BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana’s season-opener against Penn State means a little more to Whop Philyor.
It’s been a long offseason, and everyone is ready to get back on the field to play, but for Philyor, the Hoosiers’ first opponent gives him more incentive.
One season ago when Indiana traveled to Happy Valley, Philyor took a hit to the head in the second quarter, causing him to fumble and be taken into concussion protocol.
The hit was conceived by many to be targeting, but that wasn’t the call on the field.
On that play, Philyor actually took two hits to the head. It was a catch-and-run for Philyor, and he first took a glancing blow from cornerback Marquis Wilson. As Wilson was making the tackle, Penn State linebacker Ellis Brooks came flying into the fray from the opposite direction, making direct contact to Philyor’s helmet with his own.
Philyor didn’t play the rest of the game as Indiana went on to lose to Penn State 34-27. Philyor missed the next game due to a concussion.
Head coach Tom Allen thought it should have been targeting, and he went through a process to seek an explanation on the non-call. The Big Ten never released an explanation to the public.
“I tell the boys all the time — them boys (Penn State) knocked me out,” Philyor said. “So, imma need y’all boys to bring that dog, too, because you already know I’m gonna bring that dog with me.”
Philyor will be Indiana’s number one target on the field this season, which also means he’ll be the defense’s