What did IU learn about its quarterbacks on Saturday afternoon against Ohio State?
This much seems clear — Indiana had both of its young signal callers in game management mode for the first three quarters against the very talented Buckeye defense.
So what was learned? Truth be told — probably not much.
The raw data gives the edge to Brendan Sorsby, at least as a passer. He had the better overall PFF grade and QB rating by a healthy margin. But IU really didn’t open up the offense much until midway through the fourth quarter. Perhaps the fact IU had him in late when it had no choice to pass is a clue, but he clearly faced different circumstances that caused a difference in the play-calling.
Only 24 of IU’s 55 plays were pass plays, and most of those came in the fourth quarter with Sorsby back in the game. Prior to that the Hoosiers focused on running the football, including an array of option plays.
We’ll probably see more wide open offense in week two when the Hoosiers face Indiana State on Friday evening. IU coach Tom Allen said as much during his post-game press conference. What he didn’t say was that he probably didn’t want to rattle the confidence of either quarterback against an elite OSU defense — so the play-calling was very conservative.
Indiana State will obviously be a much different caliber of opponent, and we’ll likely find out much more when it comes to each quarterback’s ability to run a modern up-tempo, passing oriented offense. Based on a pre-determined approach, Jackson will start the game on Friday night, but both players should see plenty of action.
Here’s the tale of the tape from week one:
Jackson – 5 drives, 27 snaps. IU only called pass plays five times on his 27 snaps.
Sorsby – 4 drives, 28 snaps. IU called pass plays 19 times on his 28 snaps.
Sorsby – 80.5 QB rating, 67.6 percent PFF offensive rating
Jackson – 60.3 QB rating, 53.6 percent PFF offensive rating
The main difference in PFF ratings was due to passing grades: Sorsby 70.2, Jackson 55.3
Sorsby: completed 8-of-16 passes for 58 yards; 6 rushes, -2 yards (sacked once for 5 yards)
Jackson: completed 1-of-5 passes for 24 yards; 3 rushes, 11 yards
Neither quarterback threw a touchdown or an interception.
1 – 3-and-out. First drive of the game. Indiana had a 3rd-and-1 created by a Sorsby 11-yard run, but a false start penalty on third down helped to stall out the drive
2 – 3-and-out on the second drive of the game.
3 – Sorsby returned to the game late in the third quarter for a drive that started at IU’s own seven yard line. Down 20-3, IU was in passing mode, and this was his best drive. Sorsby completed five passes for 44 yards before the Hoosiers stalled out at the OSU 42.
4 – Now down 23-3 with under five minutes, IU picked up a first down but Sorsby took the game’s lone sack as OSU was able to generate a pass rush late in the game.
1 – Indiana picked up its first 1st down of the game on Jackson’s first drive. They moved the chains on three straight Jaylin Lucas runs.
2 – Off of an IU interception, Jackson leads the Hoosiers on their lone scoring drive of game, and he completes his only pass of the game, a 24-yarder to Cam Camper.
3 – Jackson may have earned another drive with the momentum he helped create. He led IU to 8 plays and 19 yards, but Jackson threw an incompletion on 4th down.
4- Jackson got his fourth straight drive to open the second half, but he threw an incompletion and IU went 3-and-out.
5- A fifth straight Jackson drive resulted in another incomplete pass and a second straight 3-and-out, and any momentum Jackson had was gone.
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