BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. faced the music on Tuesday night, answering questions for 30 minutes on the Sports Illustrated Indiana podcast Mike & Micah at Yogi's Bar & Grill in Bloomington.
Penix and the Hoosiers lost to No. 8-ranked Cincinnati on Saturday, falling 38-24 in a game where the final score wasn't indicative of how close the game was. But four turnovers, including three interceptions from Penix and a debilitating fumble on the 2-yard line by Tim Baldwin Jr. late in the fourth quarter that would have put the Hoosiers ahead, was the difference in the game.
Here's what Penix said during his interview with HoosiersNow.com publisher Tom Brew:
— on the impact of the sold-out crowd:
"It was a great atmosphere and it's just great having fans back in the stadium. Right from when we first heard it was sold out, we were excited. It was loud. You have to overcommunicate (as an opponent), so that really makes it great to play at home.'' "The adrenaline and everything, it can get loud.''
— on getting off to a good start:
"We got out to a fast start, and our defense played great. That crowd noise was a factor too, helping us get off to the good start that we wanted.''
— on ball security and limiting interceptions
"It was not good execution by me, not setting my feet (on the first interception in the end zone on a short attempt to tight end Peyton Hendershot). But I learned from it, and I'll make sure it doesn't happen again.
— on relying on tight end Peyton Hendershot, who had 6 catches
"He's a great guy and he's a guy that works hard every day and pushed everyone else around him to keep working. He put a lot of work in during the offseason. He put a lot of work into his body and it's translating to the offseason.
— on D.J. Matthews' big game
"He's very shifty and it's hard for defenders to cover him. I know he's always going to be one of my options because he knows how to get open. ''
— on Micah McFadden's targeting ejection
"I feel that was as situation that really sucks, and I wish we could have had that back. But we've got to keep a 1-0 mindset and the next guy has to step up. As far as the energy being shifted, I'm not sure about that. I didn't see the targeting, to be honest, but I heard it was a little iffy.''
— on second-half rallies
"That was the main thing, no matter what goes on in the game. That's a great team, and they were going to have their plays. Our main thing was to just keep playing and make more plays than they do. We moved the ball pretty well, had some nice drives.''
— on kicker Charles Campbell
"Chuck is great. He's a great guy to be around and he's a great kicker as well. We can always count on him to make a kick.''
— on Tim Baldwin's fourth-quarter fumble
"When he came to the sideline, we just told him to keep his head up. He had a good game, he ran hard and kept pushing. He got some big first downs for us. He came in Sunday, and he was good. He's going to have some big games for us.''
— on late interception that ended the game:
"Like you said, I was just trying to make a play late in the game in the situation. It wasn't a good decision. Everything happens for a reason, and I'll learn from it. A lot of things happened in that game that we'll learn from and correct.''
— on Ty Fryfogle's struggles with 3 drops
"Ty is my guy no matter what, and it's way deeper than football. He knows that I care about it and always trust him and I'll continue to throw him the ball. I'm not worried about what happened last week, and I still expect him to have a big year.''
— on the pain of losing and maintaining confidence
"For sure, the two games we lost, they were top-10 teams and we lost. We felt like we could beat them, but it didn't happen. Cincinnati was a nonconference game and Iowa is on the other side (of the Big Ten), so we just need to stay focused and take care of what's in front of us. We still have a lot of important Big Ten game that we can control. Right now we're looking forward to Western Kentucky, and bouncing back by playing good football.''
— on taking on Western Kentucky Saturday night
"They are definitely a team that likes to throw the ball as well. We've got to go play our game and take what they give us. We're going to put points on the board. They definitely have talent and it's not a team we'll look over. They've got a lot of guys on that side of the ball who are all-conference and they can play.''
— on running game improvements
"We've had 150 yards and that's good, but we always want more, of course. Matt Bedford (who shifted from left tackle to right guard and is an excellent run bloicker) is a great guy with great character, and he wants to be a great player. He works hard and it carries over to the field playing at guard.''
To watch the entire podcast, click the tweet below.
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