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GAMETHREAD: Indiana at Michigan

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Watch the Picture

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (5-5, #53 S&P+) at Michigan Wolverines (9-1, #2 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 11/19, 3:30 PM, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Channel? ESPN
Vegas? INDIANA +24

S&P+ Projection? MICHIGAN, 42.4 - 7.6 (98%)

Listen to Fischer


From this week's game preview, Kyle Swick notes that the Hoosiers may be in trouble today:

Michigan is an extremely great football team with basically no weaknesses and will be playing in their home stadium the week after a frustrating loss. The numbers speak for themselves and, outside of offensive explosiveness (which is only somewhat above average), the numbers say they're elite. It is a statistical profile befitting a team that remains firmly in control of their CFP destiny.

You could possibly talk yourself into this being a trap game, with archrival Ohio State waiting next week, had Michigan not gone out to Iowa and lost in an extremely on-brand game for the Hawkeyes. Now, however, you can rest assured Indiana has the Wolverines' full attention and will relish the opportunity to beat the brains out of a conference opponent as a reminder to themselves and others what they're capable of.

They'll likely have to do it without Wilton Speight, the junior quarterback is injured to a certain degree, but there are conflicting reports ranging from his status for Saturday being a game-time decision to a long absence due to a broken collarbone. Regardless of the diagnosis, it seems more likely than not that Speight won't play Saturday and senior John O'Korn will get the call to lead a passing offense that is currenetly 6th in the nation (26th in success rate, 22nd in explosiveness).

He'll have his full complement of weapons at his disposal. The senior trio of receivers Amara Darboh (43 catches / 746 yards / 6 touchdowns) and Jehu Chesson (27 / 446 / 2), along with tight end Jake Butt (39 / 472 / 4) take up a whopping 64% of the targets in the offense and for good reason. They're all incredibly tough covers with good size and great route running. They can make life awfully easy on O'Korn if Indiana's secondary can't stick with them.

Michigan's rushing offense, ranked 29th (21st in success rate, 84th in explosiveness) may not be flashy, but it keeps the machine on schedule. Four guys have received at least 60 carries with De'Veon Smith leading the field (121 carries, 592 yards, 8 touchdowns) while Indianapolis-native Chris Evans should probably be getting more than the 66 carries he's got. He's averaging 7.7 YPC and a ridiculous 8.2 HY/O. To borrow a phrase from Bill Connelly: he's basically unlit dynamite on the field and every carry that goes to someone who is not him is probably a win for the opponent.

Defensively, Michigan excels at everything. I'm not kidding. Look at this nonsense:

Pass D: 1st

Sack Rate: 2nd

Rush D: 3rd

Stuff Rate: 5th

Standard Downs D: 2nd

Passing Downs D: 2nd

1st Down: 4th

2nd Down: 7th

3rd Down: 2nd

Havoc Rate: 1st

I'm not going to write a thousand words about how good the defense is. It's the best the Hoosiers will see this year by quite some margin. Every yard the Hoosiers gain on Saturday will be well-earned, and if they can't avoid the mistakes and turnovers that have plagued them of late this game will get completely out of control very, very quickly.

This Week In Crimson Quarry Content

Full Michigan preview

Two big basketball recruits, Wilkes and Preston, commit elsewhere

James Blackmon, Jr.'s monstrous return

Indiana baseball news, including a look at the schedule and Riley Crean committing

Indiana basketball rolled UMass-Lowell and takes on Liberty tonight

Power rankings and bowl projections

College football betting guide

Soccer gets a national seed

Preview of the Big Ten basketball contenders

This Week @crimsonquarry