The two bottom-feeders in the Big Ten East face off Saturday as Indiana visits Maryland. The Hoosiers are hoping to snap a two-game slide while the Terrapins have dropped three in a row since winning their league opener.
Aside from Maryland (1-3) and Indiana (0-4), the other five teams in the East all own at least a .500 record in conference play. The Hoosiers have been competitive of late, falling to then-top 20 opponents Michigan and Michigan State by a combined 15 points in their last two contests. On the other hand, the Terps have given up 137 points during their last three contests and have suffered their four losses this season by an average of 29.3. Any remaining bowl aspirations for either team almost certainly hinge on winning this game and pulling off some upsets down the stretch.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Indiana -4.5
ABOUT INDIANA (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten): The Hoosiers led 9-3 with less than 13 minutes remaining, thanks to three field goals by Griffin Oakes, but were unable to put away the Spartans last week. “It’s obvious we can play with anybody in this conference. It’s been obvious for years,” Oakes told reporters. “There are just little things that we need to figure out.” Freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey completed nearly 65 percent of his passes against Michigan State but failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time since the season opener.
ABOUT MARYLAND (3-4, 1-3): The Terps have a two-headed rushing attack with Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison III combining for 162 carries, although the former has been more productive by far. Johnson is averaging 6.8 yards per attempt and has scored four touchdowns, while Harrison is seeking his first TD and sits at 3.9 yards per carry. Max Bortenschlager has completed only 49.3 percent of his passes on the season and leading receiver D.J. Moore (47 catches, 668 yards, seven TDs) has been a relative non-factor in two of his last three games.
1. Indiana WR Luke Timian is second on the team with 36 catches - including 14 over the last two games - but still is seeking his first touchdown of the season.
2. The teams combined for 1,167 total yards - 683 on the ground - in last year’s matchup, a 42-36 home victory by the Hoosiers.
3. The Terps have scored 145 points in their three wins but only 58 in their four losses.
PREDICTION: Indiana 23, Maryland 20