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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Indiana backup quarterback Peyton Ramsey was 16-of-20 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 1:00 am

IU game with FIU is victim of Irma

Travel uncertainty forces cancellation

MICHAEL MAROT | Associated Press

Indiana

vs. Florida International

Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: Big Ten Network

BLOOMINGTON – Indiana announced Monday night that this week's game between the Hoosiers and Florida International has been canceled in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Irma devastated the southern part of Florida over the weekend, including Miami where FIU is located. The hurricane left Indiana and FIU officials scrambling through the logistics of getting the Panthers to Bloomington.

IU athletic director Fred Glass and FIU AD Pete Garcia had communicated since Sunday and the decision to cancel was made late Monday night.

The Irma tragedy also hits home for IU head coach Tom Allen, as he coached for six years in Florida, including stops at South Florida, Temple Heights High School, and Armwood High School.

“They got a lot going on so our thoughts and prayers are with them and we're trying to do everything we can to help them and support them and be thinking of them for sure,” Allen said.

As a result of the cancellation, the Hoosiers will look to find an opponent for Oct. 7, their originally scheduled bye week.

Potential matchups could include Georgia Tech and South Florida, both of whom have openings that week.

If the Bulls were chosen as the opponent, it would present an intriguing storyline for Allen, whose last stop before Indiana was South Florida.

At his weekly news conference Monday, Allen talked about his quarterback position.

Richard Lagow is a tall, prototypical pocket passer who spent three quarters carving up Ohio State's secondary in the season opener. Peyton Ramsey showed Virginia he can beat teams with his arm, his feet or both.

So rather than choose one as the starter, the Hoosiers' first-year coach is telling everyone he intends to use some semblance of a rotation.

“It's a gut feel, for sure,” Allen said when asked how he'll decide on playing time. “But I'm just telling you, when you have the ability, whether it's change pace, change scheme, change things that force them, whether it's a running back that brings a certain skill set, you bring another guy in, he brings a different type of running style, type of skill set that he can do, things that he does well maybe the other guy doesn't do as well, I think that it forces them (opponents) to be able to prepare for both. That's hard to do sometimes.”

For the Hoosiers (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten), just finding a talented starter at football's most important position has occasionally proved challenging. Finding quarterback depth has, at times, almost been mission impossible.

Antwaan Randle El opened the 2001 season at receiver after starting at quarterback for three seasons. It took one stagnant offensive game for then-coach Cam Cameron to move Randle El back behind center.

The Hoosiers went into the 2013 season with three quarterbacks that had Division I starting experience – Cam Coffman, Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld.

Coffman and Roberson both transferred after the season. So when Sudfeld and backup quarterback Chris Covington both went down with season-ending injuries in the same game in 2014, then-coach Kevin Wilson handed Zander Diamont, a true freshman, the starting job. Wilson adapted by simplifying the offense and taking advantage of Diamont's running skills. Covington is now a starting linebacker for the Hoosiers.

Allen has been given a rare opportunity with two talented quarterbacks who seem content to split the job and the snaps.

“He was really helpful on the bench with me, talking about what he was seeing and what I was seeing,” Ramsey said after Saturday's 34-17 win at Virginia. “He was just trying to help me through it.”

Ramsey didn't need much help last weekend.

Just one week after Lagow threw for 410 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-21 loss to the Buckeyes, Ramsey took advantage of his chance. The redshirt freshman completed his first 11 passes, finished 16 of 20 with 173 yards and two touchdowns. Ramsey also ran 12 times for 42 yards and another score.

It caught Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall and his defense completely off guard. The Cavaliers never recovered.