Inside the Numbers: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Image: Amanda Pavelka Hoosier Huddle

Image: Amanda Pavelka Hoosier Huddle

Written by Andrew Walker

The Indiana Football Hoosiers are back from their week off, ready to take the field against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. IU’s game on Saturday is also homecoming, which Indiana hasn’t won since 2010. With the Hoosiers and Scarlet Knights set to meet on the gridiron, let’s take a look at some of the more important statistical storylines for each team and go inside the numbers. 

Passing yards per game

Indiana - 304 ypg

The Hoosiers have been a notoriously good passing team this season. Mike Penix has been blowing the doors off of the expectations set for him, and Indiana has been playing great football when he’s at the helm. Even during the few games where Peyton Ramsey started, Indiana’s offense has looked pretty good all season. Indiana’s ability to pass the rock so well has been redeeming, especially since the ground attack has taken its time to get going. 

Rutgers - 193.6 ypg

The Scarlet Knights have struggled at the QB position this year. Starting QB Cartern McLane announced on Wednesday that he was stepping away from the game for health reasons. This leaves Rutgers without the only winning QB of the season. Art Sitkowski was set to take over as the team’s starting QB, but before the Maryland game he asked to sit out this season to maintain his redshirt eligibility. Johnny Langan is the next QB on the depth chart, having started the game against Maryland. Langan tallied 163 yards and zero TD’s in that loss. 

Penalty yards

Indiana - 30/294

IU has to be able to keep their penalty yards to a minimum for the rest of the season. When Indiana has been good, they’ve been playing confident. Confidence doesn’t result in penalties. When a team isn’t playing confidently, they start second guessing themselves and committing meaningless penalties. When the Hoosiers get on a roll, they don’t commit penalties. 

Rutgers - 40/347

The Scarlet Knights have been in a rough place for a few years now. Having not won a Big Ten game since 2017, Rutgers is struggling to stay focused. Rutgers is the 15th most penalized team in all of college football so far in 2019 at about eight per game. For Rutgers to have any chance against IU this year, that penalty number needs to be as close to zero as possible. 

Red Zone Touchdowns

Indiana - 14/21 (67%)

Indiana’s continued success when it comes to scoring when it matters most has been one great redeeming quality about the 2019 Hoosiers. Even when defenses start compressing the closer the line of scrimmage gets to the endzone, Mike Penix still finds a way to facilitate a TD two out of every three times. Good on Indiana OC Kalen DeBoer for being able to keep a level of success in the redzone that helps win games for the Hoosiers. 

Rutgers - 4/12 (33%)

The Scarlet Knights’ QB issues don’t help this number at all. Not having a consistent playmaker at QB will obviously hurt your success in the redzone. Rutgers does have a decently consistent rushing attack, though. Headlined by Isaih Pacheco, the ground game for Rutgers has scored five of their eight TD’s on the season. Pacheco averages 4.5 yards per carry and leads any player on the team in TDs with four.