BOZICH | Indiana changes quarterbacks, drops Virginia, 34-17
Indiana started slowly but won at Virginia, 34-17 -- and the Hoosiers might have found a quarterback (Peyton Ramsey) as well as a running back (Morgan Ellison).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – When Indiana lost to Ohio State in the Hoosiers’ season-opener, the Hoosiers looked like a team with a big-armed quarterback but without a reliable running back.
What a different nine days makes.
The Hoosiers traveled to Charlottesville Saturday for their first road game. They’ll return to Bloomington with A) the first college career win (34-17)for head coach Tom Allen; B) Peyton Ramsey angling to take Lagow’s quarterback job; C) freshman Morgan Ellison running the ball like an upperclassman and D) the solid opportunity for a 3-1 start with two upcoming home games.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hoosiers fell behind 3-0 before taking a 17-3 halftime lead. They overpowered the Cavaliers in the second half, putting the game away on a 44-yard punt return by J-Shun Harris, who has missed the last two seasons with knee injuries.
In fact, the Hoosiers also overcame a questionable targeting penalty against defensive end Greg Gooch, which wiped an IU touchdown off the scoreboard and positioned Virginia for a touchdown that cut the Hoosiers’ lead to 27-17.
After completing 40 passes for 420 yards against Ohio State, Lagow was ineffective against Virginia, misfiring on 7 of his first 10 throws, including one interception. Lagow had persistent problems with interceptions last season. Allen had seen enough.
In the second quarter, Allen replaced Lagow with Ramsey, a redshirt freshman from Cincinnati who is considered a better runner but not a better thrower. Ramsey is also the son of a high school football coach. He was named the top player on IU’s offensive scout team last season.
Ramsey showed that he could run, pass and not throw the ball to the other team. He completed his first 11 throws, finishing 16 of 20 for 173 yards as well as a pair of touchdowns. He also ran a dozen times for 42 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.
Expect Allen to keep playing both guys but considering Indiana’s questions on the offensive line and running the ball, Ramsey provides greater mobility and an extra threat as a runner.
Like Harris, Ellison is another guy who has overcome multiple leg injuries. He was considered one of the top backs in Ohio while playing high school ball in suburban Columbus before he suffered broken bones in his leg on two occasions.
Ellison ran with power against Virginia, finishing with 47 yards on a dozen carries. Ramsey and Ellison combined to out-rush Virginia, which finished with 55 yards on 25 attempts.
Indiana returns home for a pair of winnable games. On Saturday the Hoosiers will host Florida International, which lost its season opener to Central Florida, 61-17 before edging Alcorn State, 17-10, Friday.
Leaving Miami to avoid Hurricane Irma, FIU played Alcorn at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., Friday and will likely remain there all week while preparing for the Hoosiers.
After FIU, Indiana will play host to Georgia Southern, which lost to New Hampshire, 22-12, Saturday.
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