Michigan Wolverines vs. Indiana Hoosiers: Complete Game Preview
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
The Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten Conference) host the Indiana Hoosiers (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten Conference) after losing 43-40 to Penn State in four overtimes.
Michigan needs a victory to keep pace in the Big Ten Legends Division; another conference loss would be a serious blow to their hopes of competing for a Big Ten title.
Indiana is coming off a 42-28 road loss to Michigan State.
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013
Time: 3:30 PM ET
Place: Michigan Stadium (109,901), Ann Arbor, Mich.
Series vs. Indiana: U-M leads 52-9
Television: Big Ten Network
Radio: Michigan IMG Sports Network
Live Stats: MGoBlue.com
Last Meeting vs. Indiana: Michigan 42, Indiana 35 (Oct. 2, 2010)
Sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson scored the game-winning touchdown on a four-yard run over the left end with 17 seconds remaining in regulation to give U-M a 42-35 victory at Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010, at Memorial Stadium.
Robinson racked up 494 yards of total offense against the Hoosiers, completing 10-of-16 passes for a career-best 277 yards and three touchdowns and used 19 carries to rush for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
* Information according to University of Michigan Wolverine game notes
Highlights from the last meeting between Michigan and Indiana when Denard Robinson totaled 494 yards of offense.
Michigan Keys to Victory
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan needs to recover from their devastating loss at Penn State last week.
The defense has been stout, despite Penn State driving in the final minute to tie the game before eventually winning in the fourth overtime.
The biggest problem is on offense.
Pick an Offensive Identity (That Works)
The Michigan offense followed a familiar pattern against Penn State. When the offense failed, they turned to quarterback Devin Gardner to run the ball. Gardner has been a dangerous weapon on offense when he's not turning the ball over.
Michigan has been trying to establish the running game from the tailback position all year. But when offensive tackle Taylor Lewan left the game with an injury, an already lacking offensive line became absolutely dismal.
Michigan needs to be realistic about their play-calling. After Gardner brought them back, the coaching staff took the ball out of his hands and tried to run the clock out. The desire to be a power running team is admirable, but when it's not working, changes need to be made.
Pass the Ball
The passing game became dangerous when tight end Devin Funchess began lining up outside his normal position.
Michigan needs to keep moving Funchess around as a decoy and then start spreading the ball around to other receivers. They also need to keep be careful about calling pass plays to the flat. Gardner has trouble picking up defenders jumping patterns in that area.
Put Pressure on the Indiana Quarterbacks
The Michigan defense plays a bend-don't-break scheme.
Unfortunately, teams have exploited this late in games to pass the ball down the field. They need to blitz more throughout the game to keep opposing quarterbacks from getting comfortable.
Indiana Keys to Victory
Indiana has no business beating Michigan, but this season has shown that the Wolverines are vulnerable.
Contain the Run
It's likely that Michigan will attempt to establish the run. If they're successful, this game could be over by halftime. Indiana needs to stifle the Michigan running game at all costs.
Rattle Devin Gardner
Quarterback Devin Gardner has a bad habit of turning the ball over when he gets under pressure.
Indiana needs to flood the gaps in the Michigan offensive line and pressure him. If they let him get comfortable, he'll pass to Devin Funchess and Jeremy Gallon all day long.
Attack the edges
The Michigan defensive secondary has given up long plays this season (see the end of the Penn State game). The Indiana offensive line needs to give their quarterback tandem of Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld time to hit receivers in the secondary.
Michigan Players to Watch
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Defensive End Frank Clark
Frank Clark was dominant last week against Penn State. He recovered two fumbles and returned one for a touchdown, sparking the Wolverine comeback in the second half. Clark has emerged as a consistent force on defense.
Quarterback Devin Gardner
Halfway through the season, Garner remains an enigma.
When he's on his game, he's great. When he struggles, his mistakes often turn into points for Michigan's opponents. Gardner has 10 interceptions and three fumbles this season, which opposing teams have converted into five touchdowns and two field goals.
Kicker Brendan Gibbons
How will Gibbons respond to the pressure of missing three kicks that could have defeated Penn State? Michigan needs him to bounce back. They'll need every point they can get this season.
Indiana Players to Watch
Running back Tevin Coleman
Coleman is tied for the conference lead in rushing touchdowns and is fourth in total yards. Indiana can put points on the scoreboard, and Coleman is the key to their running attack.
Quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Tre Roberson
Indiana has scored at least 28 points in seven straight games dating back to last season, and this tandem of talented quarterbacks is a big reason why.
The Michigan defense has allowed a lot of passing yards this season, and these two might have career games versus the Wolverines if they have time to throw.
Defensive lineman Bobby Richardson
Richardson leads all Indiana defensive lineman with 25 tackles. It will be up to him to shoot the gaps in the Michigan offensive line and pressure Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner.
What They Are Saying
Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan via the MGoBlue.COM:
We had a lot of opportunities, and we did not execute. We just need to improve as a unit. We can't make a lot of the little mistakes we made last week.
Michigan offensive tackle Michael Schofield via the MGoBlue.COM:
We just have to take what we can from that film and learn as much as we can and improve. We can't let Penn State beat us twice, like coach keeps saying. We have to come out next week ready to go.
Indiana Head coach Kevin Wilson via iuhoosiers.com:
It is a quality program, tradition, team, talent, facilities, coaching. It's a good place, good as there is in the country. It's a great challenge, great opportunity, and look forward to this week for our kids working with it.
The Wolverines bounce back after their disappointing defeat at Penn State.
Final Score: Michigan 44, Indiana 27