Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Indiana vs. Rutgers: Primer and Prediction

The Indiana Hoosiers (4-6, overall, 1-6 B1G) host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (4-6 overall, 3-4 B1G) for a noon kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.  The game is Indiana’s Senior Day and will be televised on BTN.

Indiana ended a 4 game losing streak with a 24-14 win at Illinois last Saturday.  Indiana has 2 games remaining and must win both (@Purdue next week) to achieve its 3rd straight .500 season and ensure bowl eligibility.  Indiana has active winning streaks against each of Rutgers (1) and Purdue (4).

Meet the Scarlet Knights

Rutgers has lost two of its last 3 games but overall has played better than expected this year.  Earlier in the B1G conference slate they accomplished their first winning streak during conference play.  Like Indiana, they’ve had a brutal B1G East schedule, and also had a season opening game against Top 10 Washington.  Except for a 56-0 loss at home against Ohio State, they’ve hung in most of their games.

Head Coach – Chris Ash (2nd season)

Offensive Rankings (out of 130 teams)

  • Total Points – 112th
  • Total Yards – 127nd
  • Total Passing Yards – 125th
  • Total Rushing Yards – 60th

Defensive Rankings

  • Total Points – 57th
  • Total Yards – 58th
  • Total Pass Yards – 58th
  • Total Rushing Yards – 68th

Overall – As the statistics suggest, Rutgers has struggled mightily on offense, especially with its passing attack.  Much of the struggle is likely attributable to its difficult schedule, as the Scarlet Knights have put up points against some of its lesser B1G opponents including Illinois (35) and Maryland (31).  The defense has been good at times but not good enough to compensate for the lackluster offense.  The defensive statistics are certainly respectable when considering the schedule, and was instrumental in its 14-12 upset win over Purdue.

Common Opponents
Since Indiana and Rutgers both play in the B1G East, they’ve had several common opponents:

Ohio State 56  Rutgers 0 (at Rutgers)
Ohio State 49  Indiana 21 (at Indiana)

Rutgers 35  Illinois 24 (at Illinois)
Indiana 24  Illinois 14 (at Illinois)

Michigan 35  Rutgers 14 (at Michigan)
Michigan 27  Indiana 20 (OT, at Indiana)

Rutgers 31  Maryland 24 (at Rutgers)
Maryland 42  Indiana 39 (at Maryland)

Penn State 35  Rutgers 6 (at Penn State)
Penn State 45  Indiana 14 (at Penn State)

The Series – Rutgers leads the all-time series 2-1, with the only matchups between these two programs coming over the last 3 years.  Indiana fans will likely not soon forget their last meeting with Rutgers in Bloomington, a game in which the Hoosiers led 52-28 but ended up losing.  Indiana won last year’s matchup at Rutgers, 33-27.

Game Notes – Richard Lagow will start at QB for the Hoosiers.  For Rutgers, Giovanni Rescigno has taken all the quarterback snaps for Rutgers for the last 4 games but look for true freshman running threat Johnathan Lewis to get some playing time coming off an injury.

Weather – The weather could be a factor in this game and could neutralize the passing games, which would seem to benefit Rutgers.  At kickoff, the temperature should be around 60 degrees, with a 30% chance of rain and 20 miler per hour winds.  The rain chances increase to 85%  by 2 PM.

Prediction – The point spread has Indiana as an 11 point favorite.  We predict Indiana will cover that with an inspired effort for its final home game.  Indiana extends its winning streak over Rutgers to 2 games, 27-13.

[Main photo credit – Chris Knight | AP]