Indiana heads to Purdue looking to win 5 straight against the Boilers for the first time in program history. They are also looking to secure their first bowl game in three consecutive seasons since the 1986, 1987, and 1988 seasons. Tom Allen will look to beat Purdue in his first game as head coach. Only 4 other IU coaches have pulled off the victory in their debut, last accomplished by Bill Lynch in the 2007 season.
1. IU total passing plus all-purpose yards from Indiana natives – Over/Under 15.5
Like the last few years, there isn’t much in the way of offensive production from Indiana natives. That’s fine as it has been a pleasure to watch the likes of Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard, and Simmie Cobbs. The unfortunate injury to J-Shun Harris knocked out the top contributor to this over/under. Most likely to add yards will be Ricky Brookins, Ryan Watercutter, or Alex Rodriguez. That trio is averaging 20.4 all-purpose yards per game. It’s also possible a defender contributes all-purpose yards on a turnover return.
2. Richard Lagow Yards per Attempt minus number of interceptions – Over/Under 6.3
For his career, Lagow is averaging 7.3 yards per attempt (YPA) and 1.1 interceptions per game.1 That 6.2 career average of YPA less INTs is higher than the 5.9 he is averaging in 2017. While the 2.4 yards per attempt with 1 interception against Virginia was a career low, the Purdue game from last year is his second worst performance. In that contest he went 11 for 19 for 117 yards, averaged 6.2 YPA, but tossed 3 interceptions. That cannot happen this year for Indiana to win. This season Purdue is allowing 7.06 yards per attempt and is averaging 0.72 interceptions a game. Using our over/under formula, Purdue’s 6.3 YPA minus INTs is nearly in line with the senior QB’s career average. If you are going over, you are either betting on a strong performance with at most 1 or possibly 2 interceptions or an average, mistake-free game.
3. Indiana standard down success rate in non-garbage time – Over/Under 42%
The Hoosiers have struggled mightily on standard downs2 with a success rate of 42.4%. Indiana is at 45% on standard downs when passing and 40% when rushing. The national average is 46.8% with IU currently ranking 115th. Unfortunately, Purdue has been stout standard downs allowing a success rate of 40.9% to rank 17th defensively. The Boilers are also above average in sack rate on passing downs so it will be important for Indiana to efficiently move the chains and avoid 2nd or 3rd and long.
4. Havoc Rate by IU seniors in non-garbage time – Over/Under 10%
Havoc Rate is a team’s total tackles for loss, passes defensed, and forced fumbles divided by total plays. This year’s senior class has a 10% havoc rate, accounting for nearly 57% of Indiana’s havoc production. Chris Covington leads the way with 16, a combination of his 11 tackles-for-loss and 5 passes defensed. Tegray Scales and Rashard Fant are 2nd and 3rd, respectively. As a team, Indiana is 45th in havoc rate at 17.1%.
5. Indiana turnover margin – Over/Under 0.5
According to Bill Connelly’s statistics, Purdue’s +3 turnover margin has been quite lucky. His expected turnover margin metric calculates what a team’s turnover margin would have been if they had recovered exactly 50 percent of all the fumbles that occurred in their games, and if the INTs-to-PDs for both teams was equal to the national average, which is generally around 21-22 percent. According to Connelly, if there is a huge difference between TO Margin and Adj. TO Margin (in other words, if fumbles, dropped interceptions, or other lucky/unlucky bounces were the main source of a good/bad TO margin), that suggests that a team’s luck was particularly good or bad and might even out. Purdue’s expected turnover margin is -5.8 meaning that Purdue should be closer to a -6 turnover margin than the +3 they are actually at. For reference, Indiana sits at -7 despite an expected turnover margin at -2.9. While a negative is still not good, it indicates that Indiana has been a little unlucky compared to Purdue being quite lucky. For instance, Purdue opponents have fumbled 13 times and Purdue has recovered 10 of them. Compare that to Indiana’s 18 opponent fumbles versus just 7 recoveries. Perhaps Purdue is actually better at falling on a football. Or perhaps that oblong ball just bounced their way a few times.
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