Michigan-Indiana: No. 23 Wolverines Escape a Near Loss, Leave Fans Upset

Matt JCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines greets running back Brandon Minor #4 during warmups for the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Fans on both sides were extremely upset at the end of the game—for different reasons, of course, but they were probably about equally mad nonetheless. 

Indiana fans were upset about the call at the end of the game. I'm a huge Wolverines fan, and I'm here to say that yes, that was a bad call, but you can't dwell on that.

I also would like to say it's not the fans' or team's fault. Indiana fans were calling out Michigan fans for no reason. We didn't make the call, so why call us out? It was also not the Michigan team's fault; they were just playing the game, not calling it either. 

Now that that's said and out of the way, let's look at why the Michigan fans were upset—or at least me and all the loyal Michigan fans I know. 

Michigan's defense probably couldn't have played any worse than they did. If they expect to do anything in the Big Ten, like win, then the defense is going to have to step it up big time. 

Twice Tate Forcier had to put them back in the lead thanks to the defense, but more on that later. Right now I want to look at what's wrong with the defense and how they can improve. 

Boubacar Cissoko needs to be replaced. What happened to Justin Turner, that five-star cornerback? I thought he was cleared finally right before the first game. He should be ready to start now.

The other guy who filled in did a nice job and stepped it up, I think JT? All I know for sure is someone other than Cissoko needs to be replaced. 

William Campbell needs to get more reps; not a ton, but some. He was another five-star defensive recruit, and he's huge. He doesn't have to be amazing to clog up the middle with his strength and size in a small role. 

The line right now is pretty small compared to other teams. They are much faster, but when teams run it at them all game and those linemen double-team Michigan, their speed doesn't help, and they get worn down. 

I also said at the beginning of the year that I didn't understand why Michigan isn't recruiting any linebackers. It's pretty apparent to me right now they need some depth at linebacker. The starters aren't bad, but the depth just isn't there. 

The new coordinator at Michigan is doing a good job, but if they expect to win, he needs to do a great job. He may not have all the players he wants to work with yet, but he has to make do if they want to be a little better than .500. 

Forcier and the offense can't carry them through the whole year. There are way more seniors on defense than offense, especially starting. It's not right for the true freshmen and first-year starters to carry the team when there are guys like Donovan Warren who have started for years. 

On the offensive side of the ball, though, we need to give them some credit, especially Tate and Denard Robinson, who were at it again this week. Denard finally made a big pass and got the momentum swinging in favor of Michigan. 

Twice Tate had to lead "winning drives." The first should've been all he needed, and the defense should've held, but they didn't. Indiana had a great play and put themselves back ahead, but Tate would not let his team down. 

Yet again he led them down to victory and kept them perfect for now.

One of these times, though, Tate is not going to come through. He's human, and so is Michigan's team. At some point Tate will fail to lead a comeback, and if the defense plays like they did against Indiana, it won't be his fault.

He needs help, and if the defense can't hold teams like that under 21 points, then don't expect Michigan to win too many more this year. Other teams will have good defenses that can stop Michigan from getting late game touchdowns. 

Final thought: I wonder if Denard can play defense, because if he was a cornerback opposite Warren, how sick would that be? I would be afraid to throw his way with his speed and athleticism. It would be really hard to beat him, and he could chase down those running backs that break away.