Entering his third full season as the Indiana Hoosiers’ head coach, Tom Allen made perhaps the biggest announcement of his team’s offseason on Monday: Redshirt freshman Michael Penix will start at quarterback.

After starting all 12 games in 2018, it was believed that the job belonged to redshirt junior Peyton Ramsey heading into camp. Having a year under his belt to get familiar with the system, Penix was able to win the job.

“It was a very difficult decision in regards to the competition,” Allen said.

“(Redshirt freshman) Jack Tuttle, Peyton’s an awesome kid, one of the finest young men I’ve ever been around. So much respect for him.”

A left-handed, dual-threat quarterback, Penix represents a unique set of challenges for opposing defenses. Appearing in three games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the loss to Penn State, he completed 61.8% of his passes and averaged 6.4 yards per rush.

“There’s a lot of things you have to adapt to (the QB) being a left-hander,” Allen explained.

The coach also said redshirt sophomore right tackle Caleb Jones has been aware of the possibility he would be protecting the quarterback’s blind side all of camp.

Arriving from Fresno State, new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kalen DeBoer is planning to emphasize the importance of a balanced attack. Penix’s abilities to impact both phases of the offense give him a diverse weapon to work with.

On the heels of a 5-7 season, the Hoosiers are seeking a return to bowl eligibility. Their journey begins at 12:00PM ET on Saturday when they face Ball State at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.