UA-59049186-1 Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT) - Good if it Goes

Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT)

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Box score (SR)

Kevin Wilson is gone (for good reason) and Mike DeBord is in Bloomington (for no good reason), and thus Indiana is no longer CHAOSTEAM. DeBord is coaching Wilson’s players, so there’s a little carryover this year before full DeBordening takes place. So for this year, they are The Team Formerly Known as CHAOSTEAM, if you will. The departure of Wilson didn’t keep this game from being stupid, as it is seemingly every year, though. Before we delve into the stupidity, let’s look at the

The grading scale goes from -3 to +3 for each play. Penalties are counted in whatever phase they were committed. “Short” throws are 10 yards or less, “Medium” is 10-20, “Deep” is over 20. Everything else (scrambles, throwaways, etc.) is under “Miscellaneous.”

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Everybody gets a “Miscellaneous” column now because Tarik Cohen threw a touchdown pass for the Bears this past week and I didn’t know where to put that in the chart. (Bears blog for the week is here, by the way.) That column will be mostly made up of pre-snap and post-whistle penalties, so don’t expect many positive numbers. Until Harbaugh dials up a play where Zach Gentry throws a pass, at least.

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So what happened?

Michigan jumped out to a nice lead and were still up 10 at the half after an IU field goal late in the 2nd quarter. In the second half, the offense farted around, IU found the end zone on a drive where they went tempo and locked a couple of Michigan’s backups on the field. Michigan put the lead back to 10 before a big return for IU led to another touchdown and the Hoosiers were able to get themselves into field goal position in the final seconds for the kick that would send the game to overtime. The first play in overtime saw Karan Higdon add to his already great day by cutting back on a run and going all the way to the end zone. Indiana got down inside the five on their possession, but the Wolverines defense held strong to seal the victory.

I would watch almost this exact same game again Sunday when the Bears played the Ravens.

I’m tired of watching this game.

The big difference between those two games is that Mitchell Trubisky’s ceiling is sky high and there’s reason to believe he’s going to get at least close to it in time. There is no such hope for John O’Korn. Purdue was the exception, not the rule. This is who he is. He’s a fifth-year senior, so there’s no “getting experience for next year” factor here. He’s no good now and gone next year. The only reason to not play Brandon Peters now is if you don’t want to expose him to Penn State’s defense right now, which is to pretty much waive the white (no pun intended) flag on that game and the after that, there’s no reason whatsoever no not play the kid against Rutgers.

As mentioned before, Higdon was excellent. He looks like the clear starter. That would free Evans up to be used more in the slot, so like, you know, do that, because your receiver options are mostly, like, you know, not good. Peoples-Jones is going to be good. Right now, he’s a freshman. Kekoa Crawford has been a disappointment. That leaves Grant Perry and, uh, well, that leaves Grant Perry. Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry have been solid options as well, regardless, adding Evans as an option here couldn’t hurt.

Juwann Bushell-Beatty started after replacing Nolan Ulizio during the Michigan State debacle. JBB was a solid run blocker and serviceable in pass pro. I’m guessing he’ll struggle against better pass rushers, but he’s an improvement over Ulizio in the run game and couldn’t be a much worse pass blocker, so making the switch was a good idea. Michael Onwenu had an impressive game; his improvement has been encouraging.

What is there to say about the defense? This was one of their least-great games and it was still pretty great. Rashan Gary had his best performance as a Wolverine. Maurice Hurst added to his highlight reel. Lavert Hill had an impressive day. One of the guys from PFF sent out a tweet comparing Hill’s season to Jourdan Lewis’s 2016 season. It’s pretty much the same. Lavert Hill is a sophomore. This should be real fun next year.

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.

Offense

3: Karan Higdon, Michael Onwenu, Mason Cole, Henry Poggi

1: Ben Bredeson

Defense

3: Rashan Gary, Maurice Hurst, Chase Winovich, Lavert Hill, Devin Bush

2: Khaleke Hudson

1: Tyree Kinnel

Helmet Sticker Count

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Go Blue!

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

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