving the news from Allen. “Coming here it’s been a struggle, it’s been hard going through a quarterback battle, but that’s life. It was a relief.” 

Follow reporters Matt Press (@MattPress23) and Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana football season.
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