The Indiana Hoosiers (3-2 overall, 0-2 Big Ten), led by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., running back Stevie Scott III, wide receiver Whop Philyor and coach Tom Allen, will host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-4 overall, 0-3 Big Ten), led by quarterback Johnny Langan, running back Isaih Pacheco and interim head coach Nunzio Campanile, in a college football Week 7 Big Ten game on Saturday, October 12, 2019 (10/12/2019) at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Indiana.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who: Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+28) at Indiana Hoosiers.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana.
When: Saturday, October 12, 2019.
Time: 12 p.m. EDT.
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Line: Indiana -28, O/U 49.5 | Get betting tips and analysis via NJ.com/betting
Here is a preview of the game, via the Associated Press:
Indiana coach Tom Allen understands the temptation of peeking at the big picture.
He also recognizes the pitfalls it can cause.
Allen’s message this week, as the Hoosiers return following their first bye week, is simple: Keep the focus on Rutgers.
“We all see the schedule. Everybody can look at it,” Allen said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better every time we take the field and every time we strap it up on Saturdays.”
It’s hard to ignore what’s at stake this weekend.
Indiana (3-2, 0-2 Big Ten) has lost four straight conference games, needs three more wins to become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2016 and still must face the likes of No. 10 Penn State, No. 16 Michigan and Nebraska. A victory over reeling Rutgers is essential.
The Scarlet Knights (1-4, 0-3) have lost 15 consecutive conference games since beating Maryland in November 2017, 18 of their last 20 overall and over the last two weeks things have only gotten worse.
They have coped with a coaching change, dealt with a request from its top running back to sit out the rest of the season so he can redshirt and now apparently have lost the top two quarterbacks for the rest of the season. Graduate transfer McLane Carter has a concussion and his replacement, Art Sitkowski, also hopes to redshirt. Interim coach Nunzio Campanile said Monday that Sitkowski would be his emergency quarterback.
The turmoil took its toll on the field, too, where Rutgers was outscored 100-7 by Michigan and Maryland.
And Campanile knows he needs everyone to get in sync before the Scarlet Knights can turn things around.
“We left a lot of plays out there just because you know, we probably aren’t really ready to execute all the things at the level you would hope,” he said after watching last week’s tape. “We’re just going to create some consistency.”
Allen realizes how the matchup looks on paper.
But his bigger concern is making sure the Hoosiers avoid counting down the wins to a bowl bid.
“This is the beauty of being able to sit down with your guys and have some mature guys who understand the big picture,” Allen said. “But it is solely focused on getting them some blinders — Rutgers, that’s it.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)