Indiana Football Predictions 2020
Written by Ben Pekay
Sept. 4 @ Wisconsin- Loss
Sept. 12 Western Kentucky University- Win
Sept. 19 Ball State- Win
Sept. 26 @ UConn- Win
Oct. 10 Maryland- Win
Oct. 17 @ Rutgers- Win
Oct. 24 Michigan State- Win
Oct. 31 Penn State- Win
Nov. 7 @ Ohio State- Loss
Nov. 14 Illinois- Win
Nov. 21 @ Michigan- Loss
Nov. 28 Purdue- Win
The 2020 Indiana football season will be an impressive one for the Hoosiers. Last year, Indiana went 8-4 and lost 23-22 to Tennessee in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl. Last year, Michael Penix Jr. won the starting job but was injured 6 games into the season with a season ending injury. Peyton Ramsey took over and led to a bowl game. He is transferring to Northwestern. Last year, Michael Penix Jr. threw for 1,394 yards and 10 touchdowns in 6 games. Michael Penix Jr. will be one of the better quarterbacks in the Big Ten this year. Indiana has plenty of talent around Penix. They return Running Back Stevie Scott who ran for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. Indiana also returns Wide Receiver Whop Philyor who had 5 touchdowns last year and a total of 1,002 yards. Indiana is very capable on offense this year. They are also solid on defense. Indiana returns their leading tackler, Micah McFadden. They have depth and experience throughout the defense and have very few weak links. This is one of the strongest teams the Hoosiers have rolled out and will be competitive with every team they play.
First up for the Hoosiers is a tough Friday night away game against Wisconsin. Wisconsin lost star Running Back Jonathan Taylor to the NFL. Wisconsin returns Quarterback Jack Coan who threw for 2,727 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. They also return Tight End Jake Ferguson who caught 2 touchdowns and had 407 total yards last year. Wisconsin has a lot of talent on the defensive end including Jack Sanborn who had 80 tackles last year and 5.5 sacks. Wisconsin also returns Cornerback Caesar Williams who had 35 tackles last year and 9 pass deflections. This game will be close and will probably come down to the last drive or a game-winning kick. Wisconsin will win because Wisconsin’s defense will outplay Indiana’s offense. Next up for Indiana is Western Kentucky University. Last year Western Kentucky went 9-4. Indiana will easily beat Western Kentucky because of the improved play of Michael Penix Jr and the talent on their team. Next up for Indiana is Ball State. Last year Ball State went 5-7. Ball State returns Quarterback Drew Plitt who threw for 2,918 yards and 24 yards last year. Indiana will win this game because of the talent on their team. The final non-conference game for Indiana is against UConn. Last year they were 2-10 and they are not going to be much better this year. They return Quarterback Jack Zergiotis who threw for 1,782 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions last year. Uconn’s defense allowed 40.5 points last year. Indiana will easily beat UConn because Michael Penix Jr. will have his way on offense.
Next up for Indiana is Maryland. Maryland's starting quarterback is anyone's guess. It could be Josh Jackson who threw for 1,274 yards and 12 touchdowns last year or it could be Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa. Maryland has little around their quarterback after their best running back, Anthony McFarland Jr., went to the NFL. Maryland's best player on defense is Ayinde Eley who won All-Big Ten honors last year and had 79 tackles. They are inexperienced on defense other than Eley. Indiana will beat Maryland because of the good play of Michael Penix Jr. and the weakness of the Maryland defense. After Maryland, Indiana has Rutgers. Well, everyone knows about Rutgers. After Rutgers, Indiana has Michigan State. Michigan State over the summer fired Mark Dantonio and replaced him with Mel Tucker who will need a few years to rebuild the team. Michigan State's starting quarterback is Rocky Lombardi who was a backup to Brian Lewerke for the past two years. Lombardi will struggle throughout the season because he has little talent around him. Michigan State lost their top two wide receivers to the NFL draft and have few other experienced players on offense. They lost 8 starters on defense. Michigan State will struggle this year on defense because of their inexperience and lack of depth. Indiana will win this game because of the poor play of Rocky Lombardi.
After Michigan State, Indiana has a game against Penn State. Penn State is coming off of the White Out game against Ohio State where they will lose in a close game. Coming into this game, Penn State will be banged up and underprepared for Indiana. Penn State returns Sean Clifford who threw for 2,654 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. They also return Tight End Pat Freiermuth who had 507 yards and 7 touchdowns last year. This Penn State offense has talent and will be a challenge for any defense to stop. They also return Linebacker Micah Parsons who had 5 sacks last year and is arguably the best linebacker in the country. This game will be very close, but Indiana will win on a game-winning field goal or drive because of the impressive game from Michael Penix Jr. and the solid play from the defense. Next up for Indiana is an away game at Ohio State. Ohio State returns preseason Heisman candidate Quarterback Justin Fields who threw for 3,273 yards with 41 touchdowns last year. They also return Chris Olave who caught 12 touchdowns last year. This offense will be lethal and almost unstoppable. On defense, they lost first-round picks Chase Young and Jeff Okudah to the NFL draft, but have plenty of talent to replace them including future first-round pick Cornerback Shaun Wade who had 25 tackles last year and 8 pass deflections. This Ohio State team will easily beat Indiana because of the strong play of Justin Fields and Indiana won't be able to move the ball against Ohio State.
Next up for Indiana is Illinois. Illinois returns Quarterback Brandon Peters who threw for 1,884 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. They also return Wide Receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe who played a big role in wins last year over Michigan State and Wisconsin, and will be even better this year. On defense, they return Jake Hansen who had 72 tackles last year and 7 forced fumbles. This game will be a challenge for the Hoosiers but they will win because of the stellar play from Michael Penix Jr. Next up for Indiana is a tough away game at Michigan. Although Michigan might be looking ahead at Ohio State next week, Michigan will beat Indiana. I believe Michigan will be desperate for a win. They will win this game because the Michigan defense will outplay the Indiana defense. This game will come down to a game-winning drive or field goal. Next up is Indiana’s rival Purdue. Purdue has a lot of talent on offense. They return 2018 All-American Wide Receiver Rondale Moore, 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the Year David Bell and Starting Quarterback Jake Plummer who threw for 11 touchdowns last year. Although Purdue is very talented on offense, their defense is not as strong. They are inexperienced throughout the defense. Last year, they were second-to-last in the Big Ten in total defense. This will continue this year. Indiana will outlast Purdue and win in a shootout because their defense will outplay Purdue’s defense.
This will be a successful season for Indiana. They will go 9-3 and maybe make a New Year's Six bowl game. Indiana will only go as far as Michael Penix Jr. takes them. Indiana also needs to stay healthy this season to be successful.