Opinion Roundtable: Is Indiana Going To Be A Pain In Michigan’s Butt Again?
Michigan hasn't lost to Indiana since 1987 but the Hoosiers have made it about as tough as possible on the Wolverines, especially since Jim Harbaugh took over. The last two times Michigan traveled to Bloomington they won in overtime and even in Ann Arbor the games have been competitive.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen has his guys playing very good football and the Hoosiers have some dudes on the roster. Because of that, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are taking this game very seriously even though it's sandwiched between Michigan State and Ohio State. The question is, is Indiana going to be a pain in Michigan's butt again?
I actually think Michigan is going to handle the Hoosiers in Bloomington this year. The offense is really coming together just in time for this final stretch and now teams genuinely have to worry about the running game and passing game.
Michigan's defense has been solid for several games in a row regardless of opponent. Indiana's offense is pretty damn good but I really think U-M's defense is going to make it tough on Peyton Ramsey.
I really just see a very strong performance out of Michigan ahead of The Game. Jim Harbaugh and his team appear to be very focused and are actually taking things game by game. Josh Gattis' plan was masterful against Michigan State and I assume he'll try to stack another one on top of that against the Hoosiers in order to keep Ohio State guessing.
Things are clicking at the right time for the Wolverines and the Hoosiers are in the way.
Count on it. Now, this won't be a "trap game" for Michigan. It can't be a trap when you've been warned about this being a trap for nine months. Plus, the Hoosiers undoubtedly have Michigan's attention and respect for how tough an out they've been all throughout the Harbaugh era.
However, you also only have so much emotion in the tank, and the Wolverines are coming off the in-state hate fest with The Game on deck. So this is a classic "sandwich game" scenario. Not to mention this is probably the best Indiana team Michigan has faced yet.
The key for Michigan not having to sweat this out, or even risk losing, is its ability to execute the offense we saw against Sparty, because Indiana doesn't have the athletes to defend ours in space. Was Shea Patterson's performance last Saturday an outlier given how bad Michigan State's pass defense has been this season, or a corner-turner? We'll find out in Bloomington.
With Indiana's track record, the easy answer is absolutely, but I don't think so, not this year.
Michigan has been on a mission since that second half of the Penn State game, crushing its opponents with a deadly combination of a strong running game, a burgeoning passing attack, a smothering defense and outstanding special teams. I think Jim Harbaugh and the seniors have got the team to buy in to the idea of finishing out the year on a winning streak, and Indiana stands in their way so there will not be the usual emotional letdown we have seen in the past. Even as dangerous as the game is falling on the calendar between MSU and OSU, I don't sense the Wolverines are looking ahead. I think Michigan will win by two touchdowns and have the game in control the entire second half.