BLOOMINGTON – Tom Allen’s original plan with freshman quarterback and former Lawrence North star Donaven McCulley was to find four opportunities for him to make an appearance this season but no more, thereby keeping him eligible for a redshirt. 

But thanks to starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr.’s separated left shoulder, that is not Allen’s plan anymore. 

McCulley got his first action Saturday in Indiana’s 20-15 loss to Michigan State, taking three snaps, rushing the ball twice for eight yards and also throwing a backward lateral. Especially as long as Penix is out and redshirt junior Jack Tuttle is starting, Allen said he plans to look for more opportunities for the former IndyStar Mr. Football finalist. 

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Indiana's Donaven McCulley (0) runs during the Indiana versus Michigan State football game at Memorial Stadium Saturday, October 16, 2021.

The 6-5, 200-pound McCulley brings a level of foot speed that Tuttle doesn’t have, so he can be used as a change of pace. But more importantly, Allen said, the Hoosiers have to get McCulley work just in case an injury to Tuttle thrusts him into extended action. 

“We were going to (redshirt him) and now we’re not,” Allen said at his news conference Monday. “When Michael went down, we basically made the decision that he would have to go. Before that, the thought was that we just use those four games in a judicious way. Now, what you got is he’s training to be the next guy in. We expect to see him more. We kind of even thought we would use him more on Saturday.”

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