It’s Bucket week with a bowl game on the line! In the past 5 games Purdue has scored 49, 13, 38, 10, and 44. Using this alternating strategy, they should only score about 2 touchdowns or less this week. #analysis #markitdown
1. Anthony McFarland rushing yards minus Stevie Scott rushing yards – Over/Under 19.5
Following back-to-back big games totaling 552 rushing yards from Maryland’s Anthony McFarland against Indiana and Ohio State, the freshman has passed Stevie Scott on the Big Ten rushing standings. Scott has 1,033 rushing yards and is 33 yards behind the redshirt freshman. Scott will be going against a Purdue defense allowing 4.4 yards per rush, 73rd nationally. They are also ranked 54th in defensive rushing S&P+. McFarland goes against a Penn State defense allowing 4.1 yards per rush, 58th nationally, and ranks 43rd in defensive rushing S&P+. McFarland has a big play ability that isn’t in Scott’s repertoire. Additionally, Maryland has been one of the most rush-heavy offenses of the year whereas Indiana has generally favored the pass. For Scott to finish the regular season as the top freshman rusher in the Big Ten, he’ll likely need a big game as well as very few big McFarland runs.
2. IU total passing plus all-purpose yards from Indiana natives – Over/Under 79.5
While Indiana has brought in a lot of talent from out of state,1 there’s something special for Indiana natives playing in a Bucket game. J-Shun Harris leads the way, averaging 41 all-purpose yards with Reese Taylor and Peyton Hendershot adding 29 and 15 yards per game, respectively. Ricky Brookins, Bryant Fitzgerald (interception return), Ahrod Lloyd, and Mike Fiacable have also contributed. This one probably comes down to special teams since most of the offensive production has come from Peyton Ramsey (Ohio) and Stevie Scott (New York). If J-Shun can get loose on a punt return, it would be a big boost to the Hoosiers.
3. Rondale Moore all-purpose yards – Over/Under 172.5
While the Boiler freshman is from New Albany (big year for New Albany freshman), he played his high school ball at Trinity High School in Kentucky. That’s the same high school Jeff Brohm attended and Brohm’s father Oscar is a quarterbacks coach. The freshman is 3rd nationally in all-purpose yards per game at 172.2, just 2.2 yards per game behind Jonathan Taylor. He’s done it all for the Boilers both at receiver where leads the Big Ten in catches and is 2nd in receiving yards and kick returner. He also occasionally adds production rushing and punt returning. He’ll be the most dynamic player on the field this Saturday and Indiana doesn’t really have anyone that can stop him.
4. Havoc Rate by IU seniors in non-garbage time – Over/Under 2.99%
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 actually generated the fewest havoc plays of any of the classes with just 22.5, roughly 2.9% of all plays and just under 20% of all IU havoc plays. Actually, the freshman class leads the team with 34 which bodes well for the future. Sophomore Marcelino Ball leads the team with 11.5. For the seniors, Jonathan Crawford leads the way with 7 followed by Dameon Willis at 4.5 Nile Sykes, Kayton Samuels, Mike Barwick, and Ja’merez Bowen have also contributed. One person not on the list is senior Jacob Robinson. The senior has been limited to 5 games due to injury but has failed to record a havoc play this year after generating 9 last year. His final Bucket game would be a good time to get on the board in 2018.
5. Reese Taylor QB snaps plus pass attempts – Over/Under 0.5
Given that this is likely the final game of the season2 unless Indiana wins, it’s time to pull out all the stops. I don’t believe Taylor hasn’t taken a snap yet this season and only attempted to attempt one pass. That came in the Rutgers game where he looked to pass before taking off and scrambling for a first down. With the high stakes of this game, perhaps it is time for Indiana to try some razzle dazzle. Last week we saw some option running with Ramsey and Scott. Let’s see some Reese Taylor at quarterback, either on a wildcat, running the option, or even throwing. I’m not suggesting this to be the full-game strategy, but a change of pace to catch the Purdue defense off-guard is worth trying.
6. Purdue winning margin – Over/Under 3.5
Vegas opened with Purdue as a 3.5 point favorite. Meanwhile, Bill Connelly at Football Study Hall has Purdue as a 4.9 point favorite.
If you are picking the over, you are picking Purdue to win by 4+ points. If you are picking the under, you are picking Indiana to win or lose by 3 or fewer.
This over/under is worth 2 points so make it a good one.
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