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Michigan Wolverines quarterback Cade McNamara (12) looks to pass the ball against the Washington Huskies. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)
November 5th, 2021
Indiana will look to pick up its first conference road win of the season when the Hoosiers visit the Big House to take on the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines on Saturday evening.
Indiana got a strong performance last week from their fourth—yes, their fourth—string quarterback from the preseason depth chart, as Donaven McCulley threw for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns. They also had a great performance from running back Stephen Carr, who ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns on just 21 carries.
"He doesn't back down."Along with physical talent, Tom Allen thinks Donaven McCulley's competitive toughness and calm demeanor will make him successful in his career. #iufb pic.twitter.com/yZfbvGfu3X— The Hoosier Network (@TheHoosierNet) November 1, 2021
"He doesn't back down."Along with physical talent, Tom Allen thinks Donaven McCulley's competitive toughness and calm demeanor will make him successful in his career. #iufb pic.twitter.com/yZfbvGfu3X
Neither performance was good enough to get Indiana a win, as they lost 38-35 on the road at Maryland in a game they trailed 35-20 with 10 minutes left. The defense allowed quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa to throw for 419 yards, easily his best game of the season, as he had thrown for a combined 625 yards in his previous three games.
Indiana’s offensive and defensive lines are going to struggle with the superior talent on Michigan’s lines, including a Wolverine offensive line that has allowed just three sacks this season. Additionally, their secondary continues to struggle, and Michigan showed last week they have multiple weapons in the aerial attack, with tight end Erick All and wide receiver Andrel Anthony both having breakout games against the Spartans.
With just 20 minutes remaining last week, Michigan State lined up for a fourth down near Michigan’s 30 yard line, with the Wolverines enjoying a 30-14 lead. Instead of getting a stop and possibly putting the game away, they allowed a 28-yard completion deep down the sideline. Michigan State punched it in on the next play.
Kenneth Walker’s touchdown made it 30-22 after a two-point conversion, and began a 23-3 run by Michigan State to end the game and take a four-point comeback victory. Michigan’s run defense allowed five touchdowns to Walker, after having given up just three touchdowns total on the ground in the first seven games.
Michigan had great success on the offensive side of the ball, gaining 552 yards on a stout Michigan State defense. Quarterback Cade McNamara threw for a career-high 383 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However, he threw a critical interception on the first play of Michigan’s final attempt to come back. They scored just three points over their final five drives, three of which ended with a turnover.
MICHIGAN 93-YARD HOUSE CALL ⚡️(via @CFBONFOX)pic.twitter.com/Opd4VUrLZp— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 30, 2021
MICHIGAN 93-YARD HOUSE CALL ⚡️(via @CFBONFOX)pic.twitter.com/Opd4VUrLZp
Michigan State did a solid job against the Wolverines’ top-ranked rushing attack, holding stud running backs Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum for just 104 yards combined and no touchdowns on 27 carries. However, Indiana’s defense last saw a similar two-headed monster against Ohio State, and allowed TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams to rush for a combined 141 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries.
The Hoosiers looked as good as they have all season last weekend, but it was against Maryland. In their previous three games, the Terps had allowed 151 points combined. Despite IU’s improved play, they still lost. In fact, in their four road games this year, they have just one victory, a two-point win over a Western Kentucky team that is currently 4-4.
In addition, the Hoosiers played well against Michigan State, but the Spartans beat themselves as much as anything in that game as they committed 12 penalties and turned it over twice. Including that game, the Hoosiers have lost their five games against ranked opponents by an average score of 34-10 this season.
Michigan is going to be upset after blowing their rivalry game last weekend, and it’s unfortunate for Indiana that they will bear the brunt of that frustration. With a major game against Penn State on the horizon, the Wolverines will be looking to restore confidence and work on their mistakes from last week.
I expect Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh to inflict pain from the outset, which is why I like the first half line more than the full-game line. Indiana could sneak in a back-door cover as Michigan rests players in the second half, so take the safer pick of Michigan -10.5 points before halftime and enjoy a solid payday.
Score prediction: Michigan 38, Indiana 13
Our predictive engine is calling for the Wolverines to win outright.
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