Indiana vs. Rutgers prediction and game preview. The Hoosiers try to send the Scarlet Knights to a sixth straight loss Saturday.
Indiana vs. Rutgers Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – Noon ET
Where: High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ.
TV Broadcast: Big Ten Network
Indiana is two wins away from becoming bowl-eligible for a second straight season, and it might have to pick up a victory this week at Rutgers if it wants to keep those hopes alive. The Hoosiers’ next two games are against No. 2 Michigan and No. 20 Penn State before ending the season against rival Purdue. A loss to the lowly Scarlet Knights could end up keeping them out of the bowl picture, something would slow the progression of coach Kevin Wilson’s program.
Rutgers looked much better two weeks ago when it suffered a tough 34-32 loss to Minnesota. That should’ve given the Scarlet Knights some confidence heading into the bye week after they scored 14 points combined over their previous four games. They’re heavy underdogs again heading into this contest.
What To Know About Indiana
The Hoosiers’ offense is rolling. It finished with a season-high 650 yards in Saturday’s 42-36 win over Maryland, with 414 coming on the ground after it didn’t surpass 100 rushing yards in any of its previous three games. Devin Redding led three players with 100-yard running performances, with the most surprising coming from backup quarterback Zander Diamont, who rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns while also completing a 29-yard pass.
Indiana’s defense did allow 517 yards against the Terps, but it also forced a pair of turnovers and held on for a crucial victory in the Hoosiers’ pursuit of a bowl bid. Tegray Scales finished with 11 tackles and leads the Big Ten in that category.
What To Know About Rutgers
Expect Indiana to keep the ball on the ground again. Rutgers is allowing 5.68 yards per carry, an average that ranks 124th in the nation. Opponents are rushing an average of 46 times per game, and the Scarlet Knights have allowed at least 228 yards rushing in each of its last four games.
The offense finally found some footing against Minnesota, though, as Giovanni Rescigno threw three touchdown passes. Rescigno also threw two interceptions, but Rutgers’ 222 passing yards were its most of the season.
Offense: Indiana – Quarterback Richard Lagow is talented, but he just needs to be smarter with his decisions.
Defense: Indiana – Scales ranks fourth in the Big Ten in tackles for loss.
Special Teams: Rutgers – Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes has struggled, missing three kicks inside of 40 yards.
Coaching: Indiana – Chris Ash has a long way to go in order to build Rutgers into a contender.
Intangibles: Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights rallied from a 52-27, third-quarter deficit by scoring the game’s final 28 points to beat the Hoosiers last season on a field goal as time expired.
Matchup To Watch
Indiana’s running game vs. Rutgers’ defense
The Hoosiers have ground threats other than Redding, and they can continue to rotate in fresh bodies to pound away at the Rutgers’ poor run defense. Indiana should keep the ball on the ground close to 50 times.
Spread: Indiana -14
Indiana vs. Rutgers Prediction
Redding runs for 175 yards and three touchdowns, the Hoosiers force four turnovers and Indiana gets a victory away from becoming bowl-eligible.
Indiana vs. Rutgers final score prediction: Indiana 42, Rutgers 24