The Nittany Lions beat the Hoosiers, 33-28, and handed Allen’s squad another tough defeat.
Jordan Guskey, IndyStar
Michael Penix Jr.’s status for the remainder of IU’s season is unclear after a hit during the third quarter of the Hoosiers’ loss to Penn State knocked him out of the game.
The freshman quarterback, who split time with redshirt sophomore quarterback and starter Peyton Ramsey through the first half, took off and scrambled for 13 yards on the first play of IU’s second drive of the third quarter. Nittany Lions safety Garrett Taylor and cornerback Amani Oruwariye combined to make the tackle, and it was clear the hit shook Penix.
Officials ejected Taylor for targeting.
“Looks like it was a lower-leg injury, which was why he was out of the game and couldn’t come back,” said IU coach Tom Allen after his team’s 33-28 loss. “The targeting part of it did not result in any kind of hit injury, just a penalty.”
Penix had played well for IU (4-4, 1-4) to that point. The Florida native logged snaps for the first time since the Hoosiers’ win against Ball State five weeks earlier and finished with 94 yards passing and 24 yards rushing. Just one of the five drives he completed ended with points for IU, a 30-yard rushing touchdown by freshman Ronnie Walker Jr., but there could have been more.
The Hoosiers couldn’t come away with the victory.
Jordan Guskey, IndyStar
Twice holding penalties nixed momentum for the Hoosiers. And if not for a miscommunication on 4th-and-1 late in the second quarter and the ball isn’t snapped to Penix, he doesn’t miss redshirt junior Nick Westbrook in the end zone and IU kicks a field goal to tie the score at 17.
Allen said the team won’t know how long he’s out until they’re able to perform more tests. Coaches could play him in one more game and still be able to use this as a redshirt year.
“It hurts,” said Ramsey, who noted Allen made clear before the game both he and Penix would play. “It’s tough. He’s been working hard, playing well. And to see him go down, you know, that hurts. But he’ll fight, he’ll battle. Whatever it is he’ll fight. He’s a good kid.”
Penix’s best game before this was his 96-yard, one-touchdown passing performance against Florida International. A three-star recruit from the 2018 class, he also threw for 29 yards on 4-of-5 passing against Ball State.
The last fans saw of Penix on Saturday was him being helped off the field.
Follow IndyStar sports reporter Jordan Guskey on Twitter at @JordanGuskey or email him at email@example.com.