PJP Over/Under Game – Ball State

Courtesy: Carter Waldron, iuhoosiers.com

It’s game week.  Time to dig in to the PJP Over/Unders.  If you haven’t already, submit your picks for the season-long edition.  This contest will run the length of the season.  Let’s get to it.

1. Indiana pass attempts in non-garbage time – Over/Under 30.5

Last season Indiana averaged 38.5 non-garbage time pass attempts per game including 32 in the Ball State game.  In that Ball State game, the Hoosiers didn’t even attempt to pass the ball once the game transitioned to garbage time at the start of the 4th quarter.  This season Indiana is breaking in Michael Penix as the unquestioned starter.  Will DeBoer rely on the running game in order to ease in Penix?  The upcoming game against Eastern Illinois would certainly provide an additional opportunity to let him showcase his passing ability.  Or will the new OC allow Penix plenty of passing opportunities to build his confidence as we head towards the Ohio State game?

2. RBs with 1+ carry – Over/Under 3.5

Stevie Scott will get a carry and probably more than 1.  That’s the kind of hard-hitting analysis that brings folks here.  Ronnie Walker will likely see action and it’s possible Sampson James and Cole Gest will get a carry.  There’s also a possibility that Gest is used more as a receiving back.  In last season’s opener against FIU, 3 backs (Scott, Gest, Majette) had 1+ carry.  Three backs also had a carry in the Ball State game although Walker had replaced Gest after his injury.

3. Indiana explosive % in non-garbage time – Over/Under 11.99%

Everyone calculates explosive plays differently.  Here we’ll use rushes of 10+ yards and passes of 20+ yards.  From 2014-2016, Indiana averaged a 13% explosive play rate in non-garbage time.  The last 2 seasons under Mike DeBord saw an 8% explosive play rate.  Last season, Fresno State averaged an 11.7% rate under Kalen DeBoer which was higher than Indiana posted in all but 3 games.  The highest game mark in 2018 for IU was 12.7% against Maryland and the Hoosiers posted a 9.7% rate against Ball State.  With the changes at OC and QB, hopefully the Hoosiers will move back closer towards the 2014-2016 range.

4. Ball State yards per pass attempt in non-garbage time – Over/Under 7.49

Ball State averaged just 6.4 yards per passing attempt in 2018, the same as Indiana.  It wasn’t pretty.  However, neither starting QB from 2018 will be the starter in this game.  Michael Penix replaced Peyton Ramsey for Indiana and BSU’s Riley Neal transferred to Vanderbilt leaving Drew Plitt as the starter.  Plitt had some issues with interceptions last year, tossing a pick on 6% of his attempts, but averaged 7.7 yards per attempt.

5. Total Indiana Punt Return Yards  – Over/Under 19.5

Over the last 2 seasons, Indiana received great punt return production from J-Shun Harris.  With Harris graduating, Reese Taylor is likely the next man up (if he’s healthy) although Whop Philyor could see time.  If the Hoosiers don’t force turnovers, they could have several punt return opportunities.

6. Indiana winning margin – Over/Under 17.5

Vegas opened with Indiana as 17 point favorite.  Bill Connelly at Football Study Hall has Indiana as a 17.9 point favorite.

If you are picking the over, you are picking Indiana to win by 18+ points.  If you are picking the under, you are picking Indiana to lose or win by 17 points or fewer.

This over/under is worth 2 points.

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Billy