Indiana travels down to Tampa Bay to play in the Outback Bowl. This will be Indiana’s first bowl that has been sponsored by a boisterous Australian-themed chain serving steaks, seafood & other hearty steakhouse fare.
Fun fact of the day: There is an Outback in Bloomington, IN, but not in Oxford, MS. Advantage: Indiana. #analysis
1. Whop Philyor receiving yards – Over/Under 89.5
Last season after a modest start, Philyor was a monster from late September on. He missed most of the Penn State game due to a non-targeting hit and was subsequently out of the Michigan game, but averaged 11.3 targets, 8.3 catches, and 120 receiving yards per game in the other 6 games beginning with the Michigan State game. He followed that up with 1 catch for 1 yard on 5 targets in the bowl game. While Tennessee’s defense, especially from a pressure perspective, did a lot to slow down Indiana’s passing game, I’d suspect the senior is focused on erasing that game from memory. This year Philyor has played a complementary role to Ty Fryfogle and is averaging 59 receiving yards per game. But he’ll be facing the worst pass defense in college football in terms of passing yards per game. Ole Miss is allowing 324 passing yards per game, worse than even the 2015 Hoosiers.
2. Indiana rushing success rate in non-garbage time – Over/Under 44.99%
The highest mark that the Hoosiers have posted this season is 44.2% against Maryland. On the season, Indiana has averaged 41.4% which is their lowest mark since the 2017 season. The Hoosiers have struggled to run the ball this year with only a decent output against Maryland. Fortunately they get to face off against one of the worst defenses in the nation. Ole Miss has allowed 5.42 rushing yards per carry this year. Stevie Scott and company should have an easier time in the bowl game than they did in their last game against Wisconsin.
3. Indiana sacks – Over/Under 3.5
The Hoosiers are 8th nationally in sacks at 3.29 per game. They’ve had at least 3 in 6 straight games with a high of 5 against Ohio State. With a pretty solid offensive line, Ole Miss has allowed just 1.89 sacks per game. QB Matt Corral has also shown an ability to scramble. Indiana brings pressure from all over the field, but it will be important for their defenders to wrap up if they reach the QB.
4. Indiana interception rate for 2020 season – Over/Under 6.99%
The highest interception rate (interceptions to pass attempts) recorded by a FBS defense in the last 11 seasons is 6.63% by the 2011 North Carolina defense. Indiana is currently at 7.36%. It would take 26 pass attempts without an interception for Indiana to fall below 2011 North Carolina. One interception would probably put Indiana ahead of UNC. Two interceptions almost certainly would unless the Rebels channel their cross-state rival in pass attempts. QB Matt Corral has thrown 14 interceptions on the year giving him a 4.96% interception rate.
5. Ole Miss 4th down conversions – Over/Under 2.5
No team has attempted more fourth downs per game this year than Ole Miss. Lane Kiffin’s team is attempting 3.44 fourth downs per game, converting 65%. Defensively, Indiana has allowed just 2 conversions on 11 fourth down attempts. That 18% conversion rate is 5th nationally. Excluding the 4th and 32 lateral play for Rutgers, the average distance to go on the other 10 attempts was just 3.5 so Indiana hasn’t benefited from a high amount of 4th and longs.
6. Indiana winning margin – Over/Under 14.5
Vegas has Indiana as a 8.5 point favorite. Meanwhile, Bill Connelly at ESPN has Indiana as a 7.2 point favorite. But Indiana has covered the spread all year so we need to make it difficult.
If you are picking the over, you are picking Indiana to win by 15+ points. If you are picking the under, you are picking Ole Miss to win or lose by 14 or fewer.
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