Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. suffered a torn ACL on Saturday against Maryland and will miss the rest of the season, coach Tom Allen announced today. Backup quarterback Jack Tuttle, a redshirt sophomore, will start for the Hoosiers against No. 18 Wisconsin.
Penix's injury is to the right knee, making it the same ACL he tore as a freshman in 2018. The Hoosier quarterback has suffered season-ending injuries in all three of his years playing for Indiana.
The tear came on a run play against the Terrapins and appeared to be a non-contact injury. The left-hander galloped out of bounds near the end zone and tried to stop himself quickly because of the wall near the sideline at Memorial Stadium. He went down and immediately grabbed for the knee.
Penix finishes his redshirt sophomore season with 1,645 yards and a 56.4% completion percentage. He threw 14 touchdowns against four interceptions and led the Hoosiers to a 5-1 record as the starter. The only loss came against Ohio State, when he threw for 491 yards, the second-most in a game in Indiana history, and five touchdowns. When he tore his ACL as a freshman, he was ready for the start of the following season, so the Hoosiers are hopeful to have him back for a full season in 2021, provided he doesn't declare for the NFL Draft.
With Penix out, in steps Tuttle, the No. 7 quarterback recruit in the country in the 2018 class. He originally signed with Utah, but did not play as a true freshman and transferred to Indiana prior to the 2019 season. He battled for the starting job with Penix and Peyton Ramsey, ultimately winding up as the third-stringer. In relief of Penix against the Terrapins, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Tuttle went 5 for 5 for 31 yards and led the Hoosiers on a couple of scoring drives, though Indiana did not ask him to do much other than hand off and make very simple throws. He'll have a more difficult task against a Wisconsin team that is holding opponents to a paltry 166 passing yards per game and giving up an opponent completion percentage of 48.4%.
For more on Tuttle and what he brings to the table, here is what I wrote when he first announced his transfer to Indiana in December 2018: https://www.journalgazette.net/blog/eyeing-iu/20181217/indiana-adds-elite-2018-qb-to-roster.