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Indiana at Maryland: game preview, stats, odds, kickoff time, tv, and more

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After running through the gauntlet to open Big Ten play, Indiana finally gets a brief reprieve as they travel to College Park

Maryland v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Game Info / How to Watch

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-4 [0-4], #52 S&P+) at Maryland Terrapins (3-4 [1-3], #93 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 10/28 3:30 PM, College Park, MD

Channel? BTN

Vegas? INDIANA -4.5

S&P+ Projection? INDIANA 27.7 - 21.7


The good news: Indiana FINALLY gets a winnable conference game, even if it is on the road. The Hoosiers get a crack at Maryland’s third-string quarterback with the Terrapins trending in the wrong direction after a hot start.

The concerning news: Indiana has now entered must-win territory. While the first four conference losses could (rightfully) be written off as losses to better teams, that’s no longer the case. A loss now and the Hoosiers’ bowl chances start taking big hits.

ON TO THE NUMBERS

FIVE FACTORS

- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
INDIANA (#106 offense) 1.01 (122nd) 36.8% (113th) 29.4 (76th) 4.33 (77th) -8 (111th)
MARYLAND (#77 defense) 1.10 (46th) 44.7% (96th) 28.8 (57th) 4.72 (97th) 5 (25th)
- - - - - -
MARYLAND (#87 offense) 1.28 (21st) 37.4% (110th) 33.0 (14th) 4.69 (42nd) 5 (25th)
INDIANA (#20 defense) 1.00 (11th) 36.3% (25th) 28.8 (58th) 4.62 (85th) -8 (111th)

Welcome to a world where Indiana has a top-20 defense. The Hoosier defense is steadily climbing and their offense is steadily declining. The split between the two is growing at an alarming rate. If you want to feel particularly sad...

Maryland has been particularly decimated with injuries under center. Caleb Henderson, a transfer from North Carolina, was presumed to be the starter during the off-season, injured his foot and has attempted one pass this season.

Tyrell Pigrome took over heading into the season and was great through three quarters against Texas before tearing his ACL. Kasim Hill entered the game, led a pair of scoring drives and helped the Terrapins upset Texas.

Hill lasted just over one full game before tearing his ACL in the first quarter against UCF.

So where does that leave the Terrapins? Fourth-string quarterback Max Bortenschlager, who many may remember for his time with the Dortmund U21 team, has performed admirably given the circumstances, but Maryland has put forth it’s three worst offensive percentile performances since an upset of Minnesota and is trending downward.

PASSING

The Terrapin offense is limited through the air. Bortenschlager is completing just 49.3 percent of his passes and is averaging just 3.7 yards per attempt. Take out his performance against Minnesota when he went 18-for-28 through the air and that figure plummets to 41.2 percent.

Not surprisingly, if you can force the Terrapins into passing downs, they struggle mightily. They come in ranked 125th in the country in success rate on passing downs, fifth-worst in Division I. and are 76th in sack rate on passing downs.

DJ Moore is the biggest threat through the air as he sees a gaudy 47.1 percent target rate and has 47 catches for 668 yards.

At the end of the day, though, it will come down to forcing Maryland to pass (easier said than done, as we’ll soon get to). If Bortenschlager has to throw the ball, Maryland is decisively less successful.

RUSHING

If you’ve made it this far, you can probably deduce that Maryland relies heavily on the run. The Terrapins are 23rd in standard downs run rate, rushing 68.3 percent of the time. And they’re pretty damn good at it considering everyone knows it’s coming, ranking 19th in the country in rushing S&P.

Since Bortenschlager has taken over as the starter, the Terrapins have rushed 47, 42, 31 and 35 times. Considering the final margins of those games were +7, -48, -16 and -25, you can see how interested Maryland is in running the ball.

Ty Johnson is the top weapon on the ground as he has 84 carries for 571 yards, an average of 6.8 yards per carry. When he reaches the second level, which he does often with an opportunity rate of 39.3 percent, he’s averaging 9.8 yards per carry.

Lorenzo Harrison III brings speed and explosiveness to the table. While he’s been held to 304 yards on 78 carries, he has the highest opportunity rate on the team and tallied five touchdowns and 7.2 yards per carry last season.

Nearly across the board, the Terrapin backs have impressive opportunity rates as they rank 53rd in opportunity rate (compared to IU’s rankings of 123rd). Maryland’s top two backs, Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison III, and Bortenschlager all have opportunity rates of at least 39 percent. Comparatively, the only Hoosier with an opportunity rate that high is Cole Gest.

DEFENSE

As bad as Maryland is at passing the ball offensively, they’re even worse defending it. They’re 113th in success rate, and 65th overall in passing S&P. On standard downs, their sack rate is just 74th in the country and that number gets worse on passing downs, where they’re dead last in sack rate.

The Terrapins are mediocre to slightly above average defending the run as they’re 50th in the country in defending the run according to S&P. They do allow plenty of opportunities as they rank 69th in that category and struggle at stuff rate (93rd) and stopping teams on rushes on third- or fourth-and-short (80th).

In general, the Terrapins struggle to get off the field on third downs, ranking 122nd defensively on 3rd down S&P.

Also of note is Maryland’s special teams which rank 112th even with a kickoff return for a touchdown from Johnson this season. They’ve allowed touchdowns on a blocked field goal return and a punt return. IU is still strong in that facet (8th!) and could exploit Maryland on special teams.

THREE THINGS

  • Get. Simmie. The. Damn. Ball. - It’s startling to me that Indiana has a 6’4, 220-pound receiver and he’s only targeted 27.3 percent of the time. Donovan Hale is officially done for the season, Ian Thomas may or may not be available. All this should spell double-digit targets for Simmie Cobbs this week.
  • Turnovers - Maryland has one of the best turnover margins in the country thanks to eight interceptions and five forced fumbles. The offense struggles enough as is, so avoiding turnovers against a ball-hawking group will be key.
  • Finishing drives - Indiana still, oddly, ranks in the bottom-half of the country in finishing drives defensively. Maryland, meanwhile, is 42nd offensively in finishing drives. It’s one of the few areas Maryland has the upper hand statistically on Indiana and will be an area to keep an eye on.

PREDICTION

As I said at the top, and as will be written about On Here this week, this is a must-win game for Indiana. A win here and Indiana needs to win just two of three against rutger, Illinois and Purdue to close the year. I think Indiana gets it done, but in typical slightly-uneasy fashion. Indiana 24, Maryland 14.