Indiana has been a thorn in Michigan’s side for a number of years now and will look to continue that role during a late November trap game. The Hoosiers will get U-M between the Michigan State and Ohio State games, making the Nov. 23 contest the definition of a trap game. Here are some Indiana players to watch:
RB Stevie Scott
Indiana has repeatedly churned out NFL running backs and Scott, who’s still just a sophomore, looks like he’ll be next. He can catch passes out of the backfield and handle goal-line work. He was a huge boost to a mediocre IU offense last season and will be even better in the team’s new offensive system now that Mike DeBord is gone.
Last season, he carried the ball 228 times for 1,137 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 86 yards receiving and a score. Running behind a solid offensive line and coached by Mike Hart, Scott should continue to be a problem for opposing defenses.
DB Marcelino Ball
Ball plays the husky position in IU’s defense, which is its version of the Viper. He’s an extremely talented defender that was a freshman All-American in 2016 before getting hurt in 2017. He bounced back last year and was an honorable mention All-Big Ten player and should be even better this fall. He’s the defense’s biggest play-maker.
Last year he had 59 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and four passes defended.
WR Nick Westbrook
Another player in his second season since sustaining a season-ending injury is Westbrook, who was second in the Big Ten in receiving his sophomore year. He was solid in 2018, catching 42 balls for 590 yards and four touchdowns, but he should be more like his 2016 season when he had 995 yards and six scores.
His season will depend on improved quarterback play.
QBs Peyton Ramsey, Michael Penix Jr. and Jack Tuttle
This is where things get interesting.
The Hoosiers have three quarterbacks who all could start and have shown talent. Ramsey is the reigning starter and has the most experience, but lost the job to Penix Jr., who soon after was knocked out for the rest of the year with an injury. Penix Jr. was a high 3-star recruit, 4-star according to Rivals, and is a dual-threat guy like Ramsey.
Ramsey completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,875 yards, 19 touchdowns and a whopping 13 interceptions. He ran the ball 111 times for 354 yards and five more touchdowns.
Penix Jr. completed 61.8 percent of his throws for 219 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 45 yards.
Both players will need to beat out high 4-star quarterback transfer Jack Tuttle, who comes to Bloomington from Utah. He has immediate eligibility and is thought by many to be the favorite to start.