BLOOMINGTON — Indiana coach Tom Allen has made clear he wants to see more big plays downfield next season.
The Hoosiers showed glimpses of that big-play ability in the Cream and Crimson spring game on Friday night at Memorial Stadium. The offense (Cream) beat the defense (Crimson) 48-33, scoring three TDs while moving the ball throughout a breezy night.
Redshirt junior quarterback Peyton Ramsey completed 25 of 37 passes for 296 yards with one TD and one interception as the only quarterback to go through the live tackling portion of the scrimmage. Ramsey’s best completion was a 39-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Ty Fryfoggle.
“There was just a low safety, and it was an opportunity for Ty to go make a play down the field,” Ramsey said. “As soon as I saw that he had an opportunity to do that, I let it fly. He went and made a play for me.”
Ramsey will enter the summer in a three-way quarterback competition with redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. and redshirt freshman Jack Tuttle. Penix and Tuttle did not take part in live contact, though Penix took part in 7-on-7 drills between quarterbacks, finishing 8-of-15 for 98 yards and one TD in three series. Tuttle sat out the game due to a short-term illness.
Ramsey also finished with 43 yards rushing on four scrambles and had three completions of 30 yards or longer.
“This is my third year going into a quarterback competition,” Ramsey said. “At this point, I’ve experienced it. I’ve lived through it. So I’m comfortable. I’m excited for it because this was a good spring for me. I’m excited for what’s to come.”
Defensively, Allen was pleased with IU’s three takeaways. Two came on forced fumbles and one came on an interception by senior cornerback A’Shon Riggins.
“Our defense is a takeaway driven team, and that’s what we emphasize, and we attack that football, and that’s what our guys did tonight,” Allen said.
Another offensive standout was senior receiver Donovan Hale, who had eight catches for 100 yards. Hale, who was named most outstanding offensive player of the spring at halftime, had a 33-yard catch on IU’s first offensive possession, which set up a 40-yard Justus Logan field goal.
“It was my last spring game so I wanted to go out with a bang,” Hale said.
Allen said Hale has slimmed down from last season, when he was coming back from a season-ending knee injury.
“He’s a guy who has gone from being limited in the past to where it’s really a non-issue,” Allen said. “Tonight he was out there in the fourth quarter making plays. “
Coming off a 5-7 season, Allen said he’s been pleased with what the Hoosiers were able to accomplish this spring. At halftime, Allen made that clear while addressing the crowd, thanking them for coming out to watch the offense win a steak dinner from the defense.
“This team is going to work harder than any team to get ready for the start of the season,” Allen told them. “I love this team. I love their mindset.”
EXTRA POINTS: Wide receiver Miles Marshall was named most improved offensive player of the spring. Defensive back Noah Pierre, who recovered a fumble Friday night, was named most improved defensive player, and senior cornerback Andre Brown Jr. was named most outstanding defensive player.