U-M vs. IU: "The Edges" and a Game Prediction

Should the Wolverines have trouble with the one-dimentional Hoosiers? GoBlueWolverine goes position group against position group, naming an "Edge" for each. Plus, as usual, TJB's precision prediction of the game score.

Michigan Rushing Offense vs. Indiana Run Defense

Michigan is 1st in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 193.2 yards per game. Mike Hart is 2nd in the Big Ten and 6th nationally in rushing, averaging 128.1 yards per game (4.9 yards per carry). Indiana is 9th in rushing defense, allowing 170.6 ypg. Edge to Michigan.

Michigan Passing Offense vs. Indiana Pass Defense

Michigan is 9th in the Big Ten in pass offense, but 3rd in pass efficiency. Indiana is 9th in the league in pass defense, and last in pass efficiency defense. No Edge (caveat: if Mario Manning is actually ready to go deep and catches a deep pass, this changes to Edge to Michigan.

Indiana Rushing Offense vs. Michigan Run Defense

Michigan leads the nation in rush defense, giving up 30.3 yards per game. U-M is tied for 1st nationally in rushing TD's allowed with 3. Indiana is 11th in rushing offense, averaging 112.5 ypg. Edge to Michigan.

Indiana Passing Offense vs. Michigan Pass Defense

Indiana is 3rd in the league in pass offense, averaging 227 yards per game. Indiana QB Kellen Lewis is 4th in the league in passing, averaging 202.7 yards per game (54.6% completion rate, 13 TD's and just ints). Hoosier WR James Hardy is 3rd in the league in receptions at 4.75 catches per game (14.1 ypc). Michigan is 6th in the Big Ten in pass defense, but 3rd in pass efficiency defense. In addition, Michigan leads the Big Ten, and is 6th in the nation, in sacks, averaging 3.5 per game. Who has the advantage? This is the most interesting matchup of the day, and a bit of a precurser to next week's battle between the U-M defense and Troy Smith. Can Lamarr Woodley and the vaunted Wolverine sack attack be effective against a spread offense with a good, elusive Indiana quarterback in Kellen Lewis? GBW thinks so, and wishes this not to be merely wishful thinking. Edge to Michigan.

OVERALL

Should the Wolverines have trouble with the one-dimentional Hoosiers? They better not or the next week's game becomes worrisome. Yes Indiana beat Iowa at home on Oct. 14, 31-28. But the next week the Hoosiers got hosed at OSU 44-3. And then after beating the hapless Spartans at home two weeks ago, Indiana got nibbled to death by the Gophers last week in Minneapolis, 63-26. So ... if this game ends up 38-10 and Manningham catches a TD bomb, U-M fans can feel ready to go against the you-know-whos the next week. However, if Mario is still a decoy tomorrow and the score ends up 20-10 against a bad Indiana defense ... ... ...
A prediction is hard to make without knowing the exact status of Manninghan, so TJB is splitting the difference, figuring Mario will be ready to go but used just enough to get the cobwebs out -- 1 or 2 catches. Michigan 28, Indiana 10

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