4 storylines for IU’s game at Rutgers

1. Hoosiers getting offensive, especially up front
Last week’s win against Maryland featured the best performance of the season from Indiana’s offensive line. It was an important comeback effort from a group that has largely struggled this fall with cohesion and consistency. It also stands as an intriguing example of the kind of play IU’s O-line could exhibit down the stretch. Right guard Dan Feeney appeared to be the best version of himself against the Terps, and his return should continue to make a difference. Keep an eye on right tackle this week, where Delroy Baker replaced injured starter Brandon Knight last week. Knight could miss this game — and possibly a few more — with an unspecified leg injury.

2. IU can’t allow Rescigno to find a groove
Rutgers has a new quarterback, and if his starting debut is any indication, he’s an upgrade over his predecessor. Gio Rescigno completed 22 of his 38 passes at Minnesota two weeks ago, throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice, but largely gave the Rutgers offense the jolt it needed after previous starter Chris Laviano completed only 48 percent of his passes across the first seven games.

3. Keep running, Hoosiers
Indiana produced a season-best 414 yards last week. This weekend, there could be more yards for the taking. Rutgers has struggled against the run, especially in conference play. During their five Big Ten games, the Scarlet Knights have allowed an average of 311 yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry. Overall, Rutgers’ rush defense is ranked No. 124 nationally. For IU, one of the questions in this positional matchup is whether it turns to its Wildcat package once again.

4. Taking advantage of takeaways
It has been a sloppy season for the Scarlet Knights, who are 13th in the Big Ten’s turnover margin at negative-six. Rutgers’ 10 lost fumbles are the most of any conference team. The Scarlet Knights have also combined for five interceptions between Laviano and Rescigno. Indiana is coming off a performance that saw it feature in the takeaway department, including an interception by Marcelino Ball and two forced fumbles by Marcus Oliver against the Terrapins. IU has five multi-takeaway games this year and is tied for fifth in the league with 13 takeaways overall.

7 comments

  1. This is a game that IU has to win and definitely should. Not to look ahead IU has lost games they should have won over the last 4 or 5 years. One being Wake Forest. It is about time after Rutgers providing IU wins I am looking for a signature win for 2016 THAT BEING PENN STATE.

  2. Actually the W over MSU is a signature win even though Sparty is in a reloading year because in the past we’ve been unable to rise to the opportunity whether they were up or down. So ya it was a significant win for the Hoosier program.

  3. I don’t think you can ignore the psychological barrier that the MSU win broke. The Hoosiers were playing Sparty. Year in and year out Sparty was a championship contender. At the time we didn’t know it was a down year. The Hoosiers showed everyone else that MSU could be beaten but nobody knew going in.

  4. Yep. They better get it together fast or this is gonna be it for the season. Can’t hang your at on just beating Purdue anymore..

  5. If IU loses this game, which is highly probable, Glass is going to have a huge mess on his hands. What to do with Wilson? Can’t fire him; his new contract makes that too expensive. But after six consecutive losing seasons, and the humiliation of losing to a winless Rutgers, the program will fall right back into the bottom of the hole they’ve been trying to climb out of. Recruiting will decline, home-attendance will remain depressed, and the weakest teams in the conference will begin to surpass IU. We’ve all seen this movie before. It’s like Groundhog Day.

    Oh well, the Cubs finally won the World Series.

  6. By the skin of Wilson’s teeth, IU came from behind and defeated “one of the worst teams in the FBS Division” today. But today’s performance is not likely to inspire excitement amongst the Hoosier faithful any more than a loss would have.

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