Flood returns to sideline for battle in Bloomington
Who: Rutgers vs. Indiana
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Indiana
TV: Big Ten Network
Matchup to watch: Kemoko Turay vs. Jason Spriggs
Spriggs is making a strong case for All-American honors already. He’ll need to play like an All-American to contain the pursuit of the Rutgers sophomore. Turay hasn’t been able to rack up the sacks the way we thought he would this year, though part of that is because he was banged up the first month of the season. Turay does have six quarterback hurries to his credit. Spriggs, on the other hand, hasn’t allowed a sack all season and has surrendered just one quarterback hurry. IU quarterbacks have been sacked just seven times in six games. Turay and the Scarlet Knights haven’t been able to make game-changing plays on the quarterback. Against one of the nation’s best, that might be a tough trend to buck.
Thing I’m excited to see: Our old pal, Kyle Flood
Welcome back, coach! That’s the exact opposite approach the media took when Flood held his first press conference since he was suspended for three games because of impermissible contact with a university professor. Jokes aside, Rutgers could use a little experience on the sidelines. After all, Norries Wilson did advise Chris Laviano to spike the ball on fourth down in the final play against Michigan State. It’ll be a relief for Rutgers to get Flood doing something positive on the field instead of making national headlines off of it.
Number to Remember: 2.4
That’s how many yards per carry IU rushed for last week against Penn State without Jordan Howard and Nate Sudfeld. I included the IU quarterback in that because without him, the Hoosiers are one-dimensional. Teams can load the box and stuff the run. Devine Redding found that out all too well last week. There’s been no official word made as to whether or not Howard and Sudfeld will be back in the fold. If they aren’t, it’ll be up to Redding and third-string redshirt freshman quarterback Danny Cameron to run the show. Rutgers can and will score, probably with Leonte Carroo. If IU is short-handed and falls behind early like it did in Happy Valley last week, a very winnable game could slip away.
Prediction: Indiana 35, Rutgers 31
Notice that there still isn’t a spread for this one yet. Why? Because we still don’t know officially if Sudfeld or Howard will play. I say they both do. They were in uniform last week and probably could’ve suited up in an absolute emergency. Barring a late-week setback, I think both of them return, though not immediately to their old selves. I foresee big games from Carroo and Josh Hicks to give the Scarlet Knights a chance. But, as they did in non-conference play, the Hoosiers hang around and force a late turnover to close out Rutgers.