A dominating performance by the Hoosiers puts Indiana at 5-6. The 267 rushing yards were the most by IU in a Power 5 game since the 414 dropped on Maryland last year in the Bacon N Legs debut. This one didn’t rely on any gimmicks. The Hoosiers just lined up and ran all over the Scarlet Knights.
1. Indiana running back opportunity rate – Over/Under 37.0% – Actual 38.6%
In non-garbage time, which was until Luke Timian’s third quarter touchdown to make it 26-0, Indiana running backs were unable to consistently break into the second level of the Rutgers defense. Their opportunity rate1 was just 28%. The Hoosiers really did some damage in garbage time with a 46% opportunity rate. Overall, IU finished at 38.6%, the third best mark of the season behind Virginia and Illinois. Additionally, when the Indiana running backs did penetrate the Rutgers defense, they cranked out some huge runs, something they’ve done very little of this year. Morgan Ellison had rushes of 39, 45, and 25. His previous season long was 34. The 45 yard run was the longest by an Indiana running back all season. On carries of 5+ yards, IU backs averaged 12.9 yards per carry, much higher than the 8.4 they’d averaged in Power 5 games this year. In non-garbage time it was 14.8, a great performance by Indiana’s freshman running back duo.
2. Simmie Cobbs receiving yards – Over/Under 95.5 – Actual 20
In what could be his final home game as a Hoosier, Simmie Cobbs caught just 2 of 6 targets for 20 yards. The Hoosiers went run-heavy in this contest, especially after building up a sizeable lead. Once IU scored to go up 27-0, the Hoosiers finished the day with 27 consecutive rushes. Cobbs is 4th in the Big Ten in receiving yards at 830 and would need a big game against Purdue as well as in a possible bowl game to exceed his 1,035 receiving yards from 2015. Indiana will need him to come up big against a Purdue defense that has been stout against the run so far.
3. Rutgers passing yards – Over/Under 99.5 – Actual 103
A 25 yard pass to Bo Melton from Johnathan Lewis was the play that gave it to the overs. In a dominating performance, the success of the Hoosiers probably proved to be to their detriment in this over/under. Rutgers had 14 pass attempts in the first half as they attempted to claw back into the contest and 24 overall. While not a high total by Indiana standards, it was the most attempts by the Scarlet Knights in their last 6 games. Despite Rutgers gaining just 4.3 passing yards per attempt, it was only the 4th lowest allowed by IU this year behind Charleston Southern, Michigan, and Virginia. It will be more challenging this weekend against a Purdue offense averaging 37 attempts and 245 passing yards per game and 6.6 yards per attempt.
4. Indiana sack rate – Over/Under 9.0% – Actual 16.7%
With another 4 sacks, Indiana is now tied for 8th nationally in sacks with 35. They’ve totaled 21 in their last 5 games. It is a run reminiscent of 2016 when IU recorded 24 sacks in their last 7 games. The battle for team leader in sacks is coming down to the end. Robert McCray is on top with 6 followed by Tegray Scales at 5. Greg Gooch recorded 2 sacks against Rutgers, forcing a fumble on the second one that Tony Fields recovered, to force his way to third with 4.5. The 16.7% sack rate was Indiana’s third best of the season behind the Illinois and Penn State games.
5. Longest Griffin Oakes made field goal Over/Under 43.5 – Actual 26
Oakes only received 2 chances in this one and they were both chip shots. The first was a 26 yarder in the 1st quarter and the second was a 20 yarder in the 2nd. Personally, I would have gone for it on 4th and 2 from the Rutgers 10, but it ended up not mattering in this one. Oakes is 2nd nationally in field goal percentage at 93.8%, just off the lead of Florida’s Eddy Pineiro at 94.1%.
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