Indiana vs. Michigan: 10 Things We Learned in Wolverines' Win

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIOctober 19, 2013

Indiana vs. Michigan: 10 Things We Learned in Wolverines' Win

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    Jeremy Gallon was unstoppable Saturday vs. Indiana.
    Jeremy Gallon was unstoppable Saturday vs. Indiana.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    If just for one moment, try to forget about the lack of defense during Michigan's 63-47 win Saturday over Indiana. 

    Quarterback Devin Gardner put up 503 yards and two touchdowns through the air, along with 81 and three on the ground.

    Receiver Jeremy Gallon finished with a Big Ten-record 369 yards on 14 catches. 

    During Gardner's five-game stretch as starter in 2012, he and Gallon connected for 511 yards and three touchdowns. 

    If anything, Wolverines (6-1, 2-1) fans saw their team dispose of a Hoosiers (3-4, 1-2) squad capable of annihilating a scoreboard. Emerging victorious in the shootout was a defining moment for Team 134, which continues to grow each week, win or lose. 

    Get ready for 10 things we learned from Week 8's win. 

Jeremy Gallon Has Been Worth the Hype

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    Jeremy Gallon's 369 yards were the second-most in FBS history (Troy Edwards, 405, Louisiana Tech, 1998)
    Jeremy Gallon's 369 yards were the second-most in FBS history (Troy Edwards, 405, Louisiana Tech, 1998)Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Gallon emerged as a potential star during the 2013 Outback Bowl. 

    Saturday, he made yet another case for being the most slept-on receiver in the country. Well, now that he's the owner of the Big Ten receiving single-game record with 369 yards, it's likely that he'll get a little more attention. 

    During Saturday's game, Twitter was hammered with Gallon comments. They were so plentiful that "Jeremy Gallon" became a trending topic. 

    He scored two touchdowns and caught 14 balls. And all the while, he had a former Michigan great cheering for him. 

    Roy Roundtree took to Twitter to show his support of Gallon:

    He knows what is expected lol. Meant to be Broken RT“@JKovacs32: Uh oh @WRTreezy, J Gal is in the hunt for your record...”

    — Roy Roundtree (@WRTreezy) October 19, 2013

    Passing the torch is what Wolverines football is all about. Gallon can probably expect a visit or phone call from Roundtree, who graduated in 2012. 

Shades of RichRod

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    RichRod has had Michigan in similar shootouts as Hoke went through Saturday versus Indiana.
    RichRod has had Michigan in similar shootouts as Hoke went through Saturday versus Indiana.Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    There's no better way to put a damper on a win than to bring up Rich Rodriguez

    But Saturday's basketball score was a reminder of the defense-optional days of the RichRod regime, which beat Illinois 67-65 in 2010. 

    Saturday's game was exciting for those who love offense. Who doesn't? But giving up 47 points to Indiana isn't something to be proud of, either. 

    The Hoosiers offense entered Ann Arbor as the No. 15-ranked scoring unit, putting up 41.5 points per game. Holding them below their average has been a challenge for most teams. Even Michigan State, which has one of the best defenses in the country, gave up 28 points to the Hoosiers. 

    The Brady Hoke era shouldn't have too many basketball-score games. His whole philosophy has been the opposite. It was a win, sure. But it wasn't a great reminder of days past. 

Do-All Gardner

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    Devin Gardner completed 21 of 29 pass attempts.
    Devin Gardner completed 21 of 29 pass attempts.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    As mentioned in the previous slide, shades of RichRod were evident Saturday. 

    Not to knock Gardner's insane show of talent, but something about a quarterback having 584 total yards just seems a bit uneasy. It's something comparable to what Denard Robinson did under Rodriguez, who frequently surrendered 35 or more points to the opposition. 

    The fact that Gardner stepped up and claimed the role as leader of the offense was reassuring. He got the job done when asked to do so.

    Rushing for 81 yards, Gardner was Michigan's second-leading force on the ground. His legs added another dimension of attack against the Hoosiers, who had trouble defending the elusive redshirt junior. 

    Three touchdowns, no matter how they come, are always welcome. But Gardner was a haircut short and a few inches too tall of being another Robinson on Saturday night. 

    Some would argue against finding something wrong with Gardner's 503-yard passing night. His 584 total yards of offense was a once-a-career performance, let him have his moment. 

    And that's fair. 

     

Mobility Will Take Down Michigan

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    Tre Roberson rushed for a crucial 15-yard touchdown late in the game.
    Tre Roberson rushed for a crucial 15-yard touchdown late in the game.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    This is a point that was made after Northwestern nearly beat Ohio State two weeks ago. But it's one that needs to be mentioned again, just to hit home one more time. 

    A mobile quarterback will be the quarterback to give Michigan another loss. When first mentioned, it was meant to forecast Michigan's first loss, which I thought would come to Northwestern, not Penn State. 

    Seeing Kain Colter move was enough for me to think that Michigan would have significant trouble. Predicting a Wildcats win wasn't a stretch for me. 

    Tre Roberson further proved my earlier suspicion.

    He rushed for a 15-yard touchdown late in the game. He threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns, but his feet kept the Hoosiers competitive during the fourth quarter.

    Whether it was a run or scramble to pass, Roberson's feet were key. 

    Northwestern can do it, and Ohio State, which has Braxton Miller, a reliable threat on the ground, can do it too. The Wolverines don't want to face another mobile guy. That'll be a loss. Mark it on the calendar. 

     

Flirting with Disaster

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    Devin Gardner's improv act works at times...but doesn't at others.
    Devin Gardner's improv act works at times...but doesn't at others.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    In the second quarter, Gardner attempted to improvise during a broken play. 

    As it turned out, throwing it away much earlier may have been less of a hassle. As the play evaporated before his eyes, Gardner ran about 15 yards in the wrong direction while being pursued by a handful of Hoosiers. 

    Now, the smart thing would have been to ditch the ball sooner than later. But Gardner risked losing nearly 20 yards before getting rid of it. Luckily for Michigan, he wasn't sacked. He found Fitz Toussaint for a gain of about 20 yards. 

    That miscue was a great example of a problem brought up earlier this season. Some suggested that Gardner tried to be Superman

    It's understandable for a quarterback's desire to be the savior of his team. No harm there. But Gardner has to trust him teammates. 

    Making the smart move has to be further stressed. When focused, Gardner is a wonderful asset to Al Borges' offense. When not focused, he's a liability. 

Faster Play, More Play Action

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    Fitz Toussaint was all over the place with 151 yards Saturday.
    Fitz Toussaint was all over the place with 151 yards Saturday.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Michigan's offense didn't look half-bad when upping the tempo. 

    Although not at the clip of Indiana, the Wolverines rattled off a few fast plays during Saturday's win.

    In the first quarter, Toussaint gained 11 yards on a play action/draw. Later that quarter, Gardner found Gallon for a 70-yard strike. 

    Borges used the same playbook, but he mixed up things and avoided too much repetition. Thanks to guys making plays, Borges' calls appeared to be great. But had they not worked, he would have been ridiculed for poor choices. 

    As long as athletes do what athletes do, Borges' offense should be fine. That was made clear Saturday.

Newbies on O-Line Did OK

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    The O-Line held tight Saturday.
    The O-Line held tight Saturday.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Prior to leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury, Joey Burzynski looked comfortable at left guard. 

    Gardner wasn't blown away, and Toussaint wasn't blown up in the backfield. 

    OK. Good. 

    The same could be said for Kyle Bosch, who made his first appearance Saturday when replacing Burzynski. The redshirt freshman held down the left guard position well enough to avoid being called out for doing a bad job. Erik Magnuson, who played right, did the same.

    At this stage of the game for the line, that's probably good enough. 

    Gardner missed eight passing attempts. Too much pressure from the Hoosiers clearly wasn't the issue. Gardner could have sent text messages while waiting to throw. At times, he was given that much to work with. 

    Gallon had a record day. Toussaint ran for 151 yards. 

    The offensive line did its job. The new guys passed the first test.

Norfleet Watch

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    Finishing the game with six returns for 121 yards is standard for Dennis Norfleet. 

    He had a long of 44 yards, so yeah, Saturday was a great showing for the sophomore. 

    But he's due for a touchdown. He couldn't be more due.

    Watch his footwork in the accompanying GIF, and you'll realize just how fast the Detroit native is. He can burn up the middle of the field, sidelines, sideways, upside-down, you know name it. 

    The kid is fast. And he'll have a return for touchdown by the time the season ends. 

Michigan Is Getting Burned by WRs

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    Kofi Hughes had a day versus the Wolverines.
    Kofi Hughes had a day versus the Wolverines.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Allen Robinson helped head a comeback in Week 7 for Penn State. He caught the ball that led to the game-tying touchdown but didn't impress on the stat sheet. 

    That goes to show that stats don't always indicate effectiveness. 

    But how's this for efficiency? Indiana's Kofi Hughes had six catches for 138 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown in the third quarter. 

This Offense Has Potential

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    Michigan fans knew that the offense could score, but Saturday was ridiculous.
    Michigan fans knew that the offense could score, but Saturday was ridiculous.Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    In 2009, Michigan set a school record with 727 yards against Delaware State. 

    This year, the Wolverines churned out 751 yards versus the Hoosiers. 

    Again, forget the lapse of defense. We'll save that for another time. Right now, the offense has to be viewed as incredibly dangerous, regardless of opponent. Scoring 67 points and ripping off more than 750 yards is impressive. 

    And with an offense like that, Michigan can compete with any team in the Big Ten. It won't score 60 each game, but the pieces are in place to outrun even the most Ohio State-ish offenses that the league has to offer. 

    Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.