BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana brings a three-game win streak into the first November night game in Memorial Stadium history Saturday evening against struggling Big Ten opponent Northwestern in Bloomington, Ind. At 6-2, the Hoosiers haven't reached these heights after eight games since going 7-1 in 1993.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1. LINE: Indiana -11.5
A win over Northwestern would give Indiana its fourth consecutive Big Ten victory, which the program hasn't achieved since that 1993 season. Quarterback Peyton Ramsey made a significant contribution to last week's 38-31 road win at Nebraska, connecting on 27-of-40 passes for a career-best 351 yards and two touchdowns. Ramsey, subbing for injured starter Michael Penix Jr., also rushed for 42 yards and another score. Indiana has experienced much more success on offense than Northwestern, which was shut out last week in a 20-0 home loss to Iowa.
ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (1-6, 0-5 Big Ten)
The defending Big Ten West Division champion Wildcats have gone from first to worst in a year’s time, entering the game at the bottom of the standings after losing five straight games and also in a number of offensive categories in the conference. Inconsistent quarterback play with Aidan Smith and Hunter Johnson has plagued the offense and consequently Northwestern ranks last in the Big Ten in scoring (10.7 points per game), total offense (266.4 yards per game) and passing (126.0). The defense, led by what Indiana coach Tom Allen called “grown men” in the front seven, has four players averaging seven or more tackles per game and defensive end Joe Gaziano ranks third among the nation’s active career sacks leaders with 26.5.
ABOUT INDIANA (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
The Hoosiers are on a roll thanks in large part to an offense that leads the Big Ten in passing with 312.8 yards per game and ranks second in total yards (450.5) behind Ohio State. In addition to Ramsey and Penix, the offensive catalysts continue to be wideout Whop Philyor, the No. 1 receiver in the conference and tied for sixth nationally with 57 catches for 737 yards (14 receptions for 178 yards against Nebraska), and running back Stevie Scott III, who has come on strong after a slow start to the season with 621 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 122 carries. Linebacker Micah McFadden posted a career-high 11 tackles last week, but the Indiana defense lost linebacker Thomas Allen, the coach’s son, for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
1. Allen said earlier in the week that Penix is Indiana's starter at quarterback if he's recovered from a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the game against Maryland two weeks ago and sidelined him last week at Nebraska, but an update is not expected on his status until later in the week.
2. Indiana's bowl eligibility won't come down to the final game on the schedule as it has in the last four seasons after securing its sixth win last week to qualify for the postseason for the third time in the past five seasons.
3. Northwestern has won five straight meetings, but the teams haven't faced off since 2016 or played in Bloomington since 2011.
PREDICTION: Indiana 27, Northwestern 14