Michigan at Indiana Preview 2019


Undoubtedly most of you are distracted by certain events that are happening next week but as you've all heard by now, we CANNOT OVERLOOK INDIANA. Nope. We are not looking ahead to next week. Not even Thanksgiving, no thank you. This preview is about Indiana. So what if hopes of winning the Big Ten are essentially over making this game kind of meaningless. So what if the last few weeks have made Michigan's offense look functional. So what if Ohio St--hahaha almost had me there - (has not played in a big road environment so far this season).

We are here to talk about Indiana and Indiana only. That being said, I don't really have a lot of nice things to say about Indiana so I took to Twitter to come up with some nice things.
Remember, we are ONLY talking about Indiana this week. Let's see what Indiana has to offer, shall we?

Yeah! Best damn fields in the land!

Gonna roll the dice on Bloomington this weekend!

Is that what smells like not-meth?

Haha whoaaaa almost talked about the-thing-we're-not-ready-to-talk-about there let's stay on topic!

Tis the season!

Ok come on I went over this.

 Love the scenic beaches and chemical spills of Gary.


In all seriousness, Indiana is sneakishly good this year and has garnered the hashtag #9Windiana. Sitting at 7-3, they're currently #20 on SP+, one spot behind Notre Dame. With games against Purdue and whatever bowl they end up in, there is still a very decent chance they achieve those nine wins, and a win over Michigan is not out of the question. A 34-27 loss to Penn State was their latest valiant effort, even though the game wasn't quite as close as it seems. Penn State's win percentage never dropped below 75% in this game. That being said, a Michigan vs Indiana game hasn't been normal once in the last 10 years or so it seems.

Indiana Offense vs Michigan Defense
Starting QB Michael Penix Jr. is out for the season after suffering a clavicle injury requiring surgery. Familiar Junior Peyton Ramsey (#12) is the starter for this weekend and leads Indiana's spread offense. Despite being the backup at the start of the season, Ramsey has thrown for over 1600 yards. In fact this past weekend alone against Penn State he threw for 371 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

His receivers are a dangerous combination. Whop Philyor (# 1) is Indiana's top receiver who has 863 yards, but after an injury against Penn State is questionable against Michigan. That leaves Nick Fryfogle (#3) and Nick Westbrook (#15) as the top targets. The 6'2" and 6'3" combo combined have about as many yards as Whop but many have to be relied on more heavily.

Indiana's spread pass attack has been deadly this season, but the running game has not been impressive. Stevie Scott III (# 8) is averaging 4.8 YPC but has not put up big numbers against top defenses. To give you a comparison, his average was 13.7 YPC against Rutgers and 1.5, 3.2, and 3.7 against Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan State respectively. Indiana's offensive line struggles in the run game, which is good for Michigan considering the lack of depth on the interior defensive line.

Indiana's #13 ranked offense on SP+ is 3rd on Michigan's schedule (the-team-we-are-not-talking-about is #1). Indiana put up 257 yards against that team but also 460 yards against a very good Penn State defense. But with Don Brown's philosophy being to stop the run first and foremost, Michigan defensive backs should be able to handle the rest. If anything this should be a good practice round before- ya know what forget it.

Indiana Defense vs Michigan Offense
The Hoosiers defense comes in at #34 in the country and has, as you'd expect, been good against the bad and bad against the good. They've given up 0, 3, 0, and 3 to Eastern Illinois, UConn, Rutgers, and Northwestern (N/A, #124, #109, #123 per SP+). They've also given up 51 points to Ohio State and 40(??) to Michigan State. Had this game been in September, the Hoosiers would've had a much greater chance in this game. But with Michigan's offense finally hitting its stride, this matchup becomes much more interesting.

Indiana doesn't quite have the sack machine that previous Big Ten opponents have. With 23 sacks on the season, the Hoosiers come in at #48 in the country. Allen Stallings IV (# 99) leads this category with 5 on the year. Along side him is Demarcus Elliott (#94), the strong rush defender of the two. As a unit they lead a very ok #46 in the country rush defense.

At the heart of the defense is linebacker Micah McFadden (# 47) who leads the team with 47 tackles. Along side him is Reakwon Jones (# 7) who comes in at 2nd in total tackles (43). In the backfield Indiana has one of the better pass defenses in the country, despite the fact that they only have three interceptions on the season (coming against Ball State, Maryland, and UConn). The top DBs are Khalil Bryant (# 29) and Marcelino Ball (# 9). It should be noted that they did hole team-we-are-not-talking-about's Justin Fields to his 3rd lowest QBR of the season (it was 88.5 on ESPN, which would be Shea Patterson's 3rd best performance of the season but WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT).

We finally saw some actual speed in space against Michigan State and I don't think even the most optimistic predicted that game would turn out the way it did. One the one hand Michigan's offense is trending way up but on the other hand they've often underwhelmed in road environments. Michigan's last two trips to Bloomington went to overtime but I think Michigan's offense puts up enough points to prevent that. It might just take until the 3rd or 4th quarter to feel comfortable, though.

Super Saiyan Dance Team
Best Case Scenario
Michigan paid close attention to this game and not the next game. Indiana's back-up quarterback gets some yards but falls to a bend-don't-break defense. Michigan's offense keeps hitting its stride and makes this comfortable in the 2nd half. Then we can start to think about- oh god I don't want to think about it.

Worst Case Scenario 
Michigan lets out a wet fart on the road and a winning streak that dates back to 1987 is finally snapped. At least it's good to know that winning streaks that last that long can actually be brok- nope. Nope not going there.

The Part Where Patrick Gets the Score Completely Wrong
Michigan - 28
Indiana - 17

Past Highlights

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