Five Days and Counting

Indiana (5-5/3-3) gets a shot at No. 2 Michigan (10-0/6-0) Saturday at Memorial Stadium, and there is plenty to be concerned about with Coach Lloyd Carr's Wolverines...

303- Rushing yards surrendered by Michigan…this season. Indiana gave up nearly that many a couple of weeks ago in its 44-3 loss at Ohio State (270), but the Wolverines have been the nation's best against the run, surrendering only 30.3 yards/game, 1.3 yards/carry and only three touchdowns. Minnesota is the only team to have more than 100 yards as a team (108) against Michigan's rush defense, and Coach Lloyd Carr's team has done its work against some very formidable ground attacks. Notre Dame was limited to four yards, Wisconsin was held to 12 and Iowa managed only 41. Both Penn State (-14) and Northwestern (-13) produced negative totals.

There's plenty of credit to go around for the Wolverines' success, but it starts up front. Defensive tackle Alan Branch (6-6, 331 pounds), Terrance Taylor (6-0, 305) and Will Johnson (6-5, 291) shut things down up the middle, while ends LaMarr Woodley and Rondell Biggs have the speed to keep ball carriers from getting to the corner.

19- Years since Indiana has beaten Michigan, its longest drought against any Big Ten foe. The Hoosiers last victory over Michigan came in 1987, 14-10, in a driving rainstorm at IU's Memorial Stadium. Since that time Indiana has lost 14 in a row to Michigan, and most of the contests haven't been close. The final outcome has been single digits only three times – L 24-16 at Michigan in 1991; L 27-20 at Michigan in 1996; and L 34-31 at home vs. Michigan in 1999.

Of course, victories have always been hard to come by for IU against Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 49-9, and they've won 29 of the last 30 meetings. Before 1987, you have to go back to IU's Rose Bowl season of 1967 for the next most recent Hoosier win – 27-20 at the Big House.

35- Sacks this season for the Michigan defense, a total that ranks seventh nationally. The biggest threat is can't-miss All-America defensive end Lamar Woodley, who ranks third nationally with 11 sacks and is second in the country with four forced fumbles. At the other end is Rondell Biggs (five sacks), while outside linebackers Shawn Crable (5 ½ sacks) and Prescott Burgess (three sacks) will also be in pursuit of Kellen Lewis Saturday.

While Michigan will prove to be this season's biggest test for IU's young offensive line in pass protection, Michigan isn't the IU foe that averages the most sacks per game this season. Season-opening foe Western Michigan ranks second in the country with 34 sacks in nine games. The Broncos sacked IU quarterback Blake Powers three times in the Hoosiers' 39-20 win.

22.0- Yards per catch for Michigan wideout Mario Manningham. The 6-0, 182-pound sophomore from Warren (Ohio) Harding H.S. – the same program that IU verbal commit Sidney Glover plays for – has 24 catches for 527 yards and nine touchdowns. Manningham was off to an All-America caliber start to his season, but suffered a knee injury three weeks ago and has been sidelined since. He will likely return to the field this weekend, though, as Michigan gears up for its Nov. 18 clash with Ohio State in Columbus.

All nine of Manningham's touchdowns have been from more than 20 yards out, which is a big concern for an IU pass defense that surrendered 378 yards passing over the weekend to Minnesota quarterback Brian Cupito, including a handful of big gainers to wideouts Ernie Wheelwright and Logan Payne.

1,281 - rushing yards this season for Wolverine tailback Mike Hart. Hart ranks sixth nationally with 128.1 yards/game, and he's eclipsed the 100-yard mark eight times this season. During his career he's gone over 100 yards 18 times, and Michigan is 17-1 in those contests.

A junior, Hart is rapidly climbing the Wolverines all-time rushing list. He has 3,398 career yards, which ranks him sixth in school history. He needs 199 yards to pass Chris Perry for fifth on the school's all-time list. If he returns for his senior season and stays healthy, Hart is a virtual lock to become the school's all-time leading rusher. Anthony Thomas is the current No. 1 with 4,492 yards from 1997-2000.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Matchups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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