Jordan Wells, TheHoosier.com
The Hoosiers started slowly Saturday evening in Charlottesville, Virginia, against Virginia.
No team scored in the first. In fact, both teams combined for a total yardage of 105 offensive yards in the first quarter — including just 35 for IU.
Senior quarterback Richard Lagow went 3-for-10 after passing for 410 yards against No. 2 Ohio State in week one. He also threw for his third interception of the season in the first quarter.
The passing onslaught that was handed to the Buckeyes in week one was absent, as just two receivers caught passes, and the Hoosiers looked utterly uncomfortable when trying to run the ball.
Enter redshirt freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey.
The freshman, who saw the most action he’s seen in his career, finished the game with 173 passing yards, 42 rushing yards and three total touchdowns in IU’s 34-17 win — head coach Tom Allen’s first win as head coach at IU.
Ramsey had seen the field for a handful of plays against Ohio State, but for mere quarterback options that resulted in him leading the team in rushing yards through three quarters with just 10 rushing yards.
Allen and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord left Ramsey in at Virginia though, and expanded his role in the pocket as well. The freshman let the ball fly 20 times and completed 16 of those passes, including his first career touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Simmie Cobbs, who broke a tackle and sprinted to the opposite side of the field to find the endzone.
Later in the second quarter, Ramsey showed his ability to escape the pocket under =pressure, as he broke to the weak side of the field and found open space for a 26-yard touchdown run, his longest of the game, to push the score to 14-7. The Hoosiers would never surrender the lead.
Senior kicker Griffin Oakes also found his first successes of the season, kicking two long field goals to not only add points to the Hoosier lead, but also push the momentum IU’s way.
His first was 51 yards at the close of the first half, to push the IU lead to 17-3. After the officials signaled the kick was good, Allen ran onto the field and celebrated with his kicker, who is coming off of a tough 2016 season — when he made just 16 of his 26 attempted field goals.
Eventually, the passing game caught traction, and junior receiver Luke Timian, senior tight end Ian Thomas and Cobbs combined for 13 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. The running game found more production than against Ohio State, as all Hoosier running backs combined for 29 carries and 79 yards, led by freshman Morgan Ellison.
Senior defensive lineman Greg Gooch nearly stripped Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert of the ball — which was picked up by senior defensive lineman Robert McCray for a touchdown — but he was penalized for targeting on helmet-to-helmet contact. The touchdown was negated, and Gooch will miss the first half of IU’s matchup against Georgia Southern as a result.
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