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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey was 32 of 41 for 321 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his first start Saturday.

Sunday, October 08, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana 27 Charleston Southern 0

Ramsey sharp in first start for Indiana

Freshman QB tosses 2 TD passes

PETE DIPRIMIO | Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON – For Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey, little things matter. Being first matters.

That, coach Tom Allen said, is among the reasons why the freshman has won the starting job and why he's had so much early success.

Case in point, Saturday's 27-0 victory over Charleston Southern at Memorial Stadium. He was 32-for-41 passing for 321 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

“He's a heads-up kid,” Allen said. “It's a small thing, but it's a huge thing.”

“He's the first person in everything we do. He's first in meetings. He's first at practice. He's always that guy. It's the way he is. That's his identity.”

Identity was showcased in the second quarter, when Ramsey positioned himself to recover tailback Devonte Williams fumble in the end zone for a touchdown and a 17-0 Hoosiers lead.

Not every quarterback would have been so alert, Allen said. The son of a high school football coach was.

“When a guy is focused like that all the time,” Allen said, “it doesn't surprise you when he's where he's supposed to be. It's doing the little things. It's that kind of attention to detail.”

Ramsey said: “I was just carrying out my fake and saw the ball on the ground, so I jumped on it.”

Ramsey, who learned he was replacing senior Richard Lagow as the starter last Sunday, started hot and never slowed down. He completed 10 of his first 11 passes and became the first IU freshman to throw for more than 300 yards since Kellen Lewis had 321 against Minnesota in 2006.

IU offensive coordinator Mike DeBord tweaked the offense to maximize Ramsey's dual-threat ability. That included allowing him to throw from outside the pocket and mixing short passes and slants.

Ramsey had thrown for 316 yards in his first four games.

“I've played in the last four games, so it wasn't new to be out there,” he said, “but it was a huge confidence boost to get a win.”

This came against a struggling defense. The challenge ratchets up Saturday when IU (3-2) plays host to No. 7 Michigan and its dominating defense.

“We felt it was crucial that he spend a week preparing as a starter,” Allen said. “He handled it the way I expected him to.”