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Week 8 Game of the Week Preview: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan Wolverines

A brief look at the upcoming clash between IU and UM, with Michigan commentary and predictions from OTE Writers Brian Gillis and Graham Filler.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Last Game's Recap: The Hoosiers ran into a perfect storm in East Lansing. Coming off a big win, playing for a rivalry trophy, and playing against a team that hadn't found its offensive balance, the inevitable happened: Indiana got crushed by Michigan State 42-28. While that doesn't sound that bad, the Spartans had only put that many points on FCS team Youngstown State this season, and held Indiana near its season low for points. The Hoosiers fell to 3-3 for the season, 1-1 in conference play.

Game Info: This game kicks off in Ann Arbor at 3:30pm on Saturday. Matt Devlin and Glen Mason have the call for the BTN broadcast.

Series History: Michigan leads the series 52-9. The teams have not played since 2010, Indiana has not won against Michigan since 1987, and Indiana hasn't won at Michigan since 1967.

Indiana Notes: Indiana has scored at least 28 points in its last 7 games, an IUFB record. TE Ted Bolser made the Mackey Award Midseason Watch list, and joined the career 100 catches/1000 yards club, making him the 20th IU player to do so. The Hoosiers have scored on 25 of their 31 red zone trips, 22 of which were touchdowns.

Michigan Notes, courtesy of OTE's Brian Gillis: In year three of the Brady Hoke era, Michigan was supposed to start looking like the kind of team that Hoke envisions the Wolverines ultimately becoming: One with a pro-style offense, featuring a power running game and a strong-armed quarterback leading the attack. No longer so reliant on Denard Robinson, Michigan was to be a more balanced team this year, with Devin Gardner under center and a stable of talented running backs running behind a inexperienced, but talented offensive line. But after what looked like a strong start, with a blowout of Central Michigan and a victory over Notre Dame, the wheels have come off for the Wolverines. With a mistake-prone quarterback and a historically bad running game, after close wins over a pair of double-digit underdogs and a crushing come-from-ahead loss to Penn State, the question is no longer whether Michigan will compete for the Big Ten title, but rather, will the Wolverines be able to stop the bleeding?

Predictions: [CfB] If I learned nothing else from the MSU game, it's that avatar bets should only be made when you're more than 50% sure your team should win. Though Lil' Green has been more fun as an avatar than I thought. Anyway, while IU has played Michigan close at times, I'm not convinced that this year's Wolverines are as good as they have been. If the IU defense that stopped Penn State shows up, we've got a very good shot at the upset. If the version that played against the Spartans shows up, this game might go over 100 points in total. Keeping both of those in mind, I'm going with Michigan 45, Indiana 42

[Brian Gillis] Devin Gardner has received his share of criticism for Michigan's uneven play, but before burying Gardner, remember that he led Michigan from an 11-point halftime deficit to a 10-point fourth quarter lead against the Nittany Lions before Michigan's coaches took the ball out of his hands. Despite his penchant for turnovers, Gardner remains Michigan's greatest weapon, and the Wolverines will go only as far as Gardner can carry them. If there is an unknown heading into this weekend, it's whether the Michigan coaches will take advantage of Gardner's abilities or whether they will continue to send Fitzgerald Toussaint hopelessly searching for holes that don't exist. If the latter proves to be the case, it will likely be another long day for the Wolverines.

[Special Guest Predictor Graham Filler] Michigan 40, Indiana 28