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‘We needed a spark’: QB situation in flux for Indiana football as Tayven Jackson benched for Brendan Sorsby in loss to Maryland



Tayven Jackson, Indiana football
Tayven Jackson was benched for Brendan Sorsby in Saturday's loss, brining into question who starts at the position moving forward. (Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Coming into the season, the quarterback position for the Indiana football program was the biggest question. After naming Tayven Jackson the official starter heading into week three, back-to-back poor starts for the redshirt freshman could make way for a change at the position.

After a 44-17 loss to Maryland on Saturday, Indiana football head coach Tom Allen made it known that major changes were going to be made, and the evaluation process would start all over as the team heads into its bye week.

“Every position has got to be evaluated,” Allen said.

As the Indiana offense struggled, a change was made midway through the third quarter. Down 27-3, Jackson was benched for fellow redshirt-freshman Brendan Sorsby. Sorsby led Indiana to 14 points while throwing for 84 yards and two touchdowns on 7-of-11 passing.

Jackson was 17-of-29 passing for 113 yards and one interception.

“We needed a spark. (We were) looking for something,” Allen said. “Obviously, we’ve got two quarterbacks that have proven they can play, so felt like Brendan has earned the right to have that opportunity. He (Jackson) knows you’ve got to play well if you want to continue to play your position. So everybody’s in that same boat.

“Brendan came in there and made some plays, but obviously they (Maryland) had some guys subbed out as well.”

Indiana finished with 321 total yards offensively — 205 passing and 116 rushing. It was another poor offensive performance from Indiana resulting in 4.1 yards per play, 3.1 yards per carry average, 5-of-17 on third downs and three sacks.

Indiana failed again with its ‘execution’. A third-and-two play on Maryland’s six yard line for Indiana resulted in a loss of one run. It was Indiana’s first drive and resulted in a field goal.

The next two drives resulted in six plays for -15 yards. Then, two drives later was a 15-play and 79-yard drive that resulted in a fourth-and-six incompletion at Maryland’s 14 yard line. The next drive was a triple-option on fourth-and-one, resulting in a loss of 11 yards.

“Tonight’s game was execution,” Allen said. “We need to execute the calls better from what I saw. A lot of receivers open, a lot of opportunities to make proper reads and [we] didn’t do that … I didn’t watch the film yet, but there’s no question everything’s gonna be evaluated, without a doubt.”

Play calling has been heavily scrutinized for much of the last two seasons and the last few weeks haven’t been any different.

Indiana (2-3) now heads into an open week where a lot of questions will arise about the remainder of the season.

“We’re going to use this bye week to make a lot of evaluations on things and find a way to get better,” Allen said. “We’ve got to be productive. We’ve got to look at guys that are making plays and those that are not. At every single position.”

SEE ALSO: Indiana football offensive struggles continue in blowout loss at Maryland

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.