The Hoosiers played well enough to be in contention for the win. Once again, just like the Ohio State game, it came down to a final 4th down play. Once again, Indiana came up short.
At some point, the Hoosiers will pull off one of these big upsets. With just 2 games remaining against weak opponents, an upset won’t occur this season. It may not be next season either. But eventually it will happen.
Jordan Howard was Indiana’s most frequent explosive contributor on Saturday. He had 10 carries of 10+ yards. These carries accounted for 154 of his 238 rushing yards. His long was 24 yards. Devine Redding also had a carry of 21 yards and another for 14. Of his 11 carries, 35 of his 48 yards were on these 2 carries. Through the air, Indiana only had 3 plays of 20+ yards with the longest going for 44 yards to Simmie Cobbs.
Of the 11 explosive plays[ref]10+ yard rushes and 20+ yard passes[/ref] for Michigan, 9 of the 11 were accounted for by Jake Rudock. He had 2 runs[ref]One was a scramble on a designed pass[/ref] going for 41 total yards. Rudock also had 7 passes for 238 yards which would have been his 3rd highest passing total of the season had he not also thrown 39 other passes for 202 yards.
|All (close)||Rushing (close)||Passing (close)|
The Hoosiers dominated on the ground whereas Michigan was way more efficient through the air. As expected, Jordan Howard led the way with a 60% success rate on the ground. Devine Redding was at 18%. His 2 successes were on his two carries of 10+ yards. In the passing game, Nate Sudfeld had an above average efficiency in the 2nd quarter. That quarter ended with a 46% passing success rate as he went 8 for 13. The other 3 quarters had a combined success rate of just 26% as Sudfeld went 12 for 21.
The Hoosiers did a fairly good job of slowing down Michigan’s running games. Indiana gave up a couple of runs to quarterback Jake Rudock, but really limited Michigan’s running backs. The combination of De’Veon Smith, Sione Houma, and Drake Johnson had just 77 yards on 21 carries. Of these 77 yards, 20 were on one carry. Indiana’s defense has had a lot of problems this season, but stopping the run has not generally been one of them.[ref]Yes Iowa did much work on the ground, but that followed a strong rush defense performance against Michigan State. It’s not perfect, but it could be worse.[/ref]
The difficulty has usually been stopping or even slowing down the pass. Jake Rudock put up video game numbers, but was particularly efficient when the game mattered most. Following Indiana’s touchdown and conversion to go up 7, Rudock was successful on 6 of his 7 passes on the final regulation drive and in overtime.
|Avg Starting FP|
No advantage here for either team. While not technically a field position advantage, Indiana benefited greatly from Mitchell Paige’s 51 yard punt return for a touchdown. That brought the Hoosiers to within 1.
|Scoring Opportunities*||Points Per Opportunity|
For most of the first half, Indiana was trading field goals for touchdowns. As a result, the Wolverines jumped out to a 21-9 lead. The Hoosiers were able to covert more drives into touchdowns the rest of the way, until the final overtime possession. Unfortunately for IU, Michigan was able to convert their final 3 possessions into touchdowns to force overtime twice before winning the game.
|Turnovers||Turnover Points Added|
One of the main reasons that Indiana was able to stay in this game was because they didn’t turn over the ball. The Hoosiers were also able to come up with a big interception on defense as Jonathan Crawford picked off a Jake Rudock pass late in the 3rd to stop a deep Michigan drive. The defense may not be equipped to generate a lot of turnovers, so it becomes imperative for the offense to continue limiting their turnovers to an absolute minimum.