Maryland football has a chance Saturday to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2001 when it hosts Indiana.
The Terps most recently defeated Michigan State on the road by 22 points to open conference play, while the Hoosiers’ sole conference contest to this point came in an opening-week loss to Ohio State.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Maryland is a 14-point favorite (-650 moneyline) over the Hoosiers. Saturday’s game, set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network, has an over/under of 50 total points.
Indiana Hoosiers (2-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
Indiana came into the 2023 season with low expectations and has had an up-and-down campaign so far. The Hoosiers gave Ohio State a brief scare in the early goings of their season opener and blitzed Indiana State before hanging tight with Louisville in a narrow loss. But last week they struggled, just barely hanging on to beat Akron in four overtimes after the Zips missed a potential game-winning field goal in regulation.
Head coach Tom Allen’s seat is certainly warm, and if the Hoosiers can’t rebound from a rough performance, the losses could begin to stack up quickly.
Players to know
Tayven Jackson, redshirt freshman quarterback, No. 2 — Jackson was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, but barely played as a true freshman at Tennessee and opted to return to his home state to lead the Hoosiers. He has completed 62.8% of his 86 passing attempts on the year, with 749 passing yards and two touchdowns.
Cam Camper, senior wide receiver, No. 6 — Camper is by far Indiana’s leader in receiving yards, totaling 249 yards on 13 receptions this year for an impressive average of 19.2 yards per catch. He recorded a reception of at least 40 yards in each of the team’s last two games.
Aaron Casey, redshirt senior linebacker, No. 44 — Last year, Casey was an All-Big Ten honorable mention, and he’s picked up right where he left off with a team-high 41 tackles and two sacks this season. Last year, he had a sack and two forced fumbles against Maryland.
Phillip Dunnam, sophomore defensive back, No. 6 — Not only is Dunnam right behind Casey for the team lead in tackles, but he has already hauled in three interceptions, tying Maryland’s Tarheeb Still and Wisconsin’s Ricardo Hallman for the Big Ten lead.
Pass defense. Led by the opportunistic Dunnam, Indiana has the fourth-best passing defense in the Big Ten through four games in terms of yards allowed. It is also tied for third in the conference with six forced interceptions, behind only Maryland and Wisconsin, which both have seven.
Running the ball. Indiana has been as bad as any Big Ten team running the ball this year. The Hoosiers’ 3.2 yards per carry is the lowest mark in the league, and its average of 108.8 rushing yards per game is only better than Northwestern among Big Ten teams. Jaylin Lucas leads all backs with 184 yards on the ground this season.
Three things to know
1. Troubles against the Hoosiers. Indiana has given Maryland trouble in recent years. Since joining the Big Ten, Maryland is 4-5 against the Hoosiers, having won the last two matchups after a three-game losing streak. That being said, the last two games between the teams were decided by three and five points, respectively.
2. The turnover battle. Through four games, Maryland has the second-best turnover margin in the Big Ten, forcing 11 and losing three. Indiana also has a positive margin, making momentum-building turnovers a key focus in Saturday’s matchup. If the Terps start turning the Hoosiers over, especially early, they could pull away.
3. Look-ahead spot? If Maryland were to win Saturday, it would remain undefeated going into a high-leverage matchup at Ohio State the following week. The Terps are the better team on paper, but if they are not focused on the task at hand, they could find themselves in a battle.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.