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Indiana football resumes Big Ten play as two-touchdown underdogs against Maryland



Indiana football, Tom Allen
The Indiana football program enters week five against Maryland next weekend as a two-touchdown plus underdog. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Indiana football program resumes Big Ten play on Saturday against Maryland and will have a hefty task ahead of them.

Indiana (2-2) opens up as a two-touchdown underdog to Maryland. The initial line is at 14.5-points, per FanDuel Sports. It has flexed anywhere from 14.5 to 16 points depending on different betting sites.

Maryland is 4-0 and coming off of a 31-9 win over Michigan State on Saturday. Taulia Tagovailoa leads a high-powered offense as he leads the Big Ten in passing yards at 1,112. He is also tied for the most touchdown passes (8) in the league, fourth in quarterback rating (148.7) and has only been sacked twice.

The Terps also have a versatile rushing attack. Colby McDonald leads the Big Ten in yards per carry among runners with at least 25 attempts. He averages 7.8 yards per carry. He has 204 yards and two touchdowns. Roman Hemby leads the rushing attack, however, with 255 yards and a 5.1 yard per carry average. He also has four touchdowns.

Receiving wise, Maryland has three pass catchers in the top-16 in the Big Ten in total yardage — all over 195 yards.

Indiana is coming off of a four-overtime win against Akron in week three. The Hoosiers were out gained 473 to just 282. Akron had 24 first downs compared to 14 for IU. Indiana was 3-of-14 on third downs, averaging 7.7 yards per third down, and had just four drives longer than four plays all night.

Trending: Indiana Football haunted by miscues in 4OT win against Akron

Four of the five second-half possessions before overtime consisted of the following: three plays for three yards, three plays for two yards, three plays for six yards and three plays for zero yards.

Tayven Jackson, in his second start as the official starter, had his worst performance so far this season — one built around ‘growing pains’. He was just 11-of-26 passing for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“We got to execute better in practice. We play a Big Ten team next week, and what we did out there today is not going to cut it,” Jackson said. “So we got to be better on Sunday and Monday, and the rest of the week.”

Kick is set for 3:30 pm ET on Big Ten Network next Saturday.

“I was looking for opportunities and did not like at all how we practiced. We actually restarted some things on Thursday. And from what you’re just saying right there, I just sense the lack of understanding who we were playing and their ability to beat you and so — which is mind blowing because we don’t have any right to think that at this point,” Allen said. “So — but did sense it for sure. Didn’t like what I was seeing. But at the same time didn’t effectively get their attention for sure, especially not on certain areas of the game.”

SEE ALSO: Indiana Football Notebook: Final thoughts, takeaways from week four

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Alec Lasley is the owner of Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Alec has covered Indiana for six years and is a credentialed media member. He has previously worked for both Rivals and 247Sports.