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Indiana Quarterback Penix To Miss Remainder Of Season

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix is attended to by the medical staff after suffering a knee injury Saturday against Maryland.

Indiana wide receiver Whop Philyor checks on quarterback Michael Penix as he is attended to by medical personnel after being injured during Saturday's game against Maryland. (Adam Pinsker/WTIU)

The Indiana football team’s win over Maryland on Saturday was a costly on.

Head coach Tom Allen confirmed Monday that redshirt-sophomore quarterback Michael Penix tore the ACL in his right knee in Saturday’s 27-11 win and will miss the remainder of the season.

It’s the same injury Penix suffered as a freshman in 2018 and ends another of his seasons prematurely. Penix started the first six games last year before injuring his collarbone and missing the second half of the season.

“I know how hard he's worked and what he's overcome and how much he's put into this and how much he's sacrificed to put himself in position to play the level he was playing,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “And then to have it all just cut short so fast.

“It's tough. It is, but that's part of being in this position. You put your heart out there for guys and loving on them and caring about them and I hurt for him, I do, I hurt really bad.”

For Allen, the injury to Penix brought back memories from two weeks ago when Allen’s son, linebacker Thomas Allen, suffered a fractured hip against Michigan State and was lost for the season.

“The first person that reached out to me was Michael's dad,” Allen said. “His family reached out to me and wanted me to know how much they cared about Thomas and were praying for him. And then now, you know, I'm making those same phone calls back to them.”

Penix was playing at a high level for the Hoosiers, who moved up to No. 10 in the nation with the win. He had thrown for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns with just four interceptions this season. He’d also rushed for two scores.

Penix was injured at the end of a 21-yard run late in the third quarter with the Hoosiers clinging to a 9-3 lead. He went down as he was chased out of bounds at the Terps’ 3.

“It was it was a tough moment, because as Mike went out of bounds, I didn't even think anything of it,” Allen said. “And then when he went down, I just I didn't even know what happened.”

Backup Jack Tuttle came in and, after two Stevie Scott runs netted a touchdown, threw a pass to tight end Peyton Hendershot for the two-point conversion and a 17-3 lead.

Tuttle, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound sophomore who transferred to IU from Utah, went the rest of the way, completing all five of his passes for 31 yards.

Now, the starting job is his. Freshman Dexter Williams from Macon, Ga., moves into the backup role.

“This is why he came here,” Allen said. “He was a highly-recruited player out of high school and has a lot of arm talent. He just needs to understand that he has a lot of talent around him. He has a great receiving corps, tight ends, running backs, an offensive line, and a great coaching staff that is going to support him. He needs to go out there and relax, just play football.”

Allen said he’s asked everyone on the team to step up with one of its star players sidelined.

“It’s about every group elevating 1%,” Allen said. “Every position group, every phase of the game. Our defense has played phenomenal this year and needs to be elevated. I talked to them today, ‘You get one more takeaway, one more key stop, one more big play on defense.’

“Offensive line-wise, you elevate your play, each guy elevates their attention to detail in their preparation. Receivers, every guy elevates his attention to detail and route running and doing one more thing to be able to help this team to be great.”

The next chance comes Saturday when the Hoosiers travel to Madison, Wis., to face the No. 18 Badgers. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be on ABC.

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