Sat, 02 Dec 2023

Indiana hoping to find cracks in Maryland's defense

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2023, 04:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports)

Unbeaten Maryland's stingy defense looks to stifle Indiana's sputtering offense in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday in College Park, Md.

The Terrapins (4-0, 1-0) forced five turnovers in their first road game of the season last Saturday at Michigan State to secure a 31-9 win, their sixth straight victory dating back to last season.

After tallying four takeaways in the fourth quarter of its 42-14 win over Virginia on Sept. 15, Maryland immediately wreaked havoc against the Spartans. The Terps notched takeaways on Michigan State's first three possessions to spring ahead 21-3 by halftime, and snagged two more interceptions in the second half.

"Anytime you can win on the road in the Big Ten, that's huge," Maryland coach Mike Locksley said. "For us to come up here and do something that hasn't been done since 1950, which is to win here in this stadium, I'm definitely proud of the team."

Locksley's defense has been vital to Maryland's second 4-0 start in the three seasons.

The Terps have forced 11 turnovers, tied for the second most in the NCAA. Their defense surrenders 12.3 points per game, good for 11th-fewest in the nation.

Maryland's stinginess presents the Hoosiers (2-2, 0-1) with a hefty challenge in their first road test this season.

Indiana's offense has struggled the year. Its 282-yard output in the Hoosiers' 29-27 four-overtime win over Akron last Saturday elicited more frustration than celebration.

"The offense was out of sync and performed poorly," coach Tom Allen said. "It was not good enough. Not even close. It was below the standard.

"There's not a lot to be fired up about that side of the ball."

Tayven Jackson completed just 11 of his 26 pass attempts for 190 yards and paired a touchdown pass with an interception. Meanwhile, Indiana's ground game needed 34 carries to churn out 92 rushing yards.

The Hoosiers are scoring 21.8 points per game, tied for 103rd in the nation.

--Field Level Media

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