ANN ARBOR, Mich. – This was not a typical home game for the Wolverine-faithful. Michigan trailed at halftime, and the Hoosiers kept the game close. But in the end, Michigan (10-1, 8-0) prevailed over Indiana (5-6, 2-6) 31-20.
Michigan struggled to separate themselves from Indiana. In the first half alone, the Michigan defense gave up 249-yards. On average, they only allow 220-yards for the entire game. Along with the defense, the Michigan offense was also underperforming. They could not finish drives with touchdowns and would instead settle for short field goals.
Additionally, the offense began reverting to Shea Patterson QB read-option plays. Going into this game, Jim Harbaugh did not want to run QB read-option plays because it puts Patterson at risk of suffering a season-ending injury, and with backup-QB Dylan McCaffrey already injured, trusting a third or fourth-string QB makes it challenging to win football games.
At halftime, Indiana was in the lead 17-15. Michigan was able to score points due to miscommunications by Indiana’s defense. These errors on Indiana’s part led to easy deep passes for Shea Patterson to complete.
In the second half, the Michigan defense improved. Indiana only scored three points and could not repeat their first-half production.
Donavan Peoples-Jones attempted a pass after Shea Patterson threw him the ball behind the line of scrimmage. It resulted in a first down because the defender guarding DPJ’s intended receiver got called for pass interference.
With the second quarter clock ticking closer to halftime, the Wolverines were within five yards from the end zone. However, a miscue with clock management led to wasted seconds. Michigan had no timeouts remaining, so the clock expired. Thus, leaving the Wolverines scoreless on that possession.
Chase Winovich went down hard after a play in the third quarter. He laid on the turf motionless, and it took him quite a while to stand back up. He went straight to the locker room. Coach Harbaugh said that Winovich was transported to the hospital for further evaluation and that the tests taken at the stadium and hospital came back negative. He did not give any specifics as to what the injury is and “no comment” as to if Winovich will be ready for the Ohio State matchup. Players like Rashan Gary and Devin Bush will use Chase’s injury as motivation to perform better, especially since Winovich is the energetic, vocal leader of the defense.
Even worse than Chase Winovich’s injury, Michigan’s Berkley Edwards was knocked out for close to 10 minutes. Indiana’s Cam Jones intentionally targetted Edwards and was kicked out from the match immediately following this incident. Jones will miss the first half of next week’s game but may to face a longer suspension by the NCAA. Edwards was also sent to the hospital and according to Harbaugh, he has a severe concussion.
My first game ball goes to Jake Moody, the field goal kicker. Harbaugh replaced slumping kicker Quinn Nordin with freshman Moody, who finished 6-of-6 with field goals from 32, 30, 31, 33, 23, and 29-yards. He deserves this game ball because missing any of these field goals may have cost Michigan the game. Lastly, he broke a Michigan Football record by making the most field goals in a game with six. Shea Patterson said it best; Moody was a “sniper” from the field.
The next game ball I am awarding belongs to Shea Patterson. Other than one interception, he did not make any significant mistakes. His read-option runs were unstoppable and saw him run for 68-yards. He passed for 250-yards, one TD, and one INT on 16-of-28 attempts.
My final game ball goes to Karan Higdon. He broke the 100-yard mark for the eighth game and sparked Michigan’s offense whenever there was a lack of energy and momentum. By the conclusion of the match, Higdon rushed for 101-yards and one TD on 21 carries.
All in all, it wasn’t the prettiest victory, but Michigan’s win streak is now at 10. Next Saturday, Michigan looks to complete the revenge tour by defeating Ohio State in Columbus. For Indiana, they will take on Purdue at home.