The Michigan Wolverines hold a 20-game win streak over the Indiana Hoosiers. However, is 2016 the year the Hoosiers finally break through? The odds are both in and not in their favor.
Reasons Against Indiana
Frankly, the Wolverines have a lot more talent than Indiana. They are loaded with playmakers on both sides of the ball. Heck, their best player Jabrill Peppers can play both ways.
They have a four-headed rushing attack in De’Veon Smith, Ty Isaac, Karan Higdon and Chris Evans that has combined for 1,926 yards and 22 touchdowns. Indiana is allowing 156.2 yards on the ground this season. So, it seems likely the Wolverines will run the ball a lot.
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Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has consistently received great efforts from his teams, and the Wolverines will likely deliver another solid performance Saturday.
Another point of concern is Harbaugh has never lost back-to-back games at Michigan. Prior to last Saturday, Harbaugh had only lost three games at Michigan, and after each loss, his team responded with a win the very next game.
Finally, this matchup is in the “Big House.” Under Harbaugh, Michigan is 12-2 at home and have not lost a game inside the “Big House” since Week 7 of last season.
Reasons For Indiana
Last season, the Hoosiers lost a double overtime match with the Wolverines last season. In fact, the Hoosiers held a 34-27 lead with 2:52 left in the game. Unfortunately, Michigan tied the game on the last play of regulation, and eventually won the game in overtime.
Entering this contest, the Hoosiers will have one advantage positive-wise. It is at quarterback. The Hoosiers have Richard Lagow, while the Wolverines will be breaking in new quarterback John O’Korn. Starter Will Speight broke his collarbone against the Iowa Hawkeyes last Saturday.
Lagow has been a bright spot for the Hoosiers on offense. He has thrown for 2,868 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. He does have 13 interceptions because he takes chances down the field. He might be the best quarterback Michigan will have faced up to this point in the season.
Also, Indiana has played well against the Big Ten’s top teams (Ohio State Buckeyes, the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Nebraska Cornhuskers). Even though these results were losses, it is still encouraging to see they are keeping close with the best.
This sort of success should give fans hope that the Hoosiers have at least a chance at upsetting Michigan.
Overall, this is a very intriguing matchup. Indiana needs a win to become bowl eligible. Meanwhile, Michigan needs to win to keep their No. 3 ranking in the College Football Playoff race.
Clearly, it would not be surprising to see this game be close throughout. However, talent and coaching eventually shines late in games, and the Wolverines have the advantage in both areas.