It was a massively successful regular season in Bloomington with the Hoosiers winning 8 games. That great performance led Indiana and Tom Allen to agree to a new 7-year contract extension that will keep the Hoosier native at IU for the foreseeable future.
1. Michael Penix Total Offensive Yards – Over/Under 3,309.5 – Actual: 1,513
The combined Penix/Ramsey effort yielded 3,938 total offensive yards so it is probably fair to assume that a healthy Penix for the season probably gets the over here. Peyton Ramsey would have still seen playing time, especially in some of the earlier blowouts but Penix performed well in his limited time. He possibly could have missed a game due to injury and still been close to this line. Having said that, while Penix averaged 8.3 yards per play and Ramsey averaged 7.0, it is fair to point out that Ramsey played against both Ohio State and Michigan’s defenses. Ramsey averaged 7.7 yards per play in his other 8 games and a combined 4.8 against OSU and Michigan. The Penix-led offense averaged a non-garbage 49% success rate versus 45% for Ramsey. Point being, there was probably a drop-off with Ramsey at QB but it wasn’t very much.
2. Stevie Scott Rushing Yards – Over/Under 999.5 – Actual: 845
Scott was closing in on a second consecutive 1,000 yard season with 737 rushing yards, an average of 82 per game, with 3 games to go. He’d just need to bump up his average to 88 per game over the final 3 to crack the 1K mark. However, consecutive 54-rushing yard efforts against Penn State and Michigan combined with sitting out against Purdue ended his regular season with 845 rushing yards. Getting back to 1,000 might be difficult in 2020 if Sampson James can expand on what he showed in the Bucket game. His emergence could result in a lower percentage of carries for Scott who had 89% of the non-garbage RB carries prior to the Purdue game. Scott’s 44% success rate was nearly identical to his 45% rate in 2018. His non-garbage average gain on rushes reaching 5+ yards was 11.5 compared to 10.1 a year prior. That’s a slight improvement which is always good to see, but not seismic. You’d assume that his overall YPC average would have improved, but actually it fell from 4.99 to 4.75. That’s because he was stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage on 17% of his carries, up from 12% a year ago. That would seem to indicate issues with an offensive line that will lose at least 2 starters next year.
3. Receiving Yards by Indiana Tight Ends – Over/Under 299.5 – Actual: 618
Kalen DeBoer came in with a reputation for utilizing tight end and it resulted in a massive season for Peyton Hendershot. The sophomore tight end finished the regular season with 555 yards which I think is the 2nd most in a single-season by an Indiana tight end. In the bowl game, he should top the record of 564 yards by Bob Stephenson in 1979. Hendershot had a 77% catch rate and a 57% success rate. He saw the second most targets on the team, staying healthy enough to play all 12 games. TJ Ivy and Matt Bjorson both added 24 receiving yards and Gary Cooper had 15.
4. Total Indiana turnovers gained – Over/Under 22.5 – Actual: 15
Indiana’s opponents fumbled 13 times with the Hoosiers recovering 10. The 77% recovery rate is 3rd nationally. Typically, a team will recover about 50% of the fumbles meaning IU was probably a little lucky in this department. On the flip side, a team generally intercepts a pass on 21-22% of their passes defensed. The Hoosiers had 43 passes defenses which would generally result in about 9 interceptions. Indiana had just 5 meaning they were probably a little unlucky or didn’t help themselves in a few situations. The past 3 seasons Indiana has ranked 101st, 92nd and 100th in passes defensed per game. It’s probably no coincidence their interception total has ranked 119th, 33rd and 120th over that period. Obviously 2018 stands out where Indiana had an interception on 28% of their passes defensed which likely indicates a bit of luck. For Indiana to get back to forcing more turnovers, they need to force more fumbles and generate more pass breakups. Having Tiawan Mullen on the team is a good start.
5. Total Indiana Sacks – Over/Under 29.5 – Actual: 26
There wasn’t one pass rusher that emerged as an elite threat. Instead, it was a group effort with Allen Stallings leading the way with 5 sacks. While the team will lose Stallings and Reakwon Jones (1 sack), everyone else returns.
6. Regular season wins – Over/Under 6.5 – Actual: 8
The Hoosiers won 8 games for the first time since 1993 beating every team they were favored against as well as defeating Nebraska in a game the Cornhuskers were favored in.
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