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Matchup against Maryland highlights important ‘swing game’ for Indiana football



The matchup against Maryland for the Indiana football program could be a 'swing game' that the Hoosiers need this year. (Rich Janzaruk/Herald-Times-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Big Ten Media Days is here. Fall camp is right around the corner. And, the Indiana football program is looking to improve on what has been a difficult past two seasons in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers enter 2023 coming off of a 4-8 record a season ago and a 6-18 record in the last two years. That followed a 14-7 record the previous two years before.

Now, it almost seems like a ‘now or never’ moment for the program and Tom Allen to get Indiana back to a respectable team.

While the expectation is not a consistent eight or nine wins, getting to a bowl game should be reasonable every season. The difficulty of Big Ten play always plays a part, but there are always games Indiana can pull out in conference play that it fails to do.

So looking ahead to this year, there are a few games that could be ‘swing games’ for the Hoosiers.

One such is conference game number two for Indiana — a matchup at Maryland. That comes in week five and will be IU’s first game outside of Indiana.

“There will be blood. There’s no other just way to describe the daunting schedule Tom Allen and the Hoosiers must endure this fall,” 247Sports Brad Crawford wrote. “They’ll take on three top 10s, a potentially elite Wisconsin squad and host Louisville, a team some are picking to finish as high as fourth in the ACC race. The opener against Ohio State is not winnable, but Indiana’s second Big Ten matchup is, coming in the form of a road trip to Maryland. That’s a confidence-builder after a doozy first few weeks if the Hoosiers are able to prevail.”

More: ‘Writing’s on the wall’ for Tom Allen, Indiana football if unsuccessful in 2023

Indiana and Maryland have had numerous tight matchups over the past few years. The last two years have resulted in a one-possession game and six of the last seven matchups have all been one-possession.

Overall, in those last seven matchups Indiana is 5-2. But, have lost the last two games.

Maryland was 8-5 last season and will return Taulia Tagovailoa, one of the top quarterbacks in the conference and one of the more veteran around the country.

If Indiana wants a shot at getting back to a bowl game this season, that Maryland game, along with matchups against Louisville, Rutgers and Purdue will determine that opportunity.

The season begins for Indiana football at home against Ohio State on Sept. 2.

SEE ALSO: Key storylines to follow at Big Ten Media Days for Indiana football

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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.