Trappidy Trap Trap Trap

Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap Trap

There are some games. There are some games that good teams should win easily against bad teams, but sometimes don't. Games like this have a unique look and feel. Often the good team has a big game the following week. Often the bad team is playing for nothing but pride. Games like this have a name.

They're called trap games.

We've known for weeks that this game was going to be a trap game. It had all of the perfect characteristics. Michigan just needed to win. Indiana is actually good enough to keep it close...unlike Rutgers. And of course Michigan wants to play as vanilla as possible to not give anything away and keep players as healthy as possible.

When it was all said and done, Michigan's 31 points was enough to win and that's all that really matters. We could delve into redzone struggles, of which there were many, but I'm not going to do that. We could delve into playcalling analysis, We could delve into the defense giving up 385 yards of offense. But nope. Not for this game. Because it's Indiana. An Indiana team that will be playing for bowl eligibility in week 12 of the season.

Just win and move on.

It's Ohio State week.

It's tough to top that this game is over and Michigan won. I mean, really...what should we be analyzing here? All you can really say is that Michigan is relatively healthy, despite the Indiana nonsense and a ton of defenive players cramping up late in the game. For the first time a very long time, Michigan will take a fully healthy starting quarterback to Columbus. That in and of itself is a big win already.

Despite the trap nature of the game, I thought Michigan's offense still played well when they had to, especially Shea Patterson. It was nice to see Higdon go over 100 yards in his final home game...his 8th time over 100 yards this season. Michigan will need Higdon to be at his best next week. Michigan's offense is a ball control offense that relies on body blows with a punishing running game. That running game is mainly with Karan Higdon, but complimented well with Shea Patterson, who had 68 yards on the ground yesterday, Chris Evans' 44 yards and Tru Wilson's 42. Michigan had 257 yards on the ground with the longest being only 19 coming on a Patterson keep in the 4th quarter.

Often when games get chippy both teams are somewhat to blame...but this was not the case yesterday. And I believe it all stems from Indiana's head coach Tom Allen. At the end of the first half, when Indiana's defensive lineman kicked the ball away from the umpire preventing him from getting the ball set so Michigan could run another play...Allen stormed the field pumping his fist like he just won the Super Bowl. This wasn't Pat Fitzgerald-like jumping in celebration, this was something else.

The second half got uglier. The hit on Chase Winovich wasn't by definition a dirty hit, but it was very borderline. I understand blocking until the whistle, but blocking a guy who's already on the ground and not moving while the ball is on the other side of the field is too far. Word after the game that the x-rays were negative is encouraging...and I think it will take a ton to keep him off the field this week.

And then there was the nasty hit on Berkley Edwards. That was awful. Cam Jones didn't even go for Brad Hawkins who had the ball, instead he just lunged directly at Edwards' head. Look, I understand football and how guys think...especially on specials teams when you see you have a shot at a huge block on someone who's not looking...but come on. Thankfully it sounds like Edwards is going to be okay, but man, that was an awful and scary sequence.

Offense: Shea Patterson
Patterson had a nice day throwing for 250 yards on 16 of 28 attempts with a touchdown and a pick. But it was his feet that were the difference at key points yesterday. More and more Shea is keeping the ball on zone reads, and it's working well because Higdon/Evans/Wilson are still too big of a threat to ignore. Shea ran the ball more than I expected he would yesterday, and he'll need to do so again next week. I expect to see more RPO's against the Buckeyes.

Defense: Devin Bush
Devin Bush had himself a day. 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and half a sack along with Rashan Gary. He also added a pass break up as he was often split out wide covering a receiver as Indiana was throwing some fun formations at this Michigan defense.

Special Teams: Jake Moody
Jake Moody is Michigan's kicker for the Ohio State game. I don't see how you can go back to Quinn Nordin, whether he's sick or healthy or whatever. In the weeks leading up to this game, he hasn't been right. FOX showed him knuckleball a kick in warmups and that seems to be the trend for him lately. Moody on the other hand just set a Michigan record for field goals in a game and an NCAA record for field goals in a game by a freshman. I have no double he will be the guy going forward. Sure, Moody's record came thanks to Michigan's very frustrating lack of redzone offense...but still, the kid can kick.

Coaching: Jim Harbaugh
This isn't just a game ball for just the Indiana game but more for getting Michigan to be in a position to go into Columbus to play for a shot at a Big Ten title. We'll have a lot more to say after next week.

Honorable mention: Karan Higdon, Zach Gentry, Tyree Kinnel, Rashan Gary, Josh Metellus, Chase Winovich, 

2018 Game Ball Standings:
1. Shea Patterson (5),
2. Ed Warriner (3), Chase Winovich (3), Donovan Peoples-Jones (3), Don Brown (3), Karan Higdon (3), Will Hart (3)
3. Devin Bush (2), Jim Harbaugh (2), Offensive Line (2), Josh Metellus (2), Khaleke Hudson (2)
4. Jake Moody, The Secondary, Ambry Thomas, Quinn Nordin, Greg Mattison, Rashan Gary, Jim McElwain

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