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Game Preview: Rutger(s) at Indiana

Indiana welcomes a non-conference opponent to town for Homecoming.

Who? rutger (not good) at Indiana Hoosiers (3-2, #28 SP+)

Where? Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN

When? Saturday, Oct. 12, Noon

Channel? BTN

Vegas? Indiana -28

SP+ Projection? Indiana by 24.7 (39-14, rounded), 92 percent chance of Indiana victory

Look, you’ve all heard the Rutger jokes before. I don’t need to rehash them for you again. And here’s the thing: the jokes become less and less funny over time, when you know you are stuck in an infinite loop, forever forced to play this team every fall.

Rutger comes into this game severely wounded and just trying to play out the season. Head coach Chris Ash was fired 4 games into the season after only 8 wins in 3+ years at the helm in Piscataway. His replacement is named Nunzio Campanile, who at least fits the Jersey stereotype to a tee.

Starting QB Artur Sitkowski looks likely to redshirt this season, and backup McLane Carter has taken a medical retirement, which means the Scarlet Knights are down to third-stringer and Boston College transfer Johnny Langan this weekend. Rutger RB Raheem Blackshear has also decided to redshirt for the season, meaning that Indiana will not face the Scarlet Knights’ top offensive playmaker.

The rutger game will not teach us much about Indiana, even on the off-chance that the Hoosiers do lose this game. Win, and it was more than expected. Lose? Well, that’s IU football for you, and uhhhh I guess basketball starts in a month?

The hope is that this will be an easy win, everyone will stay healthy throughout and Michael Penix will get to impress the home crowd for a while. But the one fact about this game that concerns me is that it’s Homecoming weekend in Bloomington. Homecoming has traditionally been a cursed spot for IU, who hasn’t won its Homecoming game since 2010. And hey, who can forget the 2015 rutger game, which was one of my first thoughts when I saw this tweet yesterday?

Rutger has an interim coach and depleted roster, and IU not only needs this one, but should have a strong performance in order to give us confidence for the weeks ahead.

Hopefully we all can enjoy a relatively painless victory tomorrow, because the required rutger basketball matchup might not be as fun this winter: