Everything about Indiana’s loss to Michigan was on-brand on Saturday. The Wolverines scored using either big plays or busted plays. Indiana struggled all day, sometimes because of the Michigan defense, sometimes because they couldn’t get out of their own way.
And when it came down to it, it was agonizingly close but not enough.
Everything about the final four plays was bad
Peyton Ramsey, who played great considering it’s a redshirt freshman in his second start against the nation’s top defense, made a couple of bad decisions on zone reads. His throw to J-Shun Harris was late and terrible.
Then, on fourth down and the game on the line, Mike DeBord rolled him out to the left with seemingly all 11 Michigan players on that half of the field and, shockingly, it didn’t work.
A throw while rolling left is difficult for any quarterback. Ramsey had just demonstrated he couldn’t make the throw. Why put him in the situation again?
Indiana will never catch a break
Twice in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and in overtime Indiana was on the wrong end of bad calls.
First, the onside kick recovery ruling was objectively bad. In no scenario is this not considered possession of the ball while in-bounds.
Then, on the final play of the game, much like two years ago against Ohio State, Michigan committed pretty blatant pass interference on Simmie Cobbs but gets away with it.
I’m always of the belief that decisions by referees don’t determine the outcome of the game. But my word it sure would be nice to actual catch a break once. Any upset comes with a bit of good fortune and it’s not a surprise that this never happens to Indiana.
The defense remains spectacular
Wipe away the one 59-yard touchdown where Tegray Scales was caught leaning and the overtime score where a two-yard loss was somehow turned into a 25-yard gain and the Hoosiers held Michigan to 245 yards the rest the game and just 58 passing yards.
Michigan held the ball for 35:09 today. In the past, the defense would wear down and give up touchdowns late. Even last season in the Big House, that was the case. Today, even despite the overtime score, the defense was spectacular.
That’s not even including Rashard Fant’s interception that was wiped off (refer to the second point of this piece) or J-Shun Harris’ big return on special teams. Indiana is still a very good team that will almost certainly go bowling once again.
Bonus: Peyton Ramsey will be fine
The stat line isn’t pretty, but I couldn’t help but walk away from the game impressed with Peyton Ramsey. The Wolverines hadn’t given up a fourth-quarter score this season and Ramsey led them on two separate scoring drives in the final minutes. He made some mistakes as any redshirt quarterback would, but I can’t help but feel optimistic about him moving forward.