Terrapins, Hoosiers meet in Bloomington looking for some positive momentum
After a tumultuous week that seemed to pummel the University of Maryland from all sides, the Terrapins traveled to East Lansing, Michigan, and were not surprisingly dominated by the Michigan State Spartans, 24-3. "This week was a challenging week. That's a fact. You guys all know that," interim Maryland head coach Matt Canada said. "But we came in and worked every day. Our kids played hard. We lost today because we just didn't play well enough. We played a really good football team and I didn't coach well enough."
The Indiana Hoosiers started off the season 4-1 but have struggled since entering Big Ten play. With four straight losses to Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State and Minnesota, the Hoosiers desperately need a win to keep their bowl hopes alive. Coming off a bye week, Indiana head coach Tom Allen is looking for his team to be healthier as the Hoosiers take the field against Maryland. “I think just all of our guys that got dinged up,’’ Allen said. “A lot of times those situations are the only thing to really get them healthy is rest. That's tough to do when you're trying to get ready for another one."
Maryland at Indiana
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m. ET
TV: The Big Ten Network
Spread: Indiana -3
Three Things To Watch
1. Maryland's running game vs. Indiana's run defense
Maryland is averaging 222 rushing yards per game, good for third in the Big Ten. Indiana's run defense is allowing 162 yards on the ground. Indiana's Tom Allen cited the potential return of linebacker T.D. Roof as key to the Hoosiers' run defense the rest of the way. If Indiana can make the Terrapins one-dimensional and force Kasim Hill to throw that would be a win for the Hoosiers. As successful as Maryland has been running the ball, it is last in the conference in passing offense (125.0 ypg). On the flip side, three different Terps have logged at least 60 carries entering this game. Anthony McFarland, Ty Johnson and Tayon Fleet-Davis have combined for 1,263 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground while averaging 6.4 yards per carry.
2. Indiana's passing game vs. Maryland's pass defense
Hoosiers quarterback Peyton Ramsey has been an effective passer, but he's also capable of hurting opposing defenses with his legs. Ramsey is coming off a game at Minnesota that saw him throw for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while also adding 57 yards on the ground. Maryland is second in the Big Ten in passing defense, allowing just 175 yards per game and has recorded more interceptions (16) than touchdown passes allowed (13). Ramsey's versatility may help keep the Terrapins' defense honest.
3. Psychological intangibles
As mentioned, Maryland is coming off a week that saw head coach DJ Durkin reinstated, then fired, with the national media roasting the Maryland administration continually for their handling of the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair. Maryland struggled against Michigan State, gaining only 100 yards and earning nine first downs in an ugly 24-3 home loss to the Spartans. The Terrapins have had to deal with a lot this season, but last week may have been the tipping point. Can the players put the events of a week ago behind them or are they already looking ahead to 2019?
Indiana head coach Tom Allen seems to be acknowledging that the bye week came at an ideal time for the Hoosiers. The four straight losses have hurt, but what must hurt more is the feeling that two of those games (Penn State, at Minnesota) were there for the taking. A home game, against an opponent in Maryland that has internal factions bickering amongst themselves seems like a good opportunity for the Hoosiers to get back into the win column and get one step closer to bowl eligibility.
Prediction: Indiana 28, Maryland 17