Michigan at Indiana Preview 2010

In 2010, both teams are undefeated and ready to begin conference play on October 2. Michigan has won 15 of 16 games in Memorial Stadium, and their only loss was to a Bill Mallory coached team in 1987. The Wolverines have defeated the Hoosiers in their last 16 meetings. This game will feature the Big Ten's #1 rushing team, Michigan, against the Big Ten's #1 passing team, Indiana. Michigan will be hoping to put up a better pass rush to hurry the Hurrying Hoosiers, and minimize turnovers on the road. #19 Michigan is a 10.5 point favorite by the oddsmakers.

On offense, the Hoosiers start with Bloomington native and 5th year Quarterback Ben Chappell who runs the "pistol" formation offense adapted from Nevada. He is ranked #6 in the nation in passing efficiency, and Indiana is ranked #11 in the nation in passing averaging over 304 yards per game. Chappell's favorite target is Fort Wayne Junior Demario Belcher who is averaging 7 receptions and 97 yards per game. He also likes 5th Year Michigander Terrence Turner who averages nearly 6 catches and 63 yards per game. Turner caught 5 passes for 48 yards in last year's duel between the two Big Ten rivals. The 3rd wideout is Indianapolis Junior Tandon Doss, and he is used quite often on reverses and misdirection plays. In 2009, Doss scored the first TD of the game with a 25 yard romp, and had 5 catches for 104 yards against the Wolverines. Indiana has a big, bruising running back in Sophomore Darius Willis who averages 73 yards per game on the ground. Michigan fans may remember Willis from the 2009 game when when the Indianapolis native rambled for 152 yards and two TDs including an 85 yard TD that gave Indiana a 4th quarter lead. Willis also caught 3 passes for 25 yards in the 2009 tilt. The Hoosier have a big, strong offensive line led by 6'8" 331 lbs. 5th Year Right Tackle James Brewer from Indianapolis. Sophomore Right Guard Mark Damisch, Sophomore Center Will Matte, Bloomington Redshirt Freshman Left Guard Aaron Price and Indianapolis Junior Left Tackle Andrew McDonald are the other starters, and the only lineman less that 300 lbs. is Matte at 293 lbs. This group has only allowed 4 sacks in 3 games. Evansville Junior Max Dedmond and Redshirt Freshman Ted Bolser are the Tight Ends; Bolser is averaging 3 catches and nearly 43 yards per game, and leads Indiana with 4 TDs. Michigan's defense gets Carvin Johnson and Brandon Herron back for this one so it should help our depth on the road.

On Defense, Indiana's leader is Senior SAM Outside Linebacker Tyler Replogle. His brother, Sophomore Adam Replogle is also a starter at Defensive End. There are Michigan-Indiana connections. Junior Larry Black, the brother of Michigan's backup defensive end Jibreel Black and prior Indiana commitment, starts at Defensive Tackle. Detroit Junior Darius Johnson and Fort Wayne Sophomore Mick Mentzer are the other two defensive line starters in the Hoosier 4-3 scheme. Bloomington Junior Leon Beckham is the Middle Linebacker and Cicero Sophomore Chad Sherer plays WILL Inside Linebacker. In the defensive backfield, the starting cornerbacks are 5th year Richard Council and Crown Point Junior Matt Ernest with Senior Mitchell Evans at Strong Safety and Junior Donnell Jones at Free Safety. Their pass defense is ranked #20 nationally, and Evans is a big hitter. This defense is not expected to stop Denard Robinson and the high powered Michigan offense, but they'll be hoping to force turnovers with big hits. Michigan will be without running backs Michael Shaw and Fitzgerald Touissaint so Vincent Smith, Mike Cox, Stephen Hopkins and Kevin Grady will be need to have big games.

Special teams will feature a duel between the Hagerup brothers at punter. Junior Chris Hagerup will punt for the Hoosiers, and Freshman Will Hagerup will punt for the Wolverines although neither are expected to punt much with such stalwart offenses. Tandon Doss return punts and kickoffs for Indiana along with Redshirt Freshman Nick Turner and Redshirt Freshman Duwyce Wilson return kickoffs. Redshirt Freshman Mitch Ewald handles the placekicking duties, and has been perfect on 11 of 11 PATs with 2 of 3 field goals. Indianapolis Sophomore Nick Freeland handles kickoffs, but has also hit 2 of 2 in field goals with 5 of 5 on PATs. The longest kick for either kicker has been 36 yards. In 2009, Freeland hit four of five field goal attemps missing a 42 yarder in the 4th quarter. Neither Indiana nor Michigan have outstanding special teams so not much is expected, but I'm sure Indiana has been re-watching how Massachusetts blocked a punt and they'll be hoping to create havoc in this one. In 2009, Zoltan Mesko's punting really pinned Indiana in the second half giving us great field position, but don't expect us to be winning the field position battle in this one with our poor special teams units.

Indian is doing a great job in recruiting in 2010, and lead the Big Ten so far with 21 pledges including 4 prospects from Michigan. Indiana has disposed of Towson, Western Kentucky and Akron while Michigan has defeated Notre Dame, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Bowling Green so the Wolverines have certainly played to better competition to prepare for this one; however, Indiana is playing at home. Michigan's best defense is keeping time of possession advantage so their opponents can't push around our weak defense as often as they'd like. Indiana outplayed us in 2009, scored first, led at halftime and at the end of the 3rd quarter and had 5 red zone opportunities compared to only two for us. In last year's loss, Chappell was 21 of 38 for 270 yards and the Hoosiers put up 467 yards of total offense in the Big House. Indiana Head Coach Bill Lynch threw quite a tantrum last season at the Big House when Michigan came from behind to defeat his Hoosiers, 36-33, with a controversial simultaneous possession review on a late interception by Donovan Warren. Methinks Mr. Lynch and the Hoosiers have spent "extra time" preparing for this one. It will be a "wild one" in Bloomington!


MICHIGAN WOLVERINES 45 Indiana Hoosiers 39