Indiana will be without quarterback Michael Penix Jr. for the rest of the season.
Penix was injured during the third quarter of Saturday’s win over Maryland, and Hoosiers coach Tom Allen told reporters Monday that Penix suffered a torn ACL.
It’s a brutal blow for Indiana, a program having a triumphant season. Indiana was ranked No. 12 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings and is now No. 10 in the AP poll after improving to 5-1 with the win over Maryland.
Penix, a redshirt sophomore, has emerged as one of the Big Ten’s top quarterbacks in 2020. He led IU to wins over Penn State and Michigan early in the year before throwing for 491 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-35 loss to Ohio State. Before the injury, Penix threw for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Penix tore the ACL in the same knee two years ago as a freshman. He also suffered a season-ending collarbone injury last season.
With Penix sidelined, Utah transfer Jack Tuttle played the rest of the game and helped the Hoosiers close out a win.
Tuttle completed all five of the passes he threw for 31 yards. They were his first pass attempts of the season. In 2019, his first year with the Hoosiers, Tuttle was 6-of-11 for 34 yards. He also rushed for 20 yards. Tuttle will make his first career start on Saturday against No. 16 Wisconsin.
Indiana is in an interesting position. The Hoosiers are a game behind Ohio State in the Big Ten East standings, but OSU is in danger of being ineligible for the conference title game.
Ohio State’s game at Illinois over the weekend was canceled due to OSU’s issues with COVID-19. The Buckeyes already missed a game earlier in the year, and cannot afford to miss another due to the Big Ten’s requirement that a team play a minimum of six games to be eligible for the conference title.
If OSU misses another game, Indiana is next in line in the East standings with games at Wisconsin and at home against Purdue remaining on the schedule.
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