Indiana heads to Rutgers, a team that lost to Kansas by 41.
That is my preview.
To this week’s questions:
1. Indiana passes of 20+ yards – Over/Under 2.5
The Hoosiers have just 7 passes of 20+ yards on the season, tied for 114th nationally. The longest of these is the most recent, a 65-yard catch and run by Whop Philyor. Donovan Hale has a 34-yard reception from Michael Penix and a 33-yard catch from Peyton Ramsey. Ramsey also has 2 explosive passes to Nick Westbrook and 1 to Luke Timian and Matt Bjorson. On the other side, Rutgers has allowed 12 passes of 20+ yards, tied for 67th nationally.
2. Michael Penix snaps – Over/Under 20.5
The freshman from Florida didn’t play against Michigan State leading some to wonder if the Hoosiers were planning to redshirt Penix. After all, why not insert Penix to try to jump start the underperforming, Indiana offense? But according to Coach Allen, a decision hasn’t been made on the redshirt.
Allen asked about playing Michael Penix. "I expect him to play. We'll see that how that all works itself out."
Emphasizes no final decision has been made on retaining his redshirt. #iufb
— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) September 24, 2018
It would seem, if Penix plays this weekend, that IU isn’t actively trying to redshirt him. Especially if Indiana finds themselves with a big lead similar to the Ball State game. And if they don’t play him, either the game is close at no fault of a struggling offense or the plan is to redshirt him. We shall see.
3. Indiana turnovers recovered – Over/Under 2.5
Rutgers has been generous with the football, turning it over 12 times in 4 games. Only Tulsa has lost more turnovers. The Scarlet Knights are actually coming off a game without losing a turnover although it was a game they lost by 29. At home. To a MAC school. On the other side, Indiana is tied for 7th nationally in recovering turnovers with 9. Ironically, the Hoosiers are coming off a game in which they recovered 4 turnovers, but lost by 14. This one might depend on how much quarterback Artur Sitkowski plays. The freshman has split time with Giovanni Rescigno due to injury and ineffectiveness but has tossed 7 interceptions on 80 pass attempts. Rescigno has thrown 1 interception on 48 attempts.
4. Rutgers success rate – Over/Under 33.3%
Through 4 games, Rutgers is dead last nationally in offensive success rate at 27.9%. For reference, Indiana’s performance against Michigan State resulted in a 35% success rate. The Scarlet Knights have struggled to both run and pass, which tends to be problematic. Indiana’s defense has been good in this metric, allowing just a 36.7% success rate. That is good for 38th nationally. Indiana needs to keep Rutgers from staying on schedule and then let their pass rushers loose on 3rd and long.
5. Total Rutgers punts – Over/Under 8.5
Rutgers has scored 3, 14, and 13 points the past 3 games so avoiding punts isn’t really their specialty. During these same 3 games, they’ve punted 9, 7, and 10 times. The Hoosiers have forced an average of 6 punts per game with a high of 8 against Ball State. Unless the Rutgers offense gets going against IU, this one could come down to how many turnovers Indiana forces.
6. Indiana winning margin – Over/Under 22.5
Vegas opened with Indiana as a 14 point favorite. Bill Connelly at Football Study Hall has Indiana as a 22 point favorite.
If you are picking the over, you are picking Indiana to win by 23+ points. If you are picking the under, you are picking Indiana to lose or win by 22 or fewer points.
This over/under is worth 2 points so make it a good one.
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