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Indiana football: Quarterback play will make or break Hoosiers’ 2023 season

Indiana football’s hopes in 2023 will rest on the shoulders of its starting quarterback, whoever that ends up being.

NCAA Football: Penn State at Indiana Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The headline and thesis of this article is admittedly pretty vapid.

Of course a team’s quarterback play will determine its fate. It’s the most important position not just in football, but all of sport. Good quarterback play lifts the team around it to make the entire offense better while poor play gets you nowhere.

But Indiana is in a unique position compared to recent seasons. The Hoosiers have had some form of starting experience at the position just about all of Tom’s years in Bloomington, but that’s not so this year.

Tayven Jackson, a transfer from Tennessee, and Brendan Sorsby, in his second year with the program, are both redshirt freshmen who have combined for just ten passing attempts in their short college football careers thus far. Those are currently the contenders to line up for the first snap of the season against Ohio State.

That’s a rather interesting situation to navigate for Tom Allen, whose future largely rides on the Hoosiers’ performance this season. His considerable buyout and past success has given him the luxury of time, but that obviously won’t last forever. He’s putting a lot of faith in these two and Walt Bell, the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, to improve heading into the fall.

That being said, transfer season is far from over. If Allen isn’t convinced by what he’s seen in spring practice so far he now has the option to add another quarterback through the portal, with experience as a starter or significant snaps being a must.

Allen declined to name a starting quarterback following today’s spring event for fans. Among all the valid complaints from Indiana’s fanbase these past few years, especially at quarterback, there’s really no issue with him doing this.

It’s wise to keep your options open at the position with, again, the transfer portal reopening. He’s seen a few practices from two guys who have, yet again, 10 combined attempts. Jackson is learning a new offensive system and Sorsby is as young as he is.

Not naming a starting quarterback at this point really isn’t an issue and an obvious call for Allen. There’s a lot of offseason left.

Even if he feels good at quarterback, adding a third would be a wise move for some additional insurance at the position while pushing both Jackson and Sorsby to put in even more work during the summer.