Michigan football vs. Indiana: 3 keys, predictions

Michigan plays Indiana at noon ET Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Michigan (4-1, 1-1 Big Ten) needs a win to rebound from last week’s 14-10 loss to Michigan State. Indiana (3-2, 0-2) will start a new quarterback against the Wolverines, and look for its first Big Ten win.

Here are three keys to the game and predictions from Land of 10 Michigan writers Rachel Lenzi and Kevin Goheen.

1. Hold on to the ball

Michigan couldn’t do this against Michigan State. Ty Isaac and Sean McKeon lost the ball twice in the first half against the Spartans. McKeon dropped a throw from quarterback John O’Korn inside the Spartans 30-yard line that ended a likely scoring drive by the Wolverines. O’Korn threw interceptions on three consecutive drives in the second half, on questionable play calling in the rain. Michigan’s defense pretty much bailed out its offense and gave the Wolverines a final shot at a possible win on O’Korn’s Hail Mary pass … which Michigan didn’t catch. Michigan is minus-5 in turnover margin this season and has allowed 34 points off 12 giveaways. Indiana has a turnover margin of minus-7 and has allowed 38 points off 11 giveaways.

2. Be resilient

Michigan’s message to its players is to prepare for the game at Indiana, to focus on earning a win at Indiana, and to forget about last week’s loss to Michigan State. Indiana isn’t on the same level as Big Ten teams such as Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin — those games come later this schedule — but Indiana has established itself as a bowl team, and first-year coach Tom Allen continues to build a stronger culture in Bloomington. Michigan’s offense has to go against a program that’s emphasizing defense, and it has to rectify its mistakes (broken plays, turnovers) against a team that has only 4 takeaways. The Wolverines can’t afford to give the Hoosiers extra possessions.

3. Be prepared for Indiana’s passing game

Indiana has traditionally used a no-huddle, uptempo offense, but Allen has slowed the pace and has emphasized defense. Yet, offensive coordinator Mike DeBord (a former assistant at Michigan) continues to make Indiana’s passing game a priority — even with a quarterback change. Redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey made his first career start last week against Charleston Southern, throwing for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns in a win. He has 6 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in five games. The Wolverines allow just 213 total yards per game, the least total in the country. They are second in passing yards allowed (126 yards per game) and have held opponents to an 89.86 passer efficiency rating, the fourth-best mark in the nation. Indiana, however, will score. In years past, this has been a game in which whoever scores last wins.

Predictions

Rachel Lenzi: Michigan 34, Indiana 27

Kevin Goheen: Michigan 27, Indiana 14

The post Michigan football vs. Indiana: 3 keys, predictions appeared first on Land of 10.

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