Indiana improved to 6-1 on the season with a 14-6 victory over No. 16 Wisconsin on the road Saturday in the Hoosiers’ first game since starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. tore his ACL last week against Maryland.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle played in Penix’s place, going 13-of-22 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns for the No. 12 Hoosiers. Indiana’s defense had another solid performance, keeping Wisconsin (2-2) out of the end zone and forcing two turnovers.
After the game, Indiana coach Tom Allen said, “I haven’t beaten Wisconsin in Madison in 19 years, so we just keep checking off historical wins and opportunities for this program. So proud of Jack [Tuttle] and his ability to step in. Most people wrote us off because we lost Michael Penix, who is truly a tremendous player, better person, but we are a football team. That team showed up tonight, and that team hung together, prepared well this week, and I just feel so blessed to be the leader of this group.”
Tuttle was a three-star recruit in the 2018 class and participant in the 2017 Elite 11. He originally committed to Utah, but after not playing in 2018 he transferred to Indiana in April 2019 and was granted immediate eligibility.
“[Tuttle] did a lot of great things but I really wasn’t surprised,” Allen said. “I believe in Jack, Jack’s a special player.”
“LEO” (Love Each Other) has been the team’s mantra this season, which Allen often says after interviews. On Saturday, he emphasized the word “team” after the win.
“To me this is going to be — we talk about ‘what’s a team win look like in our program?’ This is what I’m going to point to with all the adversity we’ve had to face,” he said. “When you think about a football team, and we talked about it just in the locker room, I just kept saying that word over and over — this is a really good football team.”
Allen also revealed he keeps a notecard on his desk with a reminder from the Penn State game earlier in the season.
“Statistically, according to what I had seen on television, we had a .1% chance of winning that game once we turned the ball over on downs with 1:47 to go. I have that on a 2-by-5 card in my office, and we’ll use that for a long, long time. … I just think that creates so much belief, just kind of galvanized all the things we’ve been talking about.”
The Hoosiers’ 6-1 start is their best since 1993, and now includes wins over three ranked opponents. The only other season in which Indiana had three victories over ranked opponents was 1945.
Indiana is scheduled to finish the regular season against Purdue next Saturday in Bloomington.