It’s summer for Indiana University and that means the athletic events are slowing down. Us here at CQ, however, are not slowing down with content. Over the summer we will preview extensively the upcoming season for the Indiana Hoosiers football team.
First up is quarterback, where a competition might be going on this summer for the starting role. While Richard Lagow has the starting spot right now, and you can fully expect him to be behind center on August 31 against Kevin Wilson and Ohio State, backup Peyton Ramsey will be able to push Lagow this offseason, which could ultimately be beneficial for both players.
The clear favorite to hold down the fort under center is a man with a monster arm and a last name that involves the sound “lego”. He also is a man that at times is faced with one fatal flaw, which is accuracy.
Last season, Lagow threw for 3,362 yards, good for second in the Big Ten, with 19 touchdowns and was on the receiving end of a touchdown pass in the win against MSU. However, he also threw 17 interceptions on the year, including 5 in a loss to Wake Forest.
The quarterback situation this past year saw Lagow and Zander Diamont both play during the season. Diamont was almost exclusively brought on for the wildcat offense, but did have some very good throws in very timely situations.
For this upcoming season, Lagow may have to battle a bit for his starting spot against redshirt freshman, Peyton Ramsey. Ramsey led the Crimson team in the spring game to victory 42-36 in OT. Unofficially, he was 10-17 for 92 yards with a passing touchdown, a rushing touchdown, and one interception on a Hail Mary pass attempt at the end of the first half.
In the spring game, Ramsey showed that he was able to make decisions on the move and was very mobile in and out of the pocket. For more on the spring game and possible quarterback competition, here’s our recap.
Tom Allen says Peyton Ramsey's big spring game performance was reflective of his practice play and welcomes the QB competition— Mike Pegram (@peegs) April 14, 2017
Out of high school, Ramsey was ranked the 42nd pocket passer in the nation by ESPN. Conversely, the same year, Lagow was rated the number one pocket passer out of Junior College.
Lagow’s biggest problem last season was his inaccuracy. He can’t expect to throw 17 interceptions again if Indiana wants to win 8 or 9 football games this season (which is realistic, yet optimistic). If Lagow can improve his accuracy, the offense can be extremely dangerous in the air with Simmie Cobbs coming back from injury and other playmakers such as Ricky Brookins and Nick Westbrook. The only big question mark on offense will be at the running back position, as Devine Redding skipped his last season of eligibility to seek out greener pastures in the NFL.
Two other quarterbacks on IU’s roster this year are Nick Tronti and Austin King. Tronti was Florida’s Mr. Football this past year as a senior and is real dual-threat QB. King is a redshirt sophomore who hasn’t seen any playing time in his tenure with IU. There is a possibility that Tronti redshirts given that Lagow and Ramsey are leaps and bounds ahead of him experience-wise, but he does fit Indiana’s offense with his mobility. These two are wildcards, but this could change between now and August 31.
So does IU have a chance to win 8 games this season with an improved Lagow at QB? Absolutely. Will Peyton Ramsey push for Lagow’s starting spot? Yes, but expect Lagow to start the season and we will see where he goes from there.