Indiana Football: Staff Predictions – Maryland


In the lead up to Maryland vs. Indiana, the Hoosier State of Mind staff answered some questions about the game and offered their predictions.

Question: Is there any reason to be worried about a let down against the Terps?

Kyle Grand: Yes, totally. I do trust Kevin Wilson to have the Hoosiers in the right mindset, but it’s totally natural to have a hangover after a marquee win. The Hoosiers could easily underestimate Maryland and still be thinking about the celebration they had a week prior.

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Will Logan: Uh. Yea. You don’t erase decades of a “losing” mindset in one Saturday afternoon. The Hoosiers still have some demons to deal with mentally. Aside from the mental stuff, there are some stats that jump out and cause your heart to speed up a bit. Maryland is second nationally in special teams play, Indiana is 125. Maryland is a national leader in “big plays” (plays over 40+ yards), and we all know the Hoosier defense has been known to give up a heartbreaking big play or two.

Jessica Hunt: Yes, of course there is reason to be worried; it is often a theme in sports at all levels that a team coming off a marquee win ‘doesn’t show up’ the following week against an opponent they are favored to beat. I once received a piece of lovely betting advice in that I should always bet against a team which pulled an upset the previous week. However, this week’s film session was dedicated to prepping for the Terrapins opposed to focusing on the positives and negatives of Saturday’s upset, suggesting this team has had its priorities in order from the onset of the week. Maybe what this team truly needed is the support and belief from the fan base instead of the typical, “Oh here we go again” to encourage young psyches in believing in themselves and the team.

Q: Do you think the defense can keep it up or are we just getting our hopes up? 

Grand: Definitely. I think the D proved to itself that it can play and now we should really start to see what it is capable of. As they get more and more comfortable in Coach Knorr’s system, I think the unit has the chance to rectify it’s play from last year. IU’s defense won’t be stellar but as long as it can keep pressuring opposing QBs, I think it can be solid from here on out.

Sep 20, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Marcus Murphy (6) runs the ball against the Missouri Tigers during the second half at Faurot Field. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Missouri Tigers 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Logan: No way are we out of the woods yet. It was one game. Remember last year when everyone was falling over themselves because we held Penn State to 70 yards rushing and 24 points? Well we still went on to allow more yards than any other team in B1G history. As I detailed extensively last year, the mark of a “good” coach isn’t starting out great. It’s getting better as the season goes on (Mallory’s defenses always got worse). So that’s what I’d keep an eye on moving forward. How does Knorr develop the unit? Are we getting better at tackling? Are we cutting down on big plays? Do we adjust at half time if they kill us on the read option in the first half?

Hunt: “Keep it up” is a bit of an overstatement. The Hoosiers’ defense last week was passable; the Tigers produced 503 yards of total offense but only completed 5-of-16 on third-down conversations. The Hoosiers do not have to be “good” per se on defense, but they do need to come up with a few crucial stops to continue any level of success.

Q: Name one player who has yet to make a mark on the season but will on Saturday. 

Grand: Quietly, cornerback Tim Bennett is having a solid season. He’s already got 16 tackles and five pass breakups to his name. But, he’s yet to pull in an interception, and I think this is his week. I expect IU to get out a sizeable lead quickly, forcing Maryland to throw more than it wants to. Bennett should have plenty of opportunities to make a big play.

Logan: Griffin Oakes. He’s the guy taking over kicking duties for Del Grosso this week. Although we have a small sample size (the second half of the Missouri game), we’re hoping he’s the answer to our kicking woes. Del Gross only forced a touchback on 46% of his kickoffs whereas Oakes was 3 for 4 last week. That could be huge as Missouri’s kick returners are a dangerous bunch. We haven’t seen him attempt a field goal yet, but he’s got to be able to beat Del Grosso’s 1-4 start, right? right?!?

Sep 20, 2014; Columbia, MO, USA; Indiana Hoosiers place kicker Griffin Oakes (92) kicks an extra point against the Missouri Tigers during the second half at Faurot Field. The Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Missouri Tigers 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Hunt: The field goal game has been sub-par as Aaron Del Grosso is 1-of-4 after three games. Coach Kevin Wilson indicated Del Grosso has been fighting a minor groin injury that still plagues him, which could have been a factor, and Griffin Oakes even replaced Del Gross on kickoffs against Missouri. I am a firm believer in water ultimately finding its level, and I predict two made field goals against the Terrapins on Saturday for the field goal unit.

But on a more serious note, the Chrome and Crimson helmets will be making their season debut Saturday–count on the combination of sunlight and chrome to account for two Terrapin turnovers.


Grand: Indiana 38, Maryland 27. While this game has letdown written all over it, I think the Hoosiers have turned the corner. Their confidence should be sky high and Maryland is very, very beatable. Tevin Coleman should have another huge day and the Hoosier D will show up. Easy win for IU.

Logan: Indiana 31, Maryland 17. The offense boasting the nation’s best running back will be able to run all over the B1G’s worst run defense. That won’t add up to a million points, but it will keep the ball out of the hands of Maryland’s explosive offense. Maryland’s play makers are too good to completely silence, but as long as the Hoosier D doesn’t allow any career days, we’ll be good.

Hunt: Indiana: 34, Maryland: 27. Take the under, and give the points.