Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The Indiana Hoosiers capped off their spring practice slate with their annual Cream and Crimson game on Saturday afternoon in Bloomington with the Crimson claiming a 37-28 victory over the Cream. The game was moved indoors due to the forecast of severe weather.
The 2018 spring game featured a lot of defense and even more running as the both offenses combined for just two touchdowns in a truncated scrimmage. The game was shortened to just two 10-minute quarters with a field goal kicking competition at the end of each stanza.
Crimson quarterback Peyton Ramsey started the scoring when he raced past the Cream defense en route to a 53-yard touchdown run. Ramsey finished the day four-of-seven passing for an estimated 32 yards. His one interception, a great play by Andre Brown, was called back for an off-sides penalty.
The only other offensive touchdown came on a short run by senior Ricky Brookins that was set up by a nice catch and run by tight end Austin Dorris.
If the offense seemed vanilla, it is because that was the plan going in. "We didn't show a lot, we didn't do a lot, stuck to our base stuff. It was good to see us execute at a high level doing our simple, basic stuff" Ramsey said after the game.
Ramsey and Cream quarterback Mike Penix (4-11 47 yards) did not have their top two wide receivers in Nick Westbrook or Donavan Hale, but that did not stop Ramsey from making the most of the targets he did have this spring.
"As much as I'd like Nick Westbrook and Donavan Hale to be out there working on our timing, I think it was big for Luke (Timian) and Whop (Philyor)" said Ramsey. He added that "younger guys like David Felton, Jacolby Hewitt and Chris Gajcak out there getting reps and getting the opportunity to go out and compete against our top guys. I think it was beneficial for them and us getting our timing down."
Defensively Hoosiers on both teams where laying the lumber. The Cream was led by senior linebacker Mike McGinnis who got of to a fast start and finished with 4.5 total tackles while fellow linebacker Raekwon Jones tallied 2.5 total tackles. Redshirt freshmen Juwan Burgess and Bryant Fitzgerald also impressed combining for five tackles and a pass break up.
Allen praised the two young defensive backs after the game saying, "you look at a guy like Juwan Burgess, I thought he flashed today. He's a gifted, gifted player, but he's young, and he missed the whole season. Same thing with Bryant Fitzgerald. Those guys are special players that -- that's why I kept them in there."
The Crimson team was led defensively by Kahlil Bryant who racked up 5.5 tackles, including a sack and Marcelino Ball (2.5 tackles .5 TFL).
At the end of the day Tom Allen was pleased with what he saw from his squad.
"Really feel like our guys came in focused from our pregame voluntary chapel that we started the day with to our team meeting, which we had a lot of fun with. I just sensed a good focus from our guys, understanding that this is an important day for us because it's the next opportunity for us to improve. We've got so many new faces, so many young guys that every rep is critical, so really excited about the way that it was pretty clean on both sides, and I thought that our guys executed fairly well" he told reporters after the game.
The Indiana Hoosiers will open the season in Miami to take on the Florida International Golden Panthers on Sept. 1st.
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