Written By: Nick Holmes (@HoosierHolmes)
The Hoosiers hope to do their best Shredder impression this week as they take on the turtles, err...Terrapins. Never was there a bigger game in Coach Wilson's five year career than this one on Saturday, which will determine the postseason fate of this 2015 squad. They've played valiantly all season, taking three top 15 teams to the brink, but never quite completing the task. The math is pretty simple, two games left and Indiana needs both of them to secure a bowl birth.
0-6 - Neither team has won a conference game so far this season, so somebody will earn that elusive Big Ten victory on Saturday.
12:00 - The Hoosiers have only played in two other games that kicked off prior to 3:30, the last coming nearly six weeks ago against Penn State. Will the early start time affect the team's performance?
32.5 - Not that it matters, as the Hoosiers have proved they can move the ball on about anyone, this Maryland squad should put up very little resistance, giving up 32.5 points per game. I wouldn't be surprised if the Hoosiers eclipse that amount on Saturday.
33.3 - The Hoosiers offense can score, who knew? Their 33.3 points are 41st best in the country, but will 33 be enough on Saturday? Based on recent events, it doesn't look like it will be, as they've only held one Big Ten opponent below that mark. That was a Penn State team who put up 29 points and very visibly took their foot of the gas late in the game.
34 - The Maryland defense may not be nearly as stout as what the Hoosiers have faced over the last few games, but they certainly know how to make things uncomfortable for opposing quarterbacks. So far this season they have dropped opponent's quarterback's 34 times, which is sixth best in the country.
12.5 - Leading the way in sacks is Yannick Ngakoue, who has 12.5 on the year, which is currently second best in the nation, only behind Penn State's Carl Nassib.
336 - Maryland's offense, putting it nicely, has been pretty much abysmal. Their 336 yards per game on offense is no. 106 in the nation. However, as we've seen all season with the Indiana defense, regardless of how poorly opposing offenses have played in prior contests, they always seem to get it together when playing the Hoosiers.
35 - Maryland has turned the ball over an NCAA worst 35 times so far this season, 28 interceptions and seven fumbles. The Hoosiers will greatly increase their chances of winning if they can not only force Maryland into some bad throws, resulting in interceptions, but then cashing in on those turnovers as well.
30% - It's pretty well-documented that the Hoosiers have struggled mightily stopping their opponents on third down, but the Terrapins have had just as much trouble converting third down attempts. Their conversion percentage of 30% is No. 124 in the nation. Can the Hoosiers keep them close to their season average and force them off the field regularly?
17.74 - While the Terrapins don't have a lot to boast about on offense or defense, their return game is among the nations best. Specifically, the team's starting corner and punt returner, Will Likely should strike fear into the hearts of Hoosier fans with his 17.7 yards per punt return. A couple of big returns by this dynamic athlete could give Maryland the momentum it needs to win the game.
341 - Looking to exploit the Hoosiers defense? Take to the air, as their pass defense is the worst in the FBS.
166.7 - However, the Terrapins passing attack doesn't exactly instill fear in their opponent, only moving the ball through the air for 166.7 yards per game, which is no. 113 in the country.
1-17 - Road Woes. The Hoosiers have won only one conference game on the road (Illinois-2012) under Coach Wilson. With the team's final two games taking place outside of Memorial Stadium, now is certainly the time for some change.
It's pretty simple, protect Nate Sudfeld, get the Terrapins off the field on third down, force some turnovers, and limit William Likely's effectiveness by keeping the ball out of his hands. A lot of this is much easier said than done, but if the Hoosiers can do just a couple of these things, this team should earn its fifth victory of the season.