In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday, Defensive Coordinator Kane Wommack told him team, “you truly are a special group and we’re doing special things.” While part of that statement was probably said for motivation, getting the team ready to focus on Maryland after a tough defeat against Ohio State, there’s a lot of truth in his words.
“We’re doing special things.”
Indiana leads the nation in interceptions per game at 2.60. They also have the best interception to pass attempt ratio of any team since at least 2009.
By a wide margin.
Indiana plays a turtle on Saturday, but thankfully not this turtle.
Indiana (probably?) plays host to Maryland this weekend. Mike Locksley’s crew has been an up-and-down bunch so far, getting pummeled by Northwestern before rebounding in a wild game against Minnesota. In that one, they blew a 21-7 first quarter lead and needed to score 17 unanswered in the fourth quarter to force overtime and ultimately win. They followed that up with a win at Penn State before being shut down for 2 weeks with a COVID outbreak. How they might perform and who they could be missing on Saturday are great unknowns.
It was a potential blowout that came down to the final few drives. Ultimately, Ohio State won 3 of the 5 factors and the game.
The last time Indiana won in Columbus the Hoosiers were led by a coach in his 4th year at IU, against a top 10 OSU team, in the 5th game of the season…
Indiana heads to Columbus as the #9 team in the AP poll and a 20.5-point underdog to #3 Ohio State. Vegas expects a blowout, but Indiana has positioned itself to pull off the upset. The Indiana defense is legit as we’ve come to expect under Tom Allen. They’ve been great at forcing their opponent into a mistake. On offense, the Hoosiers have a talented quarterback, a pair of very capable receivers and a tight end that mostly catches the underneath stuff. The pieces are in place but there isn’t a big margin for error.
As such, we’re going to base this week’s lines on Bill Connelly’s Five Factors. Some of the metrics used have been adjusted since Connelly first published them in 2014, but the principles remain the same. As Bill wrote, “the sport comes down to five basic things, four of which you can mostly control. You make more big plays than your opponent, you stay on schedule, you tilt the field, you finish drives, and you fall on the ball. Explosiveness, efficiency, field position, finishing drives, and turnovers are the five factors to winning football games.”
Indiana took care of business against Michigan State meaning the Hoosiers now hold active winning streaks (if you count one game a streak…work with me here) against 9 of the 13 Big Ten opponents. It’s actually 10 of 14 if you include the University of Chicago, a former conference foe who last played the Hoosiers in 1936 with IU coming out on top 20-7. Up next, Indiana can add another team to the list with an upset win at Ohio State.