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INDIANA vs MARYLAND: Game preview, odds, how-to-watch, and more

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Bowl hopes are on life support. Basketball season is heating up. Do we have to keep doing this?

Michigan State v Maryland Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Game Info / How to Watch

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (4-5 [1-5], #83 S&P+) vs. Maryland Terrapins (5-4 [3-3], #65 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 11/10/18 12:00 PM, Bloomington, IN

Channel? BTN

Vegas? EVEN

S&P+ Projection? Maryland-0.6


Indiana’s no-show on the road against a bad Minnesota team paired with Romeo, Archie and company looking promising has interest in the football program at an all-time low this season and rightfully so.

Considering where this program was two months ago and where it is now, one could almost argue they don’t deserve attention. Constant disappointing performances mixed with a coaching staff that doesn’t seem to Get It week after week has the program in a low place. We sipped the kool aid and for the 10th time in a row, the kool-aid was poisoned.

The hope would be that Indiana fixed some things during the bye week, got healthier, comes out against a Maryland team that is.....not in the best shape and keeps their bowl hopes alive. Nothing about Indiana football follows conventional thinking, though.

Onto the numbers

Four 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 (#86 offense) 0.98 (124th) 45.1% (33rd) 30.0 (62nd) 3.88 (119th) 3 (38th)
MARYLAND (#100 defense) 1.42 (5th) 36.0% (119th) 28.3 (98th) 5.26 (16th) 9 (9th)
- - - - - -
MARYLAND (#37 offense) 1.03 (16th) 39.2 (44th) 28.7 (52nd) 4.02 (27th) 9 (9th)
INDIANA (#70 defense) 1.21 (84th) 41.4% (69th) 29.3 (77th) 5.20 (113th) 3 (38th)

Turns out giving up over 400 yards and 38 points to Minnesota’s offense effectively nukes your defensive metrics. Indiana is now 70th against the run and 105th against the pass, per S&P, and have one of the worst all-around passing defenses in the nation, ranking sub-100 in the country in most metrics.

If not for being still above average against the run, we’d be looking at a defense more closely resembling those of the #CHAOSTEAMs over years past rather than the ones under Allen in the past.

The team is also still incredibly good on third downs relative to their general effectiveness. The offense is 25th in third down success rate and the defense is 44th at limiting people on third downs.

The Opponent

Maryland has been in the news for lots of off-court reasons which I’m sure everyone is acutely aware of. It has been discussed ad nauseum, including by this site, so I won’t be touching on that other than to say that this program has all the makings for a team that gives up on the coaching staff and the season. And I doubt anyone could blame them.

On the field, this is an explosive Terrapin offense. The backfield duo of Anthony McFarland and Ty Johnson are two of the most dangerous backs in the conference and league. The two carry the ball a combined average of 15 times a game with Johnson averaging 9.27 highlight yards per opportunity and McFarland 8.48.

The passing game for Maryland is hardly existent relative to their rushing attack. Kasim Hill is averaging just 17.5 attempts per game. For reference, Ramsey is averaging 37 passing attempts per game. The Terrapin passing offense relies on big plays as well, ranking 14th in explosiveness versus 129th in efficiency.

On the defensive side, this is a ball-hawking unit. Maryland’s 16 interceptions are first nationally. That’s not a particularly great sign for Ramsey, who is bang average at a 5.49 interception rate.

Maryland is great at limiting the big plays on the ground, which really hinders things for an Indiana rushing attack that is 83rd in explosiveness. They do allow teams to stay on schedule on the ground, just don’t expect to break a big play.

The other small bit of silver lining in the passing game is that Maryland does not get to the quarterback. They are 105th in sack rate overall, 111th in sack rate on passing downs and 111th on sack rate on blitzes. Ramsey should have time in the pocket on Saturday.

Things to Watch

  • Third downs - Indiana’s success on third downs was already mentioned, but Maryland struggles in that regard. Offensively, they are 100th in the nation on converting third downs and defensively, they are 84th in preventing third down conversions.
  • Turnovers - It’s a bullet point for every game but Indiana will need to especially take care of the ball on Saturday. The Hoosiers have had positive luck on turnovers this season but not nearly as much as Maryland, who is ninth in the nation in turnover margin.
  • Response out of a bye week - Indiana suffered a gut-punch loss heading into the bye week and has had to let that stew for two weeks. Now, they get a chance to take out some frustrations at home against a vulnerable opponent.

Prediction

Wouldn’t be oh so very IU to win this game, lose to Michigan and set up another do-or-die scenario for bowl eligibility against Purdue? Even then, I’m not predicting this team to win anymore. Maryland 34, Indiana 31.