FIU Panthers struggle to contain Indiana’s passing game in 38-28 loss to Hoosiers

Peyton Ramsey threw for three touchdown passes to lead Indiana to a 38-28 victory over Florida International in the teams' season openers Saturday night.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

MIAMI (AP) — Peyton Ramsey threw for three touchdown passes to lead Indiana to a 38-28 victory over Florida International in the teams’ season openers Saturday night.

The Hoosiers overcame a 7-0 first quarter deficit and scored three unanswered touchdowns.

Ramsey connected with Donavan Hale on scores from 18 and 2-yards and also threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Hendershot. Ramsey completed 20-of-27 for 156 yards.

Indiana broke a 7-7 tie and took the lead for good on Jonathan Crawford’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter.

Backup Michael Penix replaced Ramsey in the second half and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mike Majette. Penix led the Hoosiers on another scoring drive which ended on Logan Justus’ 36-yard field goal for a 38-21 lead with 9:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Florida International’s Anthony Jones rushed for 88 yards on 15 carries and scored on touchdown runs of 36 and two yards.

The Hoosiers played without sophomore running back Morgan Ellison, who rushed for a team-high 704 yards last season. Ellison was suspended for the opener because of a violation of team rules.

THE TAKEAWAY:

Indiana: Ramsey overcame an interception to Florida International’s Dorian Hall in the team’s first series and led the Hoosiers to touchdowns in three of their next four drives. Ramsey moved Indiana to the Florida International 37-yard line in the final series of the first half before time elapsed.

Florida International: throughout fall practice, coach Butch Davis rotated transfer graduate student James Morgan and red-shirt juniors Christian Alexander at quarterback. Morgan started Saturday but Alexander also played in multiple series against the Hoosiers.

UP NEXT:

Indiana: The Hoosiers begin their 2018 home schedule against Virginia Sept. 8.

Florida International: The Panthers open Conference USA play at Old Dominion Sept. 8.