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Final Five Thoughts: Michigan vs. Indiana

John Kayser Feature WriterThis week will unfortunately be a huge test for our hit or miss Wolverines.

The Hoosiers have an amazing up tempo offense with a sputtering defense. On the other side Michigan has a sputtering offense with a solid defense. It will undoubtedly be a good contest.

1. Control the Tempo
Indiana is a fast paced squad with a whole bag of tricks up its sleeves. The key for the boys in Blue will be slowing down the Hoosier offense and making them play our kind of game. If Michigan can control the pace and play at their comfort level things should run much smoother for the Maize and Blue.

2. Playing tight coverage on D
I have personally thought our defense has been playing a little too loose on coverage. I understand Mattison wants to rely solely on the front four for pressure. Yet, i believe if Blue can mix their regular defensive scheme with some of the blitz packages from last year and the year before they can be much more effective. The secondary must keep a tight leash on the passing game. If that happens it could be a long day for the Hoosiers.

3. Offensive Line production
The big lugs up front have been lacking mostly this season. I’m not sure what is to blame for this, I blame it mostly on youth and lack of technique. The performance or lack thereof last week leaves many questions with this group. If the line can play tough physical and push forward instead of being pushed it can lead to big things for the running game.

4. Gardner
The definition of hit or miss this year is number 98. I believe if Hoke and company can get the run game going and not rely solely on Gardner it will go a long way. Ideally Michigan fans would like to see the offense run similarly to how they did in the second half against Minnesota. Moral of the story if the line does its job, the running game picks up, it will give Gardner the time he needs to read his progressions and make less mistakes.

5. Turnovers
This season has been completely dependent on turnovers. The more Michigan gives up the worse the game goes. The more Michigan doesn’t give up the more lopsided the game goes. If Gardner and company can keep the turnovers to a minimum the better chance they have.

But that’s true with any team right? Unfortunately for us, our team has been leading in this category so far this year and once again giving the ball away needs to stop.

This game will be close but I see the Wolverines getting the upper hand sometime in the third. If Michigan can not give the ball up from that point Indiana will not come back from down the stretch. Close call.

Michigan – 38
IU – 28

John Kayser - May the Hoke be with you! © January 11th, 2011
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