Indiana played the hits on Saturday, returning to its #CHAOSTEAM years against Maryland in a shootout. Four takeaways, some big runs and a ton of injury luck going Indiana’s way led to a 34-32 win, keeping Indiana on track for a bowl game.
Peyton Ramsey can sometimes throw downfield
While Ramsey has always been limited in his throws downfield, Indiana largely abandoned them this season. Today, the Hoosiers opened up the playbook and Ramsey had a mixture of great passes (see: touchdowns to Hale, Donovan and Westbrook, Nick) and some jump balls receivers came down with.
Jump balls typically are bad ideas for obvious reasons but with two huge receivers like Hale and Westbrook who excel at getting up and catching jump balls, there’s merit to just throwing it up from time to time and letting your receiver make a play, as was the case today.
Takeaways vs. Turnovers
Maryland came into the game leading the nation in takeaways with 16. Indiana had no fumbles and threw just one interception which, for Ramsey, is great. Even better is the defense came away with four takeaways of their own, none bigger than the strip sack by Kayton Samuels that effectively ended the game.
Turning those turnovers into points was another big factor. Indiana scored after each of the first three takeaways before kneeling the ball after the fourth.
Red zone defense
Despite being outgained by 170 yards, out-possessed by nearly 20 minutes and giving up more than 350 yards on the ground, Indiana won because of the aforementioned turnovers and bending but not breaking. Joseph Petrino hit four field goals on the day as Indiana continually held Maryland out of the end zone. In the end, they did that just enough to earn the win. Barely.