Opponent Watch: Week 10

That was fun.

Indiana (4-5, 0-5)
11/7: Lost to Iowa 35-27
This week: vs Michigan, 3:30 ABC

It appears, once again, Indiana's non-conference schedule was not quite enough to prepare them for one of the tougher league schedules in the Big Ten. Indiana allows 37 points per game and 40.3 vs ranked opponents.

However, despite losing their last 5 games in a row, they are still one of those teams that you just don't want to play. Their offense is ranked 1st in the Big Ten averaging 460 yards per game, and at home, they average 518 per game. However, on the flipside, their defense is horrible allowing 504 yards per game on average.

Like Rutgers, they can move the ball, but when it comes to controlling a line of scrimmage and wearing down another team, that's not going to happen. Indiana is all about getting the ball into space and into the hands of their playmakers. It's very run and gun, and pretty much the whole gameplan revolves around QB Nate Sudfeld doing magical things.

Against #9 Iowa last week, Indiana hung tough, but you have to wonder just how much they have left in the tank after yet another loss to one of the league's better teams. Much has been debated about how good Iowa really is, but you can't deny that going undefeated is really hard to do no matter what the circumstances.

For Michigan this week, just escaping with a win will be enough for me. I have no doubt both teams will find the endzone, but the big question for me is can Indiana sustain their attack long enough against the best defense they'll see all year? On paper, Michigan wins this game running away. If they play like they did last week, like a team that knows they're better than the team across from them, they'll do just that.

Fear Factor: Unchanged

Penn State (7-3, 4-2)
11/7: Lost to Northwestern 23-21
This week: Bye

This was a weird game...and most Northwestern games are. The Wildcats had the Lions on the ropes...and a few Penn State trick plays later and all of the sudden this is a game again. However, unlike most games...thanks to some horrible clock management by Penn State, Northwestern finally found themselves on the happy side of a close game.

The pride of the Nittany Lions all year has been their defense...and NW ran all over them. Justin Jackson finished with 186 yards on the ground. Between NW's top two rushers, they averaged over 7 yards per carry, and 4.8 ypc as a team.

Right now the Michigan-Penn State game looks like it will be a noon kickoff while Michigan State @ Ohio State will be the sexier 3:30 matchup...which is totally fine with me. I'd kickoff in Happy Valley at 9AM if they'd let us. I don't want a single snap of that game to occur after the sun goes down.

Fear Factor: Unchanged

#1/1 Ohio State (9-0, 5-0)
11/7: Beat Minnesota 28-14
This week: @ Illinois, 12:00 ABC

Welp, at least we know for sure who's going to be the quarterback when Michigan hosts the Buckeyes in 3 weeks. It's amazing that all Cardale Jones does is win football games, yet he's obviously the 2nd choice for the OSU offense. Ohio State's 2015 QB spot is one of the stranger positions in college football in recent memory. You have two very good options and it's not even close which one is better than the other.

I suspect Ohio State to roll in these next 2 games leading up to the showdown in Ann Arbor on November 28th. The QB spot gets all the attention, but this team is loaded with talent from top to bottom. From a statistical standpoint, they're the most impressive team on Michigan's schedule, yet they have yet to play a ranked opponent...which is actually kind of amazing.

Fear Factor: Unchanged

Handy chart...

Michigan's Opponent Records

UTAH W W W W - W W L W W - - - 8-1
ORST W L W L - L L L L L - - - 2-7
UNLV L L L W W L L - L W - - - 3-6
BYU W W L L W W W W - W - - - 7-2
UMD W L W L L L - L L L - - - 2-7
NW W W W W W L L W - W - - - 7-2
MSU W W W W W W W W - L - - - 8-1
MINN L W W W L W L - L L - - - 4-5
RUT W L L W - L W L L L - - - 3-6
IND W W W W L L L L - L - - - 4-5
PSU L W W W W W L W W L - - - 7-3
OSU W W W W W W W W - W - - - 9-0
TOT 9-3 8-4 9-3 9-3 6-3 6-6 5-6 5-5 2-5 5-7 - - - 64-45

No comments

Post a Comment