Friday, October 18, 2013

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Indiana


Dear college kids, I officially no longer understand you. I am old.

Look a lot of not good things happened last Saturday. A lot more things happened this week. Most of them hard to look at but weirdly cathartic. It was bound to happen at some point this year with the way Michigan flirted with disaster so many times already. But, let's hope they've regrouped and moved on.

Indiana Hoosiers (3-3, 1-1 B1G) @ Michigan Wolverines (5-1, 1-1 B1G)
Saturday, 10/19 3:30 ET Big Ten Network

The Hoosiers roll into town this week fresh off a loss at road loss at Michigan State and two weeks after their first ever victory over Penn State. Yippie for us! What's to come in this game? Your guess is as good as mine. Let's take a look.

Offense
Sigh! Well, the good news is Indiana is last in total and rush defense. Second to last in scoring defense. And seventh in passing defense in the conference. The bad news is that may mean more running into 8 - 9 man boxes because they haven't given Gardner any checks or he simply doesn't have time at the line to make them. The offense has some issues, but they have put up 42 and 40 points in two conference games. Is it pretty? No. Fun? Not really.

Here's my hope: Hoke has instructed Big Al to keep the hot rod in the garage while they slog through the dregs of the conference. After this week the offense explodes with all kinds of balance and success that these first few conference games will be a distant memory. What? A boy can dream can't he? Let's look for the offensive line to gel further and actually move people this week.

Defense
Hey look! Another passing spread team! Yippie. Get ready for lots of nickle and very little pass rush. Will having JMFR back and with the relatively good safety play make Mattison comfortable to dial up some pressure? I hope so. But more likely we'll see a lot of Indiana moving the ball down to the red zone with some the short stuff at which point Michigan puts the clamps on and forces field goals.

That said Indiana is only converting on 36% of it's third downs in conference play. If the defense eliminates the big play, there is chance they can really slow down this offense.

Special Teams
Please bring back the Brunette Girls. That is all.

Prediction
Michigan is a 9 point favorite. They are undefeated under Hoke. Indiana isn't a team that should roll into Ann Arbor and make a game of it.

That said, if the offense keeps sputtering and making mistakes, that includes play calling, it could mean doom. But there is something okay about being at home that makes this young team calm.

Michigan 45 - 31

How cheery was the rest of Michigan blogdom

The Big House Blog has a tone similar to mine. No mistakes!

Holdin the rope sees a first half shoot out but a Michigan victory.

Maize N Brew could see a last second victory or a blowout. Such is life of a Michigan fan.

Maize and Go Blue thinks the game will be tight early with Michigan pulling away late.

Touch The Banner says IU provides UM with false confidence in the run game, and a UM victory.

MGoBlog predicts a predictably close game. Oh boy.

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