Indiana Preview

posted by Lori Schmidt - 

Indiana (4-1) is a team of seeming contradictions. 

Its quarterback, Peyton Ramsey, has an impressive completion percentage of 71 percent, but also has an 8:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Its defense isn't giving up yards (321.8 yards/game-25th nationally), but they are middle of the pack in terms of giving up points (21.2 points/game-41st nationally).

It takes a little digging, but, the latter can be explained, at least in part, by poor starting field position. The Hoosiers kick coverage team is ranked 65th nationally, and their punt team is even worse--89th in the country.

Turnovers don't appear to be playing a role in that, however. Despite Ramsey throwing five picks, the team is +4 in turnover margin on the season. That's on the strength of the Indiana defense grabbing five picks (all courtesy of different players) and five fumble recoveries (also recorded by five different players). 

The defense is led by defensive back Jonathan Crawford, who has 26 tackles this season. Over the course of his career, he has made 43 starts and grabbed nine interceptions, which is the most among active Big Ten players.

Crawford also has three tackles for loss, not far behind the team leader in that category Marcelino Ball (4.0 TFLs). Ball had 10 tackles against the Buckeyes last year. 

As for Ramsey and the offense? Those numbers can also be explained. His high completion percentage is due to a reliance on short passes. He is averaging just 6.4 yards per attempt. (That ranks him 98th.)

His top target is Whop Philyor, but Ramsey does not focus on him exclusively. Seven players have 11 catches or more, and seven players caught touchdown passes. That's important, because Taylor and fellow slot receiver Luke Timian both missed the team's win over Rutgers last week with injuries. 

Ramsey is the Hoosiers second-leading rusher, behind talented, two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week running back Stevie Scott, who has 464 yards and four rushing touchdowns. 

Extra Points:

  • In 30 games as Indiana's head coach, Tom Allen's defenses have only allowed 3, three-hundred yard passers. Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins is very close to averaging that at 292.8 yards per game. The most passing yards Indiana has given up this year is 219 against Michigan State. 
  • There are 14 Indiana players from Ohio, including Ramsey, who is from the Cincinnati area.
  • Ohio State's defense has, at times, given up big plays this season. The good news for them is that Indiana is ranked 108th nationally in plays of 30+ yards.


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