Written by Andrew Walker (@andrew_jw17)
The Indiana Hoosiers football team is coming off of a statement win against a Rutgers football team that hasn’t won a Big Ten game since 2017. That 35-0 win propelled the Hoosiers to a 4-2 record heading into College Park, Maryland on Saturday. The Hoosiers are set to play the Maryland Terrapins at 3:30ET, so let’s take a dive inside the numbers in preparation for Saturday’s game.
Indiana - two for 73 yards
It’s time that the Hoosier defense get more takeaways. I’ll say it. Last year, Indiana was No. 10 in total turnovers caused and No. 4 in fumbles caused in the nation. This year, the Hoosiers haven’t lived up to those insane numbers of a year ago. This week against Maryland is a chance for the Hoosiers to reclaim that top ten defensive mindset. Ballhawks Tiawan Mullen and Marcelino Ball have to be more of a factor in the turnover game.
Maryland - five for 47 yards
For Maryland, it’s not the number of interceptions that matters, even though it is slightly low— it’s the production the Terrapins can get off of those interceptions. Maryland’s defense is forcing takeaways well, but there can always be more. Forcing turnovers from Indiana this weekend will be tough for Maryland, but if they want to keep it close or stay ahead of the Hoosiers, turnovers would help tremendously.
Indiana - 8/8
This won’t ever be a concern for the Hoosiers this season. Logan Justus is such a good marksman when it comes to kicking it through the uprights. When Justus takes the field, whether it be for a field goal or a PAT, it’s essentially assured that more points are about to be on the board.
Maryland - 0/2
Maryland’s inability to make field goals is mind-boggling. Josh Petrino is in his second season as a Terrapin after kicking about 85% in field goals in 2018. After a mildly successful season in his freshman year, the Maryland Terrapins either A) don’t have a reliable kicker anymore, or B) haven't given Petrino enough opportunities in the kicking game. Who knows, maybe he’ll turn it around and go perfect from here on out. All jokes aside, if you’re a Maryland fan, it has to be a bit nerve-racking when Petrino steps up to boot.
Indiana - 44 total, 7.3 per game
The Hoosier pass rush has steadily gotten more effective as the season has progressed. I mean, if that’s what you call 14 (fourteen) tackles for loss against Rutgers, I’d say they’ve gotten a lot better. The Hoosier pass rush even managed six tackles for loss against perennial top five team Ohio State. Keeping Maryland’s offense to as little yards as possible will be a big part of the Hoosier defensive plan on Saturday.
Maryland - 50 total, 8.3 per game
The Terrapin defense is nothing to sneeze at either. Indiana will most likely have a tough time running the ball down Maryland’s throat, but might have some success on the outside since Maryland’s best cornerback, Tino Ellis, was just confirmed to be out for the season with a torn ACL. This is good news for Mike Penix and Stevie Scott alike if Indiana decides to run any screen passes or outside pitches. Also Maryland had 16 TFL in a 79-0 rout of Howard for their first game. Talk about a confidence builder.