It took a little adversity to jump start the Hoosiers’ 2018 season. Interestingly enough, it was one of the youngest and smallest guys on the Hoosiers’ roster that provided the first spark.
After a Peyton Ramsey interception on the first Indiana drive of the season led to a 7-0 Florida International lead, true freshman Reese Taylor got the Hoosier offense going. Taylor took a jet sweep from Ramsey and absorbed a big hit about 8 yards into his run. He didn’t go down. 32 yards later, IU was on the FIU end of the field, and the team seem energized by their young sensation.
A few plays later Ramsey threaded a beautiful ball down the seam to Donovan Hale for an 18 yard touchdown and the Hoosiers knotted the game up at seven apiece.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 1, 2018
They weren’t done.
Three plays later senior safety Jonathan Crawford stepped in front of a James Morgan pass and took it 33 yards to the house. Indiana led 14-7.
After the Hoosiers forced a Panther punt, Ramsey led an 11 play, 68 yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a Peyton Hendershot 3 yard TD reception. Ramsey completed nine consecutive passes following his early interception, and the Hoosiers led, 21-7.
The teams would trade touchdowns to end the first half, with Hale getting a second score on a beautiful grab on a crossing route on a ball that was thrown well behind him. The play occurred on a 4th and goal from the two yard line as head coach Tom Allen was rewarded for a gamble.
The Hoosiers seemed to miss an opportunity to score at the end of the first half. After advancing the ball as close as the FIU 30 in the last minute, Allen allowed time to run off the clock unnecessarily. When it came down to a final play, IU chose a shot to the end from Ramsey rather than a 48 yard field goal attempt. IU went to the locker room with a 28-14 lead.
For the most part the teams traded punches in the second half as IU was able to keep the lead intact. The biggest news in the second segment was what arguably appears to be an ongoing quarterback competition. After Ramsey threw for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns in the first half, freshman Michael Penix entered the game early in the second half.
All the Florida native did back in his home state was go 8 for 10 for 96 yards and a touchdown.
After FIU pulled back within 38-28 midway through the fourth quarter, Allen chose to go back to the more experienced Ramsey. The redshirt sophomore from Ohio came back in and did exactly what was expected, running out the clock with a nearly six minute drive.
The Hoosiers win it 38-28. IU has now won 13 of its last 15 opening games, and 12 of its last 13 nonconference contests.
Indiana will host Virginia next Saturday at Memorial Stadium.