Foster Farms Bowl Preview

Dec. 23, 2016

Indiana will face Utah in the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Wednesday, Dec. 28. FOX Sports will carry the postseason contest, scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

The Hoosiers will be making their 11th bowl appearance, their second consecutive and their first at the Foster Farms Bowl. After falling to Duke, 44-41, in overtime in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl, the 2016 Foster Farms Bowl marks the first back-to-back postseason appearances for the program since 1990-91. Indiana will be led for the first time under head coach Tom Allen, who was handed the reins of the Hoosiers program on Dec. 1, having just finished his first year as IU’s defensive coordinator on the 6-6 team. This year marks the 11th time in school history IU has recorded back-to-back years with six-or-more wins and the first time since 1993-94. It is the 16th time the Hoosiers have reached four Big Ten victories and the first time since 2001 (4-4). The four conference wins are tied for the eighth-most in program history. IU began bowl eligible after defeating rival Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket in the regular-season finale for the fourth straight year, a feat not accomplished since 1944-47.

Utah returns to the Bay Area game for the first time since the 2005 Emerald Bowl at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Utes finished the season 8-4 overall and ranked 19th in the College Football Playoff Rankings and 23rd in the Coaches Poll. Utah is in search of their third consecutive bowl victory after defeating BYU, 35-28, in last year’s Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. Utah is playing in a bowl game for the 11th time under head coach Kyle Whittingham, who holds a 90-percent bowl winning percentage (9-1 record) that ranks first all-time in NCAA history. Two of Utah's four losses were to top-10 teams (No. 4 Washington and No. 9 Colorado) this season, while the program suffered defeat by a total of just 19 points – an average of 4.75 points per game.

Indiana and Utah will meet for the fourth time and the first time since 2002. IU earned its victory in 1975, while the Utes collected wins in 2001 and 2002. 


 

 

QUICKIE
STATS

Scoring
Offense

Scoring Defense

Total Offense

Total Defense

Rushing Offense

Rushing Defense

Passing Offense

Passing Defense

Turnover Margin

INDIANA

25.9

27.3

433.1

372.6

155.2

152.4

277.9

220.2

-7

UTAH

30.2

23.9

427.4

386.5

210.5

129.7

216.9

256.8

+7

Indiana’s offense is second in the Big Ten in passing (277.9), third in total yards (433.1), eighth in scoring (25.9), and 10th in rushing (155.2). Richard Lagow sits second in the Big Ten in passing yardage (3,174, 19th nationally), third in completions per game (19.9, 33rd) and yards per completion (13.3, 33rd), fourth in completion percentage (59.9), fifth in TDs (18) and total offense (250.3), and sixth in passing efficiency (133.6). IU is the only Big Ten team with three players in the B1G's top 12 in receiving yardage and receptions: Westbrook (915-3rd; 49-T-8th), Jones (783-8th; 50-7th) and Paige (604-12th; 54-4th). Westbrook paces the trio with five touchdowns (T-9th) and an 18.7 average per catch (3rd). Jones sits eighth in the league with 15.7 yards per grab to go along with three scores, while Paige has three receiving TDs, a passing touchdown and a rushing score. In the backfield, Devine Redding went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive season with 1,050 on 236 attempts and six touchdowns. All of this happens large in part because of the protection by first-team All-America lineman Dan Feeney. He is just the fourth player in school history to be a two-time first-team All-American.

Utah’s defense ranks second in the Pac-12 against the rush (129.7), fifth in scoring (23.9), sixth in total yards allowed (427.4), and eighth in defending the pass (256.8). The Utes are also among the nation’s best in several defensive categories. They are tied for third in the country with 28 takeaways, including 17 interceptions that rank 10th-best nationally. Utah has also racked up 40 sacks on the year, good for a sixth-place tie nationally, and paced the Pac-12 with 94 tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Hunter Dimick is a second-team Walter Camp All-American, while junior defensive back Marcus Williams also garnered All-America accolades this year. Dimick is third in the nation in sacks per game (1.21) and tied for third in total sacks (14.5, and boasts a school-record 29.5 career sacks. He is also tied for fourth in the nation and leads the Pac-12 in tackles for loss (20.5) and TFL per game (1.7). Joining Dimick on the line were four honorable mention All-Conference selections in junior Lowell Lotulelei, junior Filipo Mokofisi, senior Pasoni Tasini and senior Pita Taumoepenu. Williams is second in the Pac-12 with four interceptions and third on the team with 59 tackles. Sunia Tauteoli paces the linebacker corps with 47 total tackles, 2.0 TFL, a sack, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Sophomore strong safety Chase Hansen is seventh in the league with 7.2 tackles per game, and also has 7.5 TFL and a sack to his credit.

Utah’s offense is fourth in the Pac-12 in rushing (210.5), seventh in total yards (427.4), eighth in scoring (30.2), and ninth in passing (216.9). Despite ranking in the lower half of the league in passing yardage, the Utes are tied for second in the conference with just seven interceptions thrown on the season and rate third with 13.02 passing yards per completion. Junior transfer quarterback Troy Williams has completed 196-of-367 pass attempts (53.4%, 7 INT) for 214.9 yards per game, and also has 102 rushes for 246 net yards and five touchdowns, which is second on the team. His 2,579 passing yards are fifth in the Pac-12, with most of those going to senior Tim Patrick, who owns 43 receptions for 684 yards and five touchdowns. Patrick ranks eighth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards per game (62.2) and yards per catch (15.91). With 1,185 net rushing yards in eight games, honorable mention All-Pac-12 senior Joe Williams has the seventh-best single-season total in school history. It has been an interesting senior season for Williams as he missed four games after retiring from the sport on Sept. 13. He returned to the team on Oct. 11 when injuries decimated the position. In the six games since coming out of retirement, Williams has averaged 185.0 yards per game while accumulating 1,110 of his 1,185 net yards and all nine of his touchdowns. His 148.1 yards-per-game average is on pace to break the school record and would actually rank third in the nation and first in the Pac-12 had he met the NCAA’s minimum participation standard of 75 percent of games played to be ranked in the national stats. Anchoring the line is junior left tackle Garett Bolles, who was named to the All-Pac-12 first team and was a USA Today second-team All-American.

Indiana ranks seventh in the Big Ten against the rush (152.4), ninth in total yards allowed (372.6) and scoring (27.3), and 12th in defending the pass (220.2). The Hoosiers’ defense improved dramatically under the direction of their coordinator-now-head-coach. IU is fifth in the conference with 12 interceptions and sixth with seven fumble recoveries and 19 total turnovers gained. Junior linebacker Tegray Scales and redshirt junior cornerback Rashard Fant were second team All-Big Ten selections, while fifth-year senior defensive tackle Ralph Green III, redshirt junior linebacker Marcus Oliver, sophomore safety Jonathan Crawford and true freshman husky Marcelino Ball were named as All-Big Ten honorable mention selections. Scales leads the Big Ten with 9.7 stops per game and has also totaled a league-high 20.5 tackles for loss, while ranking in the top 10 with five sacks on the year. Oliver is 12th in the league with 8.0 tackles per game and rates first with five forced fumbles as well as an average of 1.71 tackles for loss each time out. Fant leads the Big Ten with 1.6 passes defended per game.

Mitch Wishnowsky has continued the rich punting tradition at Utah by claiming the 2016 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter. The sophomore leads the nation in punts of 50-plus yards (28), punts inside the 20-yard line (34, tie) and punts inside the 10-yard line (17). Wishnowsky, who is averaging 48.0 yards per punt, has led the nation in punt average every week but two and currently ranks second. Boobie Hobbs leads the nation with 30 punt returns and he is sixth in the league in punt return average (8.0). Utah also boasts the Pac-12’s top kickoff return average (24.5) and its leading kick returner is Cory Butler-Byrd (12 kick returns for 326 yards). Andy Phillips, a four-time All-Pac-12 selection, has made 17-of-21 (81.0%) of his field goal attempts this season and is the program’s career record-holder for field goals made (80), field goal attempts (96) and points scored (413). Indiana’s special teams are led by kicker Griffin Oakes (15-24 FG) and punt return specialist Rashard Fant (10.3 ypr).