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GAMETHREAD: Maryland at Indiana

The Hoosiers have lost four of their last five and are in desperate need of a win to get back on track for a bowl berth. Maryland comes in at 5-2, but like Indiana, their best win is over a putrid Michigan State team.

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Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-4, #47 S&P+) at Maryland Terrapins (5-2, #63 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 10/29, 3:30 PM, Bloomington, Indiana
Channel? ESPNU
Vegas? INDIANA -3.5

S&P+ Projection? INDIANA, 30.2 - 23.7 (65%)

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The Maryland Terrapins

From this week's game preview, here's how Kyle Swick says the Terrapins look on paper:

Stop me if this sounds familiar: the Terrapins are better defensively than offensively, but unlike Indiana they managed to sweep their non-conference slate (that also included FIU) and beat someone in the Big Ten other than Michigan State (it was Purdue, which still counts) giving them five wins on the season. Unfortunately, they schedule tightens up big time, and the S&P+ has them projected to lose every game until they close the season with everyone's favorite slumpbuster: Rutgers (NOTE: your mileage may vary). So it's not hard to believe that Maryland will put a big emphasis on beating the Hoosiers given what awaits them afterwards: @ Michigan, v. Ohio State, @ Nebraska.

Perry Hills remains under center despite a shoulder injury that forced him to miss a good deal of the Penn State game and the entire Minnesota game, the only two losses of the year for the Terps. It hasn't been a bad year for Hills, he's matched his passing touchdown total from last year (8) and has only 2 interceptions after throwing 13 last year. He's completing 66% of his passes but his yards per attempt (adjusted for sacks) is a paltry 5.9, painting the picture of either an offense or a player that isn't all that willing to take risks with the ball downfield. That's reflected in the team's passing explosiveness, ranked 93rd, and pairing that with a success rate of 38.8% (86th) means there's little to be excited about (or afraid of, depending on your preference) when the Terps throw the ball.

But that's hardly a concern when you can run the ball like Maryland can. Ranked 23rd in Success Rate and 18th in explosiveness, the Terps have a stable of runners and they're all good at what they do. Seven (!!!) players have at least 17 rushing attempts this season and all of them have scored, totaling 18 rushing touchdowns as a team, lead by Lorenzo Harrison and his 502 yards and 5 touchdowns. All but one is averaging over 5 yards per carry, with sophomore Ty Johnson averaging 10.3 yards per tote and an absurd 14.0 highlight yards per opportunity. The Terrapins' offensive line is also generating an opportunity rate of 47.2%, good for 5th in the country, meaning that nearly half the time, the line is springing a running back into the second level, and the runner is then generating anywhere from 4 to 14 additional yards, on average.

That is, quite simply, absurd.

Defensively, the Terrapins are tremendous against the pass both in Success Rate (37th) and limiting explosiveness (2nd) but are now missing stud defensive back Will Likely for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. His absence didn't hurt them against Michigan State, who was breaking in new QB Brian Lewerke, it remains to be seen if Indiana can get their passing offense on track enough to make a difference.

If they can't, they could always try running the ball a billion times. For as good as Maryland is against the pass, they're that bad (and worse) against the run. Ranked 125th overall out of 128 D1 teams, there just isn't anything they do well against the run. They allow a success rate of 44.5% (89th) and aren't any better at limiting explosiveness (83rd). Opponents know it too, they're running the ball 72.2% of the time on standard downs, good for 4th in the country.

With an overall havoc rank of 73rd, Maryland also suffers from a dearth of big plays, particularly among their linebackers (98th) and defensive backs (93rd).

This Week in Crimson Quarry Content

Tyra Buss and the women's basketball team earned some preseason recognition.

Todd Jadlow alleged that Bobby Knight battered players in 1989 by grabbing their genitals and punching them.

Kyle Schwarber was named to the Cubs World Series roster and raked in Game 2, but despite what hockey fans might say, he can't play in the field.

Ben and Jacob took a look at the Big Ten basketball teams that may be sleepers to watch out for this season.

Our betting guide has been an absolute disaster the past two weeks.

As usual, Swick and Ben offered bowl projections and power rankings.

David filled us in on a 5-star recruit who highlighted the prospects visiting for Hoosier Hysteria.

And Swick did a full game preview.

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