Who, When, Where: Indiana will host Michigan on Senior Day in Bloomington. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm, and if you can't make it to Bloomington, the game will be broadcast nationwide on either ABC or ESPN2. Bob Wischusen and Brock Huard have the call, with Shannon Spake on the sidelines. The last time IU and Michigan played in Bloomington, the Wolverines came out 42-35 winners. I was at that game, and if I never see another Junior Hemingway catch in my lifetime, it will still be too soon.
Numbers of Note, Milestones Edition: 39, the number of rushing yards Jordan Howard needs for a 1,000 yard rushing season. He'd probably be pushing closer to 2,000 by year's end if he hadn't missed the better part of 3 games with injury. 935, the number of passing yards Nate Sudfeld needs to be Indiana's career leader. If Nate can accomplish that, he will also likely become the Indiana leader or tie for the lead in 200, 250, and 300 yard passing games in a career. 8, the number of extra points Griffin Oakes needs to move into a tie for 8th place on Indiana's career list. Finally, #1, Nate Sudfeld's rank in the IU record books for career passing touchdowns, having passed Kellen Lewis' record of 48 last week against Iowa.
Michigan Musings, from OTE's man in charge, Graham Filler: That Michigan defense...has been the basis for the Wolverine's success this year. Only two teams did anything extensive against the Wolverines: Minnesota and MSU. And they both followed similar patterns: Take some chances in the passing game. NOW I KNOW Indiana won't be shy about that. If I'm Kevin Wilson, I come strong right off the bat with a trick play or a deep ball against one on one coverage. Easier said than done, but if there's a B1G offense that can do it...It's Indiana.
Defense? The Hoosiers defense ain't so good. Stack the box, force deeper throws, pray Ruddock doesn't go wild like he did against Rutgers. But being ground into oblivion by short run plays is no way to live.
Michigan Men (and Women) and Fun Facts: From last year's preview, with one notable change in employment for a Mr. Harbaugh. I am told he is no longer employed by the 49ers, so hopefully he is doing well in his current fixture, whatever it may be.
Graham: I predict Michigan 31, Indiana 17. Too much physicality, too little depth on the Hoosier side.
C4B: Three times this year, Indiana has gone into games against top tier teams in conference, given them a helluva fight, but still come out on the short end. Michigan presents the fourth and final opportunity for the Hoosiers to spring an upset that would shake things up in a way not seen in Bloomington for too damn long. Another Hoosier team had a similar opportunity against Michigan five years ago, and the defense let them down at a crucial time, losing a game that could very easily have gone to overtime instead, in front of a surprisingly rabid and packed Memorial Stadium. While I don't know if a similar atmosphere can be recreated, I fear that the result may be the same regardless. As such, my prediction should look rather familiar: Michigan 42, Indiana 35.
Next Week: Whatever may be left of Indiana's season hinges on going to Maryland to tussle with Terrapins.