I respectfully disagree (with incentive, as I'll be there Friday and can not abide the insufferable, delusional Maryland fans.)
WE WILL WIN.
Hey, it's not like I'm going to wake up Friday and NOT be thinking we will win!
I could just see the first road trip being a bit rough.
Since Underwood got here we have always played much better on the road than at home.
I decided to look into this, skipping the early years where we sucked ... and I think this perception got crafted during our 2019-20 season during a very specific stretch and reinforced at critical times that stick in our memories as fans ... but I am not sure it is totally true.
After our great win in Madison in 2020, we won two (way too) close games vs. Rutgers and Northwestern at home, and then we won at Purdue and at Michigan back-to-back. Then, after losing two HUGELY hyped home games vs. #9 Maryland and Michigan State in Champaign in front of insane sellout crowds, we proceeded to win at #9 Penn State the next week. I think this is when the "Road Warriors" thing really took hold.
Then, in 2020-21, it was reinforced during a stretch where we fell from #12 to #22 in the AP poll after back-to-back home losses to a bad Maryland team and #21 Ohio State, before winning 11 of our last 12 - including winning three straight top 25 road games, one of which is arguably our most iconic regular season win of the last three seasons, the beatdown of #2 Michigan in Ann Arbor without Ayo.
However, the numbers don't back this perception up, IMO. If we take out "cupcake" teams (I will say only Power Five count here, excluding BTT and NCAAT), these are our records over the last three seasons:
Notable and/or especially memorable results by year:
L 69-90 at #21 Arizona (hung with them for a half then boat-raced)
L 79-81 vs. Miami (FL) (epic Fake Comeback)
L 58-59 at #3 Maryland (the collapse and crap foul call)
W 71-62 vs. #5 Michigan
L 56-76 at #14 Michigan State (officially thought we sucked here)
W 71-70 at Wisconsin (broke a 13-game losing streak vs. the Badgers)
W 79-62 at Purdue (Griffin game ... start of Road Warriors legend, IMO)
W 64-62 at Michigan (Ayo's game winner, cementation of Road Warrios legend)
L 66-75 vs. #9 Maryland (game for first place in the Big Ten)
L 69-70 vs. Michigan State (Fake Comeback where Ayo gets hurt on last play...)
L 57-72 at Rutgers (fourth loss in a row after 8 straight wins)
W 62-56 at #9 Penn State
L 63-71 at #19 Ohio State (our "out of gas" game after 4 straight wins)
W 78-76 vs. #18 Iowa (Garza at the buzzer to get us the 4-seed in the BTT that never was)
L 69-82 vs. #2 Baylor in Indianapolis, IN
W 83-68 at #10 Duke (great bounce-back beatdown six days later)
L 78-81 at Missouri (UGH)
L 88-91 at #19 Rutgers
L 63-66 vs. Maryland (utter crap)
L 81-87 vs. #21 Ohio State (a Fake Comeback)
W 80-75 vs. #7 Iowa (our "we're back" game, as we had fallen to #19 from #6)
W 75-60 vs. #19 Wisconsin
L 72-81 at Michigan State (Ayo being assaulted)
--- This FULLY cements the legend of Road Warriors, all consecutively! ---
W 74-69 at #23 Wisconsin (without Ayo)
W 76-53 at #2 Michigan (without Ayo)
W 73-68 at #7 Ohio State (Ayo's return game, debut of The Face Mask)
L 79-83 vs. #11 Arizona (really frustrating end)
L vs. #4 Purdue 88-96 in 2OT (ugh...)
L 65-81 at Maryland (no Kofi)
W 56-55 vs. #10 Michigan State (no Kofi)
W 80-67 vs. #11 Wisconsin
W 74-57 at Indiana
L 59-70 at Rutgers (we got punked)
W 79-74 at #19 Michigan State (Trent pull-up)
L 83-86 vs. #22 Ohio State (Brad's technical, an almost comeback, etc.)
W 93-85 at Michigan
W 74-72 vs. #24 Iowa (Big Ten champs)
So, as you can see, we have had about as many good/bad memories in Champaign and abroad over the last three years, and our home record in "big games" is definitely better than our road record. The Road Warriors legend was established during our 8-game winning streak in 2020 that included huge wins at Wisconsin, at Purdue and at Michigan, then it was cemented when we won at #9 Penn State to break a 4-game losing streak. It reached legendary status when we closed out 2021 with 3 straight top 25 road victories, two of which were without Ayo, after a couple disappointing home games earlier that year. It is also certainly true that our road record is WAY closer to our home record than (1) it ever was back in the 1998-2006 stretch when we were really good and (2) it is to basically any of our Big Ten peers, which seem to rely a lot more on "protecting home court."
However, if you want to skip all that mumbo-jumbo, here is the REAL message:
What can be said without a doubt is we have been a FANTASTIC road team under Brad Underwood ... let's keep that up this Friday!