Michael Penix Jr. returns at quarterback, and is expected to be ready for the beginning of the season after suffering an ACL injury late last season. The Hoosiers have experience on both sides of the ball and will be hoping Penix can put together a Heisman-level season in Bloomington.
IU returns plenty of talent from one of the feel-good stories of college football in 2020. They also get Ohio State at home. It’s an uphill climb, but winning one of the toughest divisions in college football is not totally out of reach. And even saying that is a massive credit to the work Tom Allen has done to change the culture in Bloomington.
2020 Season Review
- 6-2, 6-1, 2nd in Big Ten East, Lost Outback Bowl to Ole Miss
- Is Michael Penix Jr. the best quarterback in the conference and can he carry a team to the playoff? The talented signal caller had huge games last season for Indiana, but is recovering from an ACL injury. Penix needs to be at his best for what is suddenly a contender in the Big Ten.
2021 247Sports Composite Ranking: 12th in Big Ten
ESPN Returning Production: 80% overall (24): 80% offense (39), 81% defense (26)
Returning Talent Index: Negative, 9th in Big Ten
Returning starters: 7/11 offense, 6/11 defense
* All rankings out of 130 FBS schools
Quarterback: Michael Penix Jr.
Penix is the engine that makes Indiana’s offense tick. If he’s at 100 percent, this team will always be in every game. The southpaw quarterback didn’t experience many dips in performance last season, although he does need to be better as a pure passer. His stat line against Ohio State showed everyone why he and Indiana need to be taken seriously this season.
Offense (non-QB): WR Miles Marshall (Jr.)
Ty Fryfogle gets a lot of attention as the top receiver, but Marshall needs to break out and provide a decent secondary option for Penix. If the receiver can take pressure off Fryfogle, it’ll open up more opportunities for both players.
Defense: LB Micah McFadden (Sr.)
McFadden is the anchor of this team’s defense. He’s going to pressure the quarterback consistently while also racking up tackles. The Hoosiers have plenty of experience on the back end of their defense, but will need more help up front. Expect McFadden to turn in another productive season for Indiana.
Team Stats Projections
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
To win national title: +8000
To win Big Ten: +1800
Win total: 8 (Over +120, Under -152)
2020 Against The Spread: 7-1 (covered every game until Outback Bowl)
2020 Point Total: Over 4-4
2021 Indiana Schedule
2021 Indiana Schedule
|Saturday, Sep. 4||at Iowa||3:30 p.m./BTN||Ind +5.5|
|Saturday, Sep. 11||vs. Idaho||7:30 p.m./BTN||Ind -32.5|
|Saturday, Sep. 18||vs. Cincinnati||12:00 p.m./ABC or ESPN||Ind +1.5|
|Saturday, Sep. 25||at Western Ky||8:00 p.m. CBSSN||Ind -21.5|
|Saturday, Oct. 2||at Penn State||TBA||Ind +6.5|
|Saturday, Oct. 9||OPEN||TBA|
|Saturday, Oct. 16||vs. Michigan State||12:00 p.m.||Ind -16.5|
|Saturday, Oct. 23||vs. Ohio State||TBA||Ind +11|
|Saturday, Oct. 30||at Maryland||12:00 p.m.||Ind -6.5|
|Saturday, Nov. 6||at Michigan||TBA||Ind +2.5|
|Saturday, Nov. 13||vs. Rutgers||TBA|
|Saturday, Nov. 20||vs. Minnestota||TBA||Ind -6.5|
|Saturday, Nov. 27||at Purdue||TBA||Ind -6.5|