UA-59049186-1 Michigan 20, Indiana 10 - Good if it Goes

Michigan 20, Indiana 10

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Box Score

Grading Primer

Wilton Speight was out. Nasty weather was forecast. CHAOSTEAM was coming to town. This had the potential for something stupid to happen. The offense didn’t do much for the first half, putting up a whopping three points despite winning the field position battle consistently. Indiana found the end zone.

Last week, I said John O’Korn would not be Russell Bellomy against Nebraska. I was wrong. That’s pretty much what he was. With Indiana up in the second half and the offense not doing a whole lot, things were starting to look not-so-great. Then O’Korn scrambled for 30 yards and provided a spark to the team. His friends picked him up from there. On the next play, De’Veon Smith left a trail of broken Hoosiers behind him as he rumbled to the end zone to give Michigan the lead. Smith would do so again later in the third, this time with a massive hole provided by his line and Indiana falling back into old habits on defense momentarily. Michigan’s defense kept IU in check and then the snow started falling. And then it started falling harder. And it became clear that the lead was going to be safe and this senior class that’s been through so much in Ann Arbor was going to get a win in their last game in the Big House. A fitting end, because two years ago, Michigan would have lost this game. But not now. Those days are gone. Things weren’t going Michigan’s way, but guys stepped up. O’Korn had a rough day, but he got by with a little help from his friends. Will that be enough against Ohio State? Well, we’ll get into that in a minute, but first, let’s look at the

Player Grades

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Takeaways

De’Veon Smith was awesome. Other backs not named Chris Evans were so-so. Amara Darboh got himself open a few times, but O’Korn couldn’t capitalize. Darboh was able to make a real impact as a blocker. Ditto Jehu Chesson. Kekoa Crawford had a huge block on the second Smith TD. Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. continued to shine. The offensive linemen all had good games. PFF didn’t like Ben Bredeson or Kyle Kalis. I thought they were solid-to-good. Michigan gained some yards by spreading the IU defense out and running up the middle, but other times, the line had to do some work to open up running room. There were some biffs, but overall, I thought they were both positive. Both tackles and Mason Cole were very good.

I don’t have a whole lot of negative things to say about the defense. Rashan Gary was meh. So too was Bryan Mone. Word is that he’s still not 100% so for now, I’m not going to worry about what he can provide next year. Ryan Glasgow was consistently awesome, as was Taco Charlton. Chris Wormley had yet another nice game. All three linebackers played very well. Jourdan Lewis caught a -1 for an offsides penalty, but was otherwise great. Why people continue to throw at him, I have no idea.

So, can they get by against Ohio State if Speight can’t play? Well, probably not. While Indiana’s defense isn’t the sieve it’s been in recent years, it’s still not on OSU’s level. Indiana is #38 in defensive S&P+, OSU is #7. In offensive S&P+, Indiana is #60, OSU is #14. Without a credible passing threat, things look awfully bleak. The good news is that the same word that said Mone is still banged up said Speight is likely to play Saturday. If he’s not ready to play effectively, it may be time to burn Brandon Peters’ redshirt. If you think he can play, you absolutely do it and worry about 2020 later. If Peters gets even close to his ceiling, that will be a moot point anyway. You can’t go into Columbus with what O’Korn was giving you last week. It wasn’t just the inaccuracy, it was the complete lack of pocket presence. Multiple times, he felt pressure and ran straight backwards. The protection was quite good overall and O’Korn still had happy feet. A few of the passes can be attributed to the conditions; the lack of presence can’t be.

Also a problem if O’Korn has to go against OSU: he affects the play calling. I saw more than a couple people complaining about the play calling against Indiana with very few legitimate gripes. Like, they had a guy out there at QB making his first start as a Wolverine and first of any kind since 2014, when he got benched. Said guy is making that start in snow and fierce winds. That is not the time to get fancy, especially when you have a defense as great as this one to lean on. In regards to the Peppercat stuff, I talked about this last week: at this point, you need to be able to sell him as a passing threat and I think they know that. Peppers teased a pass out of the formation near the end zone. High winds and snow is also not the time to ask one of your linebackers to throw the ball.

Helmet Stickers

Up to 3 may be awarded per player. Not necessarily the highest-graded players since different grades mean different things to different players (refer to the primer).

Offense

3: De’Veon Smith, Mason Cole, Amara Darboh

2: Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., Ben Braden, Erik Magnuson

1: Ben Bredeson, Jehu Chesson, Chris Evans, Jake Butt

Defense

3: Ryan Glasgow, Taco Charlton, Jabrill Peppers, Mike McCray, Ben Gedeon, Chris Wormley

2: Jourdan Lewis

1: Maurice Hurst, Jr.

Helmet Sticker Count

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Go Blue!

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

 

 

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