Facing fourth down in the red zone with a 38 point lead and just over six minutes to go in the fourth quarter, Jim Harbaugh kept his offense on the field. The result: a touchdown pass.
It was thrown by backup quarterback Jack Tuttle who, in a previous life, was Indiana’s second string quarterback.
As previously written, Tuttle was primed to take over as Indiana’s leader following Michael Penix Jr’s decision to transfer. Instead, the coaching staff brought in another quarterback to start and Tuttle entered the transfer portal in the middle of the season.
The late touchdown felt like vindication. Instead of investing in Tuttle, who’d transferred in as a redshirt freshman, Indiana made a different call at his expense. The locker room voted him into a captain position anyway.
Meanwhile, on the other sideline, Indiana was once again doing a quarterback rotation (it’s week seven) after previously doing so (they’re coming out of a bye week btw) against Ohio State and Indiana State.
The broadcast was openly saying that Indiana is still trying to figure out its offensive identity. In the middle of October. Granted, Indiana has an all new offensive coordinator, but how is that still a question.
That offensive coordinator, Rod Carey, called a trick play to go up 7-0 in the first quarter. Michigan responded with 52 unanswered points.
What’s broken about this offense was never going to be fixed in a week or two. There are deeper issues that Carey literally cannot fix. He said as much during his introductory press conference, there’s no magic wand here, he has to work with the cards he’s been dealt.
The defense... well, 52 points.
Nothing is going to fix this. The issues with the program extend far deeper than one quarterback change, dynamic playmaker or coordinator hiring/firing.
It’s hard to keep writing the same things about this team week in and week out. A few things change, but the bigger picture is always a blowout, uncompetitive loss whether it’s Maryland or Michigan.
The changes haven’t been enough, and they won’t be.