Coming off their first loss of the 2020 season, Indiana still has big possibilities ahead of it.
But the Hoosiers can’t look past a Maryland squad that looked impressive before shutting down for two weeks due to the number of COVID-19 cases within the program.
IU has surprised the college football world this year, winning games the oddsmakers said they weren’t supposed to.
This time, the Hoosiers are a big favorite against a divisional foe.
Can Indiana get back on track and keep its magical season going?
MARYLAND (2-1) at No. 12 INDIANA (4-1)
- Kickoff: Noon ET
- Location: Memorial Stadium (52,656 / no fans), Bloomington, Indiana
- Television: ESPN2 (Stream)
- Series: Indiana leads the series 6-2 (last meeting Indiana won 34-28 in 2019)
- Odds: Indiana is a 12 point favorite
- Weather at kickoff: 42 degrees, sunny, wind 3 mph, 0% chance of precipitation.
Tom Allen is 22-21 and now in his fourth full season as the head coach at Indiana.
Michael Locksley was named Maryland’s 37th head football coach in Dec. 2018. The Washington, D.C., native owns nearly 30 years of coaching experience, including two separate stints with the Terps, with this being his 12th season in College Park. Locksley has an 8-41 record as a head coach.
- Allen and Locksley preview the matchup
- Coordinators Sheridan and Wommack preview Maryland
- Allen and Fischer talk Maryland on radio show
- IU football must improve its running game to continue program rise
- Hoosiers No. 12 in first CFP Playoff rankings
- IU’s backdoor path to the Big Ten Championship game
SPECIAL IU GAME DAY UNIFORMS
Indiana intends to wear uniforms honoring the military on Saturday.
The special uniform design incorporates IU’s traditional markings on gray camouflage pants and jersey tops. In addition, the jersey sleeves include the United States flag and nine “battle” stars. One of the other special features that won’t be as obvious to spectators comes on the IU helmets. Inside the center stripe of each player’s helmet are names of crew members of the WWII battleship USS Indiana BB 58.
The IU trident logo on the helmets will be a unique version from the 1940s when the ship was in service.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BTN GAME PREVIEW
THE COMPLETE BIG TEN WEEK 6 SLATE
|Iowa City, Iowa (Conf.)||Box Score Recap|
|Champaign, IL (Conf.)||TV: FS1 Stats Radio: Busey Bank Illini Sports Network|
|Bloomington, Ind. (Conf.)||TV: ESPN2 Stats Radio: IU Radio Network; Sirius 136, XM 195, Web 957|
|Ann Arbor, Mich. (Conf.)||TV: ABC Stats Video|
|Madison, WI (Conf.)|
|East Lansing, Mich.||TV: ESPN Stats Radio: TCF Bank Spartan Media Network Audio|
|West Lafayette, Ind. (Conf.)||TV: FS1 Stats Radio: WCTC 1450-AM, WOR 710-AM, WENJ 97.3-FM, XM 384 Video|
WHEN MARYLAND HAS THE FOOTBALL
Before they had to shut things down, a star was rising in Maryland.
After a season opening blowout loss to Northwestern, sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has led the Maryland offense with 676 passing yards during his last two games, the most for a Maryland quarterback over a two-game stretch since 1994.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen has been impressed with the Terrapin dual-threat quarterback.
“The tape does not lie, and he has got a quick release,” Allen said. “Makes good decisions. A dual guy. Can run it and throw it. Very elusive.”
Tagovailoa is Maryland’s second leading rusher with 56 yards. IU has struggled at times with running quarterbacks. The Hoosiers gave up big days on the ground to Penn State’s Sean Clifford (119 yards) and Ohio State’s Justin Fields (78 yards).
Six different Maryland players have caught at least 6 passes through the team’s first three games, and the Terrapins are led by a dangerous duo.
Dontay Demus leads the way with 17 catches for 228 yards and 2 scores. Explosive freshman Rakim Jarrett has 12 catches for 213 yards and 2 scores.
Running back Jake Funk balances out the offense. The 5-foot-10, 205 pound senior has 43 carries for 336 yards (7.8 ypc) and 2 touchdowns. It is worth noting that 221 of his yards came in one game, against Minnesota.
Indiana will look to contain Tagovailoa in the pocket and bring pressure up the middle via its tackles and A-gap blitzes to try to force mistakes and stuff the run.
WHEN INDIANA HAS THE FOOTBALL
If Indiana is ever going to assert its will in the run game, this might be the week.
The Hoosiers are No. 123 out of 126 nationally, but the Terps are No. 118 defending the run, allowing 227 yards per contest.
Prior to a dud at Ohio State, running back Stevie Scott had three straight games over 80 yards, and we suspect he might break the century mark for the first time this year on Saturday, especially if IU can build an early lead.
Indiana amassed 520 total yards in 2019, and this 2020 Maryland defense is last in the Big Ten. And the Terrapins gave up 88 points in the first two weeks of the season.
But the Terrapin defense showed promise in their last outing, sacking Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford seven times in a 35-19 win.
Even if Maryland is able to get pressure, Indiana quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. showed that he is able to make throws in a collapsing pocket into tight windows.
The Indiana receiving duo of Ty Fryfogle and Whop Philyor have blitzed secondaries all season, and we don’t expect Maryland’s young group to put up much resistance.
The big question in this one — who has the bigger advantage from Maryland’s two week layoff?
The Terrapins have more film on IU, and their bodies are fresh.
Indiana has been practicing and is in a rhythm, and we still don’t know how many players Maryland will be missing. Some reports suggest as many as 23 players are out due to COVID-19, and head coach Michael Locksley has been watching practice remotely all week.
The Hoosiers haven’t been phased by big wins, and we suspect they won’t be phased by their first loss.
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