Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana ushered in the Peyton Ramsey era with ease.
The redshirt freshman quarterback’s efficient afternoon, combined with a strong effort from the defense, helped IU cruise to a 27-0 victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. It marked the Hoosiers’ first shutout since October 30, 1993 vs. Michigan State.
“Anytime you can shut somebody, I don’t care who they care collegiately, it’s our first since 1993 and that’s a big deal,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “That’s a big deal.”
In the days leading up to the game, both IU head coach Tom Allen and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord said the offense would be tailored to Ramsey’s skillset and the “throws he can make, will make.”
Safe to say Ramsey looked quite comfortable.
The Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder product completed 32 of 41 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in his first career start. He also led the Hoosiers in rushing with 15 carries for 54 yards, recovering a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown.
Allen said he made a point to name Ramsey the starter at the beginning of the week so he could get used to the routine that comes with it, from preparing for the contest to meeting with the media. Ramsey said going through that process was beneficial.
“Coming in knowing you’re the guy, I didn’t change anything preparation-wise, but it’s easier to get into a rhythm at practice every day to get all the reps,” Ramsey said. “It helped me get into a rhythm and feel real comfortable out there.”
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Taysir Mack played a big part in Ramsey’s big day.
Mack finished with seven receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets, his 111 receiving yards a game-high. One of his scores came on a 45-yard catch-and-run.
“It was definitely a breakthrough moment,” Mack said. “This is my first time being able to showcase what I was really able to do, but I wouldn’t be able to do it the guys there to support me. The o-line, Peyton, they did a phenomenal job.”
Indiana’s success through the air was not mirrored by Charleston Southern.
The Buccaneers failed to complete a pass, with starting sophomore quarterback Shane Bucenell going 0 for 9 and his backup, sophomore London Johnson, going 0 for 1.
They also recorded just 134 total yards of offense, with IU’s defense limiting six different Charleston ball carriers to 26 carries for 79 yards combined. It marked the first time IU’s defense had held an opponent to under 200 total yards of offense since limiting Indiana State to 170 in 2014.
“It’s awesome,” IU senior defensive end Jacob Robinson said of his side of the field’s performance. “A shutout was our No. 1 goal. We talked a lot this week about dominating, that was our one word, ‘dominate.’ The shutout was huge.”
Offensively, Indiana had an uncharacteristic four fumbles, losing two. However, in fairness, ball security for both teams was partially impacted by heavy rainfall throughout most of the second half.
Nonetheless, Allen said he planned to review the film and dissect why each one occurred.
“Very frustrating with the fumbles,” Allen said. “Just not very happy with that. That’s the only negative thing that I saw that stuck out to me.”
Overall, though, Allen was pleased with Saturday’s result with Big Ten play looming.
“We want to take every win and enjoy,” Allen said. “It takes a lot of work to get those.”
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