4 storylines for IU’s game against Rutgers

1. Playing for the postseason
Saturday is the latest checkpoint in Indiana’s pursuit of a third consecutive postseason trip. With 4-6 records, both IU and Rutgers have plenty of motivation to perform well this weekend. The Hoosiers accomplished their mission last week by winning at Illinois. Games against the Scarlet Knights, however, have been a little hairy. Two years ago, IU blew a 25-point lead and lost to Rutgers at home. Last year, Rutgers held a 24-13 lead early in the third quarter before IU rallied with three straight touchdowns.

2. Bottling up Rutgers’ ground game
The Scarlet Knights feature the Big Ten’s least effective passing attack, but their rushing attack is worthy of attention. Rutgers is ranked No. 61 nationally with 166.4 rushing yards per game and has 19 rushing touchdowns in 10 games after scoring eight all of last season. Four different running backs have totaled 13 touchdowns this season after the position group combined for merely three in 2016. Rutgers also has three backs averaging at least 4.9 yards per carry in their career.

3. Richard Lagow settling back in
Lagow has started each of IU’s last two games, turning in encouraging performances while doing so. He hasn’t been perfect, but he’s injected some life into Indiana’s passing attack. Across the past two contests, Lagow has completed 63 percent of his passes, while throwing for 515 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. Meanwhile, it remains unclear if Peyton Ramsey will be healthy enough to play, if needed. “Hopefully he’ll have another week to continue to heal and get better and rehab,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “Right now I would say Richard is the starter, and that isn’t going to change.”

4. Turning around the turnover margin
The Hoosiers continue to rank last among Big Ten teams in turnover margin (minus-8), but last week’s win at Illinois was a step in the right direction. IU won the turnover margin (plus-2) and did so in impressive fashion. Senior leaders Tegray Scales (interception, fumble recovery) and Rashard Fant (interception) used three straight takeaways to help seal the win late in the fourth quarter. Tom Allen believes turnovers come in bunches, and perhaps last week’s success carries over against Rutgers.