By the Numbers: Week 3 @ Indiana



Michigan State upset the Wolverines 27-24, as Michigan was outplayed at home in stunning fashion by their rivals. 

NEXT UP: @ Indiana: 25th, 11.5

PREGAME SP+: Michigan by 2.1, Michigan Win Probability 55%
The Hoosiers are 2-0, and have performed pretty much as expected according to SP+.  The win over Penn State was a statistical anomaly.  Indiana would have lost if Penn State had taken a knee instead of handing off.  They were also kick-started by two short fields in the first half against Rutgers.

Michigan Offense (29th) vs. Indiana Defense (26th) 
The Michigan rushing attack will be my main offensive key on Saturday.  Indiana ranks 10th in Big Ten rushing yards allowed per game.  Michigan was able to produce a 48% success rate on called run plays versus Michigan State (ranked 7th in B1G rush yds/game).  Despite being somewhat successful, the offensive line had trouble adapting to how MSU  attacked their blocking scheme.  This produced far more negative yardage plays than Josh Gattis would like.  The Wolverines may also be dealing with some injuries up front, including their best lineman Jaylen Mayfield. 

Michigan Defense (13th) vs. Indiana Offense (33rd)
Regardless of which two Michigan cornerbacks get the start in Bloomington, I expect Don Brown to give them additional help from the safeties.  The success of MSU’s chuck-it-deep approach last week will definitely be imitated by the rest of the Big Ten teams versus Michigan.  The key questions I’ll be looking to answer: How well can Dax Hill and Brad Hawkins perform in coverage? Can the corners function in coverage without overtly grabbing the Indiana wide receivers?  Can the defensive line and blitzing linebackers get to QB Michael Penix before he can find the holes in more frequent zone coverage by the Wolverines?  

PREDICTION: Indiana has been pretty consistent through two weeks, and they are now 2-0 and ranked 13th nationally.  Michigan has already visited both ends of the performance and expectations spectrum.  No metric system can answer whether or not the 2020 Michigan team can bounce back from a shocking loss.  I expect a better-prepared and more enthusiastic showing this week, but the stat sheet might not reflect that.  This game could remind Michigan fans of last year’s Iowa game, a 10-3 home victory.  My advice is to focus on what really matters…win the game!
Michigan 28 Indiana 27 (PRESEASON Michigan 35 Indiana 20)


SP+ Overall: 16th (↓7), 15.7
SP+ Offense: 29th (↓6), 33.6
SP+ Defense: 13th (↓3), 17.8
SP+ Special Teams: 77th (↓6), -0.1

AP Poll: 23rd (↓10), 151
Coaches’ Poll: 25th (↓11), 141
CFP Rank: N/A

About Clint Derringer

@clint_derringer on Twitter U-M B.A. Sport Management & Communications ‘05 U-M M.S. Program & Project Management ‘18