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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Indiana defensive lineman Michael Ziemba celebrates after beating Maryland on Saturday in College Park, Md.

Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:00 am

Indiana 34 Maryland 28

Ramsey steps up in Hoosiers' road win against Terrapins

DAVID GINSBURG | Associated Press

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – After losing his job to a freshman, Peyton Ramsey never abandoned the work ethic that enabled him to start 12 games at quarterback for Indiana last year.

Ramsey's willingness to be ready at a moment's notice paid off handsomely Saturday for the gritty junior, who threw for 193 yards and a touchdown in a relief role to help the Hoosiers beat Maryland 34-28.

Ramsey took over for injured Michael Penix Jr. with 12 minutes left in the second quarter and Indiana ahead 14-7. Showing no small measure of poise, Ramsey exuded calm in the huddle and finesse while running the offense.

“I'm just so proud of Peyton Ramsey,” coach Tom Allen said. “What an absolutely awesome young man. He was ready to play when called upon. It's been tough on him, but he's the ultimate team player. He proved his value to his teammates today.”

Coming off a season in which he threw for 2,875 yards and 19 touchdowns, Ramsey was displaced as the starter by Penix, a redshirt freshman with a dynamic left arm.

Instead of moping or seeking a transfer, Ramsey stayed on as a backup and made the best of the situation.

“You take a lot of pride in being the guy, so be able to accept that, a lot of guys can't,” Allen said. “He chose to stay for this football team. Not just stay, but be prepared every week.”

Ramsey may not be done as a starter. Allen would not describe any aspect of the injury to Penix except to say, “I'm not sure what next week holds, but I don't think it's a long term thing.”

It may not matter, because Ramsey looked good behind center after a short period of adjustment. He got a field goal out of his first drive and threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Nick Westbrook before halftime for a 24-21 lead.

“I started off a little shakier than I would have liked to, but I knew the game plan, knew where the ball was supposed to go,” Ramsey said. “It was just getting that first drive out of my system, and then I felt good after that.”

With Ramsey leading the way, the Hoosiers (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) amassed 520 yards, including 334 through the air against the worst pass defense in the conference. Ramsey went 20 for 27 and ran for 46 yards.

Penix was 9 for 14 for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Stevie Scott took care of the ground game, grinding out 108 yards and two touchdowns.

Javon Leake ran for a career-high 158 yards and two scores for Maryland (3-4, 1-3), which has lost four of five under first-year coach Michael Locksley.

The Terrapins had a shot at the end, but their final two possessions ended in turnovers.

“We didn't make plays when we had opportunities to,” Locksley lamented. “We had two drives at the end there to win the ballgame and we didn't get it done. Ended those two drives with turnovers. Good teams don't beat themselves, and we continue to do it. I have to get us fixed.”

A 9-yard touchdown run by Scott put Indiana ahead 31-21 in the third quarter, but Maryland answered with a 1-yard TD run by Leake following a 52-yard completion from Tyrrell Pigrome to Tyler Mabry.

It was still 31-28 with 3:42 remaining when Indiana's Juwan Burgess stripped the ball from Leake and pounced on the loose ball at the Maryland 15.

That set up a field goal, and the Terrapins got to the Indiana 42 before an interception ended their final threat.