In their 34-13 season opening win over Florida International the Hoosiers played a number of newcomers, including quarterback Richard Lagow and defensive back Marcelino Ball. Both Ball and Lagow made an impact for their respective units in the victory for the Hoosiers.
Steady performance for Lagow
In his debut as an IU player Lagow completed 18-of-27 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown, and he rushed for another score. Coach Kevin Wilson said after the game that he was pleased with how Lagow played.
“Lagow was steady, no turnovers, got make some plays,” Wilson said about his new QB. “He’s been pretty calm. We tried to work hard on what he liked. We had 51 rushed so we didn’t have to expose him. He didn’t get hit a lot, which was good. He didn’t make a lot of judgments that made you say why did you go there. You didn’t see him throw it into a lot of crowd deals.”
Indiana running back Devine Redding said that he had total confidence in Lagow coming into the game and he knew he would get the job done.
“He played very well,” Redding said about Lagow. “I expected him to play well and he did. As a team we can still clean some things up. FIU showed some great fronts and great looks, and I felt like he did pretty good with the help of his team.”
When asked to assess his first game Lagow felt like it was a solid start, but he said a good deal of the credit goes to his teammates.
“A lot of work to be done,” he said. “I think it was a good start. It was fun. It was great to get out there with the team. The offensive line did an unbelievable job of keeping me safe and having my confidence up. The receivers made some unreal plays, and the running backs always do. It makes my job a lot easier when I can hand the ball off to them and have them go for a consistent five, six, seven (yards), whatever they do. But a lot of work to be done.”
On his rushing touchdown the Texas native said tight end Danny Friend made his job of getting into the end zone pretty easy.
“That was a design, just a basic read the defensive end,” Lagow said about his rushing TD. “He crashed down and I just followed Danny Friend. He made it pretty easy for me. He had a good block and I just followed him right into the end zone. It was fun.”
Ball active in his first college game
Marcelino Ball was one of the last commits for IU in the 2016 class, and it looks like he has a chance to be one of the most impactful for the Hoosiers. The Georgia native recorded five tackles and a pass break-up in the first start of his college career.
Ball said that he really wasn’t that nervous because for him it is still football and you just have to go out and make plays.
“I wasn’t really nervous,” he said about his first college game. “I just think of it as football, like high school football but just faster and better talent. But at the end of the day it is 11-on-11 and it’s football.”
After the game Coach Wilson said he was pleased with how well Ball bounced back after making a mistake very early in the game.
“Second play he had a big bust and wasn’t where he was supposed to be on a new formation and they ran an option,” Wilson said about Ball. “The next play they ran a bubble play and he smoked the blocker and blew up the receiver. So it was a good comeback, because he was dead wrong on like their second play that went for 20, 30 yards and something he hadn’t seen and got caught in. He’s a 17-year-old guy so whatever. But he’s strong, he’s talented, he’s got the look of a ballplayer, he’s a great kid, and I’m proud of the way he started.”
Ball said that you are going to have some missed assignments as a player, but the key is forgetting about it and moving on to the next play.
“Sometimes you have mental mistakes but you’ve got to come back,” Ball said. “You can’t let that last play, even if it was 80 or however many yards, you’ve got to come back the next play and keep it going.”
Ball said the confidence that he and his defensive teammates is a direct result of the things that coordinator Tom Allen coaches them on every day.
“I’m not going to lie to you, the things that Coach Allen preaches, it puts something in me and I can’t explain it,” Ball said. “It puts something in all of us, all 11 of us, or whoever is on the field. He preaches the right things and he always has juice and it kind of bleeds on to us.”
Fuchs leaves game with injury
The Hoosiers came out of the game against FIU in very good health, but they did suffer a tough loss when tight end Jordan Fuchs suffered an injury that will keep him out of action for a good part of the season.
"Unfortunately, we had an injury with Jordan Fuchs,” Coach Wilson said. “His injury is significant, although I don’t think it appears to be…it’s a dislocation and might need a surgery to an ankle that might take some time but potentially could get back this season but he’s got a redshirt year. It looked a little bit worse than hopefully…I don’t want to…but the doctors were…other than that we are very, very healthy.”
After Fuchs went down the Hoosiers used offensive lineman Brandon Knight at tight end some, which is a spot he played last year.
“We did a little bit tonight,” Wilson said. “Of course you’ve still got Ian Thomas who is doing well but is coming off an ankle injury and missed a little bit of time. Austin Dorris is back in the mix as well. But when you put Brandon Knight in there (at TE) you basically have six O-linemen, and then Danny Friend weighs 270. So we were in a big personnel and almost playing with seven offensive linemen. It was good.”