Wednesday, September 13, 2023

IU football notebook: What they’re saying about Tayven, Guerrieri starting strong


By Seth Tow

September 13, 2023

Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier


Even before taking the field on Saturday, this has already been a big week for Indiana football.

At the program’s weekly Monday press conference, head coach Tom Allen announced that redshirt freshman Tayven Jackson will be IU’s starting quarterback going forward. He and redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby had been battling for the job going back to spring camp, and the competition extended through Indiana’s first two games.

So it will be Jackson leading the Hoosiers out on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend against Louisville.

Allen, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Walt Bell, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Matt Guerrieri, and several players talked about the quarterback decision and more on Monday. Here are a few key updates and points that came out of the media session.

Guerrieri off to strong start

Indiana’s defense has been impressive in the team’s first two games of the season. The Hoosiers held Ohio State to 23 points, before shutting out Indiana State’s offense (the Sycamores’ lone points came on a defensive touchdown).

IU hasn’t been perfect, but for a defense filled with new faces that had a lot of question marks entering the season, it’s been a promising start to the year.

Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Matt Guerrieri deserves credit for the encouraging play by the IU defense. Tom Allen brought him in to the program this offseason and immediately handed him defensive play-calling responsibilities, and so far, so good.

“He’s a serious guy when it comes to game preparation,” linebacker Aaron Casey said. “He wants to make sure everything’s good and it starts with him on the back end, but he also delivers it to the linebackers and D-line as well.”

Allen emphasized he has a lot of trust in Guerrieri, noting his character and coaching ability. He said Gurrieri checked the boxes for several things Allen was looking to add to his defense in the offseason, in terms of scheme.

And, Allen said, Guerrieri has done well with identifying various things during the games and making necessary adjustments.

“It’s been a real good fit so far. I think he’s great on game day. He’s a great communicator. Does a good job — he’s up in the press box with several of our coaches — but making adjustments,” Allen said. “He’s a really good teacher and he has the ability to capture the whole room and make guys feel a part of it as a staff, which is critical in that role.

I have high expectations for our defense, and it all starts up front. But I think he’s doing a good job of taking the skill sets of the guys we’ve added to our team and trying to highlight those, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”


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