Michigan 34 Indiana 10

In a time when the entire football program is in flux, these Michigan Wolverines were able to put all the off-the-field distractions aside for one afternoon and take care of business against an overmatched Indiana squad.

Like every Michigan game this season, there were ugly moments. But from the very start of the game when Indiana punted on their first possession and fumbled the ball on their second, while Michigan's first two possessions resulted in 10 points...this game was never really in question.

And to be fair, Indiana which is severely decimated by injuries...especially at the quarterback position, is not a very good football team. Michigan did exactly what they needed to do in order to put this game away early and keep it out of reach. Thankfully, unlike a lot of the fans who came to the game, Michigan didn't take the second half off.

With Derrick Green out for the season and DeVeon Smith and Justice Hayes struggling to make their case to be the go-to back for Michigan's offense, 4th-string option Drake Johnson (from Ann Arbor's Pioneer HS) took advantage of his opportunities yesterday to have his best day in a winged helmet.

Johnson finished the day with 122 yards on 16 carries (7.6 avg) and 2 touchdowns. But more importantly, he just looked like he wanted it more. He's not the physical smash-mouth back that Green or Smith are. Johnson is much more of an athletic slasher, something Indiana was obviously not prepared for. But his overall effort was something we haven't seen from a Michigan back in ages. Johnson was able to create yards where most backs who came before him, wouldn't have.

Another Wolverine who had a breakout day was Amara "Mr. 3rd Down" Darboh. His 9 catches for 107 yards and 1 touchdown was the best performance of his Michigan career as well. If Devin Funchess is going to attract double teams and more coverages (and Jake Butt was out due to suspension), another Wolverine receiver needs to step up and right now, that Wolverine is Amara Darboh.

Defensively, Michigan was able to hold Indiana's best rusher to 108 yards on 27 carries. Tevin Coleman came into this game leading the nation with 8.8 yards per carry...Michigan held him to just 4. Jake Ryan's forced fumble on Coleman early in the 1Q (one of his 2 forced fumbles on the day) was a huge turnover that led to Coleman missing much of the first half.

The real story of this game was just that, turnovers. For the first time this season, Michigan finished a game with a positive turnover margin (+1). But Michigan was able to take full advantage of their opportunities by scoring touchdowns off both Indiana turnovers, and not giving up any points after Gardner's interception late in the second quarter.

For Michigan, this game was another step closer to bowl eligibility, which, to be honest is really one of the last goals this team has to play for. With 3 games remaining, @ Northwestern, Maryland and @ Ohio State, and two more wins needed...its clear Michigan needs to take care of business sooner rather than later.

Related MBN Clicks:
Indiana Game Photos

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