Maryland (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) was handed a humbling 40-14 loss lost week by a Purdue team without its starting quarterback or star receiver. This week, they hope to get back on track against Indiana (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten). The game is set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday on the Big Ten Network.
Here are four things to know for Saturday’s game.
Tyrrell Pigrome is expected to start
Quarterback Josh Jackson returned to practice this week, but there is no timetable yet for his return and Tyrrell Pigrome is expected to get the start again. Against Purdue, Pigrome completed 21 out of 39 passes for 218 yards and two interceptions. He added another 107 yards on the ground with 13 carries.
Needing Pigrome to attempt 39 passes is not a recipe for success. He is much better on the ground than through the air, but the Terps had no choice as the Boilermakers jumped out to a 13-0 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
With Pigrome under center, the Terps have got to get the ground game working. If they end up playing from behind again it will force them into more passing situations and limit what they can do on the ground which is the strength of this offense.
Indiana’s strength on offense is its pass attack
In contrast to Maryland’s offense, Indiana likes to throw the ball. Both teams are comparable in terms of total offense with the Terps averaging 439 total yards per game and the Hoosiers averaging 438.2. Where they differ is in the pass attack where Maryland averages 226.2 passing yards per game while Indiana averages 302.8.
Indiana freshman quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has been great after returning from injury. In his past two games, he has thrown three touchdown passes in each with over a 60-percent completion percentage. One of those games was against Michigan State which is no slouch on defense.
That’s not an ideal matchup considering the Terps rank 113th in passing defense, giving up 279.7 yards per game.
Indiana allowed 1 passing yard to Rutgers
Rutgers is bad at football. That is not exactly breaking news, but even bad football teams do not usually get embarrassed the way Indiana’s defense embarrassed the Scarlet Knights.
Maryland held Rutgers quarterback Johnny Langan to 13 completions for 163 yards when they played. Indiana, who played Rutgers just last week, held him to five completions and one yard.
It’s hard to do much better than that.
Indiana ranks 10th in the nation in pass defense so this could prove to be a very long day for Pigrome.
Indiana is 0-2 when allowed 140 rushing yards or more
The silver-lining for Maryland is that they want to run the football and, so far, teams that have been able to do so against Indiana have found success. In the Hoosier’s two losses this season, both times the defense gave up more than 140 rushing yards. Ohio State torched Indiana for 306 while Michigan State managed 142.
Maryland is averaging 212.8 yards on the ground this season. In last year’s matchup, the Terps managed a whopping 353 rushing yards...but still lost.
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