Who, When, Where: This Saturday, Indiana welcomes Maryland into Memorial Stadium in Bloomington. Kickoff on ESPNU is at 3:30, with Eamon McAnaney and John Congemi providing analysis. The Hoosiers beat the Terrapins last year in College Park, returning the favor from Maryland’s first Big Ten conference game in 2014, a 37-15 defeat in Bloomington, Maryland’s only win against IU in four tries so far.
Big Man on Campus: Normally, this is where I talk about who’s done well for IU in the last game. Tegray Scales has been the leader of the defense for the last couple weeks, leading him to appear in each of these (and also this one). However, I’m breaking from the script a little bit to insert a rant about the offense, since they’ve been surprisingly bad at making this part of the article for about a month now.
Indiana has enough talent on offense that, even against very good teams, they should be scoring more than one offensive touchdown per game. Hell, they should be scoring more than one per game through the air at worst. Whether Richard Lagow hasn’t been connecting with his receivers, or if it’s just been a run of fairly unfortunate luck, I don’t know, but this is bordering on utterly insane. If Kevin Wilson has to lock Lagow and his receivers in a room until they all get on the same page, then he should get on that. Otherwise, find some way to fix this that doesn’t involve the potential phrase “time share with Zander Diamont.” /rant
Maryland Musings from DJ: Maryland has been a bit bipolar this year with their playcalling on the surface but when you look a bit deeper it has to do with the QB that is in. Perry Hills was injured in the game against UCF and it has lingered into B1G play. He left the PSU game and was out for the Minnesota game, which put in true freshman Tyrell Pigrome and Walt Bell chose to then call a bunch of passes. Maryland's strength is the run game, which has flourished this year and especially with Perry Hills in at QB. Hills runs the zone read exceptionally well but also gets the offense where it needs to be in order to run plays quickly. If Indiana wants to take Maryland out of its comfort zone, it not only needs to slowdown the dynamic Maryland RBs but also disrupt Perry Hills getting comfortable. Forcing Maryland to pass is the way to get Maryland to falter on offense. On defense, literally Indiana should just 80/20 run the ball. Maryland is awful at defending the run but excels at defending the pass. Is one a result of another? No one has really pressed the issue given how bad the run defense is.
How Will This Game Go During Basketball Season: The one and only meeting between Indiana and Maryland during basketball season takes place January 10th at Maryland. It will be the fourth game of the conference schedule for both teams, but it could have large implications on whether or not the Terps will be a competitor for the Big Ten Championship. Way-too-early prediction: Indiana steals it on a last second shot.
Prediction: I just cannot fathom how Indiana pulls this game out unless one of the following happens: 1, the offense gets on track; 2, the defense records multiple scores and holds Maryland to less than 10 points; 3, Griffin Oakes makes at least 4 field goals in regulation time. Regardless, this is a game that Indiana desperately needs if they want to see themselves in the postseason again. Somehow, some way, I think Indiana pulls it out, but probably by an ugly scoreline, like 18-9.
Next Week: IU takes a trip to the Jersey Shore. Hopefully, this one will actually go well, for once.