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Indiana vs Michigan: game preview, analysis, odds, tv channel, kickoff times and more

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For the third time this season, Indiana will face a top-25 team. Will the third time be the charm for the Hoosiers?

Michigan v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Game Info / How to Watch

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-2 [0-2], #38 S&P+) vs Michigan Wolverines (4-1 [1-1], #15 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 10/14 12:00 PM, Bloomington, Indiana

Channel? ABC

Vegas? MICHIGAN -8

S&P+ Projection? MICHIGAN 26.4 - 19.4


Here we go again. The Jekyll and Hyde Hoosiers get yet another crack at a big dog, and it’s their best opportunity at an upset yet.

On one hand, the last time Indiana played a ranked team, they were run out of the shop in Happy Valley in just a quarter as Penn State used a bit of luck and put the game away quickly.

On the other hand, last time Indiana welcomed Michigan to Memorial Stadium, Jordan Howard damn near ran his way to an upset over the Wolverines.

Trying to determine which side of the spectrum this Indiana game will fall is anyone’s guess. Under Tom Allen, Indiana has had less Jekyll and Hyde, but it’s still a Hoosier program with a long history dating back multiple coaches of trying hard and coming up short against ranked foes.

Michigan presents a unique opportunity. The Wolverines are flawed and coming off a rivalry loss with another huge game for them next week. There may not be a better time all season to catch them. Their defense is elite, but their offense is a mess. Will this FINALLY be the time Indiana pulls off the upset?

TO THE NUMBERS!

FIVE FACTORS

- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
INDIANA (#76 offense) 1.06 (104th) 40.5% (85th) 29.4 (71st) 4.38 (74th) -7 (119th)
MICHIGAN (#3 defense) 1.19 (75th) 26.0% (1st) 28.5 (53rd) 3.60 (23rd) -5 (108th)
- - - - - -
MICHIGAN (#69 offense) 1.19 (62nd) 38.2% (109th) 29.0 (86th) 3.93 (108th) -5 (108th)
INDIANA (#22 defense) 0.95 (8th) 40.0% (55th) 27.8 (38th) 4.52 (81st) -7 (119th)

THE OPPONENT

In many senses, Michigan is a better version of Indiana. The Wolverines have ridden their elite defense to a top-25 ranking and, despite the loss to Michigan State, still have a chance to win the Big Ten title.

Any analysis of Michigan is going to start on the defensive side of the ball where a simple glance at the statistics will show you why they’re considering one of the best units in college football.

If you’re to believe Tom Allen, Michigan is first in the country and three-and-outs and S&P numbers back that up as they are first in efficiency. The Wolverines are going to get you off track and it’s hard to get back after that.

Against the rush, MIchigan is elite as they rank third in rushing success rate (30.3 percent), first in power success rate (36.4 percent) and ninth in stuff rate (28.4 percent).

If you’d like to throw the ball, Michigan ranks first defensively in passing success rate (21.6 percent). The lone weakness, if you want to call it that, is that the Wolverines struggle with turnovers in the same way the Hoosiers do. Their expected turnover margin is right in line with their actual turnover margin, which is 108th in the country.

But as we’ve learned with Indiana this year, there’s a certain amount of luck in turnovers. At the end of the day, Michigan will relentlessly suffocate you defensively for four quarters. Ask Purdue how it went.

How did Michigan lose last week with one of the top defenses in the nation, you ask? Well lets look at the Wolverine offense.

Michigan is marginally better than IU at rushing success rate (ranked 98th, IU 99th) and opportunity rate (ranked 102nd, IU 114th). They struggle in almost all of the areas IU struggles in rushing the ball, but are marginally better.

If you thought Indiana was bad at throwing the ball, let me introduce you to John O’Korn. The Wolverines have a passing success rate of 37.1 percent (99th), which is notably worse than Indiana’s 41.5 percent (69th, nice).

O’Korn has stepped in for an injured Wilton Speight and, unlike the transition from Richard Lagow to Peyton Ramsey, has been worse, throwing four interceptions to just one touchdown with a higher sack rate than his predecessor.

THE HOOSIERS

The Ramsey Era continued along nicely against Charleston Southern last week as the Hoosiers their second-best offensive showing of the season. There’s only so much to take away from a game against an FCS foe.

The ground attack has still been a struggle for Indiana as they ran for only 157 yards on 45 carries last week. The positives came through the air as Taysir Mack came out of nowhere to reel in a pair of touchdowns while Simmie Cobbs continued to be a monster.

Defensively, Indiana earned it’s first shutout in two-and-a-half decades, but were missing some key pieces that don’t appear likely to return in A’Shon Riggins and Marcelino Ball.

THREE THINGS

  • Peyton Ramsey vs. Michigan secondary - Michigan’s turnover margin may not be great, but that’s more on the offense than the defense. Their secondary ranks first in the country in Havoc Rate and, as a team, Michigan ranks fourth in the country in Havoc Rate. It’s imperative that Ramsey not turn the ball over.
  • John O’Korn vs. IU secondary - It seems easy to point this out, but O’Korn has a turnover problem and a depleted IU secondary needs to make him pay for it. The Hoosiers have struggled in the turnover department defensively, but if they can turn it around this week, it’d go a long way toward an upset.
  • Special teams play - This game will feature two of the top 30 special teams units in the country. We know how great J-Shun Harris has been this season and how quickly he can swing a game. Michigan has had their own special teams touchdown on a punt return from Donovan Peoples-Jones. In a game where IU’s offense will certainly struggle and punts will be aplenty, Harris could give the Hoosiers a massive boost on special teams.

PREDICTION

This is usually the part where Swick comes in and tells you not to get your hopes up and predicts an IU loss. To his credit, he’s normally right. But I’m not as rational as he. Michigan’s struggles come in areas where the Hoosiers can take advantage of them. The scoreline should be close no matter the outcome. I’m sipping the kool-aid this week, though.

Indiana 17, Michigan 13