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OTB Staff Predictions: Rutgers at Indiana

What do we think will happen on Saturday?

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Cancro:  This is gonna be interesting.  For me, this could be the perfect positive storm game for Rutgers.  The Rutgers players saw what they could do against an MSU last week; that has to give them confidence.  They get their coach back on the sidelines; that has to pump them up.  They get it that Indiana is the next rung on the ladder up the B1G. On the flip side, IU is suddenly not so awesome; the 4-0 start (Southern Illinois [2-3], Florida International [3-3], Western Kentucky [5-1 in C-USA 2.0], and "we beat BC 3-0" Wake Forest[3-3]) looks a little less awe-inspiring.  But, this game could be their season; it is, though, their homecoming.  They are a desperate team.  As of this writing there is no line on this game because of the Sudfield at QB question.  So, with all that said.....I go with my heart and a little bit of my head.  Rutgers 31 Indiana 21

Kelly Montagna: Coming off an extremely impressive showing against MSU, I have high expectations for Rutgers this weekend against Indiana. Carroo didn't miss a beat after his suspension and I expect his chemistry with Laviano only to get better. Indiana may be without their starting quarterback and running back, which will bode well for Rutgers' defense. Oh, and there's the extra motivation of having Coach Flood back on the sidelines. I fully expect this team to rally around their coach and pull of a huge win to keep their bowl hopes alive. RU 35-30

Aaron Breitman: Rutgers is coming off their best game of the season, their head coach returns, and Indiana is banged up at key positions.  Not only is this game a must win to keep bowl hopes alive, it's a game we have no business losing.  I know it's important to show improvement against the big dogs of the conference, but I think it's more important that we beat Indiana and Maryland at a minimum, every season.  As bad as this year has been so far, and as much of a laughingstock this program has become to the national media, beating Indiana and Maryland proves things are not as bad as pundits say they are.  If this team can't build off of last week and ride the emotional lift of their coach returning, on top of playing a wounded team, then this team has more serious issues than I thought. The outcome of this game will go a long way in determining which direction the rest of the season goes. If the coaches come out with an aggressive game plan and attack on both sides of the ball, we should win going away. Rutgers 38 Indiana 17

Scott Logan: As the others have pointed out, this is a must-win game for Rutgers. Six wins are going to be hard to come by as it is, but it will be a near impossible task if they don't beat Indiana on Saturday. Coach Flood is back, and right off the bat he needs to get his team up and ready for this game. If they play like they did last week against MSU, then there shouldn't be much of an issue. But as Rutgers fans know better than anyone, that is a big "if." Still, I'm not too worried. Indiana's 4-2 record is a bit deceiving. While their near-upset of Ohio State was impressive, they are 0-2 in the Big Ten after a 29-7 loss to Penn State last week. Their non-conference schedule consisted of a 48-47 win over Southern Illinois, a 36-22 win over FIU, a 38-35 win over Western Kentucky, and a 31-24 win over Wake Forest. No impressive performances against impressive teams. IU allows 163 rushing yards per game, so expect Hicks/Martin/James to have a big day. And I would expect Carroo to be good for a score or two. The odds seem to be in Rutgers' favor, but we know that's not something to be taken advantage of. And one last thing: Chris, no spiking on 4th down, okay? Rutgers 41, Indiana 20

Griffin Whitmer: Neither team plays great defense, and this game has shootout written all over it. However, I think Rutgers takes a different approach to this game. They will run the ball down the Hoosiers' throats and control the tempo of the game. Indiana's offense can put up points in a hurry but can also be contained quickly. If the Rutgers defense gets into an early groove, this game can be put out of reach. I don't think that will happen, but I think Rutgers will do enough on defense to slow down the Hoosiers. Leonte Carroo will have another huge game. As I said in my game preview, if Michigan State can't stop Carroo, Indiana shouldn't be able to. Rutgers 38-34 Indiana

Andy Egan: When it's clicking, Indiana's offense is explosive. It wasn't clicking last year when the Scarlet Knights hosted the Hoosiers, and it wasn't clicking last week when the Nitty Kitties stomped the boys from Bloomington. Past performance is not indicative of future results, because starting QB Nate Sudfeld is expected to play. That's an entirely different team, and Indiana will put up points tomorrow. I think Rutgers will pull it out, but it's going to take a big offensive day from the usual suspects - Carroo, Hicks, Martin, Grant, James and Laviano  -- to get it done. I expect something similar to the WSU game, and like that one, the road team squeaks out a win.Rutgers 38 - Indiana 31.

Dave White: Let's face it--beyond Tom Crean and striped warm-ups, I know next to nothing about Indiana.  I know even less than that about Indiana football.  They gave Ohio State a run for their money and Rutgers is on the road.  That's, like, not good.  Then again the Indiana QB and RB are banged up.  If RU can put some pressure on Indiana early and smack the QB around (if he plays), Rutgers can hang.  And as we know, Carroo is a game changer.  That said, I don't have a good feeling for this game, and still think RU played their best game of the year last week.  Indiana 35 Rutgers 24