RUSH OFFENSE vs. INDIANA RUSH DEFENSE
Michigan ranks #38 in rushing offense (185.2 yards/game) and #26 in yards per carry (5.07). Blake Corum’s 5.95 yards/carry ranks sixth in the conference, while backup Donovan Edwards’s mystifying 3.47 yards/carry ranks #32, lowest of any qualifying back in the conference. Kalel Mullings has stepped up his game with 23 carries for 147 yards and 1 touchdown this year. Michigan seems to have found a solidified starting five up front with Arizona State transfer La’Darius Henderson at left tackle and Karsen Barnhart at right tackle. Indiana is #91 in rushing defense (156.4 yards allowed/game) and allowed Akron’s Lorenzo Lingard over 8.0 yards/carry a few weeks ago, along with 10+ yards per rush to Maryland’s Antwaine Littlejohn despite his not getting above 3.7 against any other opponent. They give up 4.74 yards per carry, which ranks #108 in the nation. Having watched some of Indiana this year, their tackling is the worst I’ve seen it in Tom Allen’s seven years at the helm. Fifth year senior middle linebacker Aaron Casey (6’2″, 235 lbs.) leads the squad with 43 stops, followed by sophomore strong safety Phillip Dunnam (6’1″, 190) and senior free safety Louis Moore (6’1″, 190) with 35 and 25, respectively.
Hit the jump for more.
PASS OFFENSE vs. INDIANA PASS DEFENSE
In recent weeks, well respected author and Fox journalist Bruce Feldman has started to pump up J.J. McCarthy as a potential top two quarterback pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, generally ceding that USC’s Caleb Williams is the #1 guy and then saying McCarthy and UNC’s Drake Maye could compete to be the second guy off the board. Michigan is #73 in passing offense (229.7 yards/game) but #7 in passing efficiency. McCarthy is #1 in the Big Ten by a wide margin in passing efficiency, with a 24-point lead over OSU’s Kyle McCord. Roman Wilson went without a touchdown last week for just the second time this year, but he still managed over 18 yards/catch and is tied for #3 in the country with 8 scores. Tight end Colston Loveland caught his first touchdown of the year against the Golden Gophers. Michigan has allowed just 0.5 sacks per game, which ties them for #3 nationally. Indiana is tied for #106 at notching just 1.6 sacks per contest, and they’re led by Casey and Western Michigan transfer Andre Carter (6’5″, 270) with 2 each. Carter had 12.5 career sacks for the Broncos before arriving in Bloomington and moves around the defensive line. Indiana is #50 in pass defense (211.8 yards allowed/game) and #47 in passing efficiency defense. They rank #64 in yards per attempt allowed (7.2) and have allowed 6 touchdowns while making 6 interceptions. Dunnam has 3 picks and Moore has 2 takeaways. Overall, it’s an inexperienced group on the back end without much of a pass rush up front, so Michigan should be able to do what they want for the most part.
RUSH DEFENSE vs. INDIANA RUSH OFFENSE
Michigan is #13 in rush defense (90.8 yards allowed/game) and they’re #23 with 3.1 yards allowed per carry. Last week it seemed like Minnesota found some creases early with its outside zone, but then they made some adjustments and held the Gophers to 3.0 yards/carry for the entire game. Linebackers Junior Colson (28), Michael Barrett (22), and Ernest Hausmann (21) lead the team in tackles, which is especially impressive for Hausmann, considering he’s not a starter. Somehow defensive tackle Mason Graham is tied for #4 in tackles (16) despite missing two games with a thumb injury. Indiana’s new offensive coordinator is former Northern Illinois and Temple head coach Rod Carey. And when I say “new,” I mean he was installed over the bye week at the beginning of October. Indiana fired Walt Bell as O.C. and elevated Carey from his offensive analyst position. (He was a defensive analyst in 2021 and moved to offense for 2022.) Obviously, the Hoosiers can’t make wholesale changes to their system mid-season, but surely some tweaks will occur. They rank #115 in rushing (110.2 yards/game) and #120 in yards per carry (3.18). Sophomore running back Jaylin Lucas (5’9″, 170) leads the team with 49 carries for 212 yards (4.33 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns, followed closely by former Michigan – and Wake Forest – running back Christian Turner (5’11”, 205) with 40 attempts for 177 yards and 2 scores. The Hoosiers allow 5.6 tackles for loss per game, which ranks at #71 nationally. It’s a pretty weak offensive line, centered by senior Michigan transfer Zach Carpenter (6’5″, 295), and Michigan should push them around up front.
PASS DEFENSE vs. INDIANA PASS OFFENSE
Michigan is #2 in pass defense (142.5 yards allowed/game) and #9 in passing efficiency defense. They allow 6.2 yards per attempt, which is #22 overall, and have allowed 2 touchdowns while making 7 interceptions. Granted, Minnesota has a weak passing offense and a subpar quarterback in Athan Kaliakmanis, but Michigan had two pick-sixes last week from Will Johnson and Keon Sabb. Michigan is tied at #57 in sacks per game (2.33), led by Coastal Carolina transfer Josaiah Stewart, who has come on in the past couple weeks with 3 sacks. Meanwhile, Indiana is #78 in passing offense (224 yards/game) and #95 in passing efficiency. Redshirt freshman Tayven Jackson (6’3″, 215) was recruited by Michigan but does not have a ton to work with. His 61.7% completions and 7.5 yards/attempt look okay overall, but the past two games against Akron and Maryland have seen him go 28/55 for 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Fellow redshirt freshman Brendan Sorsby (6’3″, 230) has also played some, completing 55.8% of his throws for 5.8 yards/attempt, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions, but his best work came late in the 44-17 loss to the Terrapins. Senior receiver Cam Camper (6’2″, 195) averages 19.2 yards/catch but only has 13 receptions on the year, while Lucas has 19 catches but averages just 7.4 yards/catch. It used to seem like the Hoosiers had a mildly dangerous tight end most years, but I guess Michigan stole the one significant guy in A.J. Barner, so the tight ends aren’t much of a factor . . . at least not in a good way. Michigan should be able to get after whoever plays quarterback pretty regularly, but Camper and Lucas might be able to combine for a couple chunk plays.
- Indiana players from the state of Michigan include: DE Andre Carter (Cass Tech), RB David Holloman (Auburn Hills Avondale), OL Robby Kowalewski (East Grand Rapids), OL Max Longman (Portage Central)
- Players offered by Michigan include: C Zach Carpenter, QB Tayven Jackson, S Josh Sanguinetti, RB Christian Turner
- Indiana’s Zach Carpenter and Christian Turner transferred from Michigan. Carpenter went straight to Indiana after Ann Arbor, but Turner took a stop at Wake Forest before going to Indiana this season
- Former Michigan strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman (under Brady Hoke) is now Indiana’s Senior Assistant Athletic Director for Football Performance
- Former Michigan linebacker commit David Reese, who played at Farmington High School and eventually ended up a starting linebacker at Florida, is a defensive graduate assistant for the Hoosiers
LAST TIME THEY PLAYED…
- On October 8, 2022, Michigan beat Indiana by a score of 31-10
- Indiana and Michigan were tied 10-10 at halftime
- J.J. McCarthy went 28/36 for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception
- Blake Corum ran 25 times for 124 yards and 1 touchdown
- Ronnie Bell caught 11 passes for 121 yards
- Indiana (now BGSU) QB Connor Bazelak completed 25/49 throws for 203 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception
- Indiana WR/RB Jaylin Lucas ran 4 times for 45 yards and caught 3 passes for 20 yards
- Michigan 48, Indiana 7
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