4 storylines for Indiana’s game against Maryland

1. A must-win game for Indiana
Stumbles in winnable games have brought the Hoosiers to this point. Their most reasonable course to six wins includes earning victories during the next two weeks against Maryland and Rutgers, and again at the end of the year against Purdue. In between, games against Penn State and Michigan will see an increased degree of difficulty. Maryland is a program on Indiana’s level, and IU could use a win of this quality on its home field. Maryland, meanwhile, will be motivated. The Terrapins can clinch bowl eligibility with a victory.

2. Can IU’s passing game become more effective?
Quarterback Richard Lagow will need to bounce back from his most disappointing performance yet. Lagow struggled on throws near and far, and will need to start hitting his short-range passes with more regularity. In Wilson’s offense, those are the plays that make the Hoosiers go. Though Lagow has struggled with his consistency, his receivers need to be better, too. Drops and poor route running in key situations have also been problems during IU’s current three-game losing streak.

3. More tackles for Tegray Scales
The junior is earning his status as one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten. Scales leads the conference with 49 solo stops, and he’s third with 9.6 tackles per game. His streak of five consecutive games with double-digit tackles is tied for first in the league and tied for fifth nationally. Scales will be needed against a deep Maryland backfield that averages 5.8 yards per carry and 249.6 yards per game.

4. Grab the ball and go.
Defensive coordinator Tom Allen said he was sick to his stomach watching his defenders struggle to complete potential interceptions last week at Northwestern. With a struggling offense, those interceptions could mean a lot to momentum and field position. It would be a bigger boost if IU’s defense could manage to get its way into the end zone, too. That’s part of Allen’s challenge this week. IU has seven interceptions this season, but it could have at least a handful more had Hoosier defensive backs managed to secure tipped balls and errant passes.

7 comments

  1. RL against the Huskers completed 62%, NW it was 59+%, for the season he is 59+%. If A Frosh QB enters they can easily fall to 50% or even lower for the foreseeable future. Remember Covington and ZD when they had to replace Nate?

  2. receivers running poor routes??? IMO – the receivers have lost confidence in the QB…why? it could have something to do with the fact that when they are running the proper routes the football is no-where within their receiving/catching area…..this was truly reflected on IU last offensive play against Northwestern……Ricky Jones looked and acted fully frustrated….and the look on Mitchell Page face after the game also show signs of frustration….IMO all this is all related to the inaccurate passes throw their way….hopefully, this does not get any worst today against Maryland….looking for major improvements today from this football team

  3. I was thinking how ripe Penn State will be for a upset this week but I see they have a bye. They’re playing Purdue.

  4. Richard is clearly struggling. A major part of the issue is a lackluster run game which is primarily due to predictable running plays such as continually trying to shoot the A gap. If our OC can come up with better run options, that will help. Of course, his ability to do that is contingent on oline blocking schemes which are challenging with an inexperienced line…Feeney getting up to speed will help here. Richard needs to focus on accuracy in shorter routes to receivers in motion, He seems OK with stationery receivers but this is the B1G and that not normally an option so begin with the shorter hitch and goes and start there.

  5. Yes, an ineffective running game has contributed to the ineffectiveness of IU’s passing game, but that’s a two-way street. If you can’t run the ball, you have to generate offense through the passing game. And quite simply, regardless of his stats, Lagow is not getting it done. Too many high throws, too many off-target throws and obviously, too many INTs. No excuses, this is his eight game of the season. Regardless of his impressive natural ability (strong arm), if he does not improve today, IU’s hopes of going to a bowl game are dashed and it’s another losing season. Time on the bench might help him figure out the solution to his mistakes while giving allowing another player to develop through experience. Time on the pine, which gives him real competition going forward, will either help Lagow get better, or it will ruin him. If he’s the competitor Wilson thinks he is, it could do wonders for his future. If not, best to find that out sooner rather than later.

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