Rutgers football (5-2; 2-2) travels to face Indiana (2-4; 0-3) on Saturday at 12:00p.m. ET in Bloomington airing live on the Big Ten Network. Here are four things that we predict will happen on Saturday.
It won’t be pretty
Despite a forecasted beautiful sunny fall day in the 60’s with winds around 10 miles per hour, I think this could end up being a ugly game. Even though Rutgers has everything to play for with a win clinching bowl eligibility, they will be battling themselves. Avoiding an emotional letdown following the amazing comeback win over Michigan State is one factor. The other is it being the eighth game in eight weeks for the Scarlet Knights. The physical and mental toll is a challenge RU must overcome to win this game. I think it will result in a game that is close and also could have a few more mistakes than normal that we’ve seen from this team. Indiana is also mistake prone, so I wouldn’t expect a pretty game at all. Obviously, whichever team can capitalize on them the most is more likely to win.
Indiana will play up for this
The Hoosiers feel this game can turn its season around. With three potential winnable games to close out the season, they have to win Saturday to give themselves a realistic change to earn bowl eligibility. Of course, head coach Tom Allen is hoping for a spark with a quarterback change. If Brendan Sorsby gets the start, who I think will get the nod, he’ll pose the challenge of dealing with a dual threat quarterback. The IU offense could get a lift with stability and the elimination of the platoon that’s been employed of late. Rutgers cannot make critical mistakes to start off the game, as it will fuel the Hoosiers’ upset bid and give them confidence. I do think Indiana ultimately shows up and this is going to be a very challenging game.
Rutgers defense will feast on QB inexperience
Despite what I focused on above, I do think the defense will ultimately capitalize on Indiana’s quarterback situation. It was a similar dynamic last week with Michigan State and first time starter Katin Hauser. He started strong with a touchdown drive to open the game and played well in the first half. However, while he didn’t turn it over, the MSU offense was ineffective in the second half. It allowed Rutgers to make the fourth quarter comeback with two drives of three and out. I think this Saturday will be similar with the Hoosiers getting an early boost with whoever starts. Both Sorsby and Tayven Jackson are in their first seasons seeing regular action, so expect RU to throw some wrinkles their way. Ultimately, Joe Harasymiak’s defense dominates down the stretch and allows the offense to run away with the game once again.
The final score will be…..
I think this is certainly another opponent that Rutgers can wear down with its defense and run game. I do think the first half will be a bit up and down. The sooner Rutgers can gain its footing, the better. That will come down to minimizing mistakes and taking advantage of any miscues that Indiana makes. Rutgers is 11-1 since 2020 in games they haven’t committed a turnover. Two years ago, they forced six Hoosier turnovers in Bloomington and blew them out 38-3. I don’t expect that type of result on Saturday, but think IU will crack the more Rutgers puts pressure on them in this game. Limiting penalties and continuing to be a sure tackling team will be another positive. The Scarlet Knights have outscored foes 79-34 in the fourth quarter this season. I think they’ll be able to outscore Indiana in the final frame to secure the bowl clinching victory that sends them into the bye week riding high.
Rutgers 23 Indiana 10
2023 Prediction Record
7-0 overall; 5-1-1 ATS
Thanks for reading the The Scarlet Faithful. For more Rutgers Athletics content from The Scarlet Faithful, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to The Scarlet Faithful podcast on Apple, Spotify, Pocket Casts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. For advertising inquiries or to reach out directly, email at email@example.com