WIN, LOSE OR DRAW: Michigan

Part four of a 12-part series outlining Indiana football’s opponents this season.

Michigan Practice Football

Rich Rodriguez is heading into his second season as Michigan’s head coach. Associated Press

OPPONENT: at Michigan

DATE: Sept. 26

TIME: Noon

TV: Not announced

TICKETS: Click here.

FOLLOW THE TEAM: Michigan’s official site.

The media guide.

Coverage from AnnArbor.com, formerly the Ann Arbor News.

HISTORY VS. INDIANA: Indiana is 9-50 alltime against Michigan. The teams most recently met in 2006, with Michigan winning 34-3. The last Indiana win came in 1987, a 14-10 conquest.

WHO ARE THEY: You may have heard of Michigan. Traditionally, the Maize and Blue are pretty good at the game of football — 11 national titles and 42 Big Ten championships. But times are tough in Ann Arbor. First, Appalachian State pulled off the upset of the century. Eventually, longtime coach Lloyd Carr retired and the Wolverines hired successful West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez to take over the program. Since Dec. 2007, 12 players have left the program with some taking shots on their way out of town. Most recently, it was uncovered that Justin Feagin, a Rodriguez recruit, had been kicked off the team after a cocaine deal gone bad.

OFFENSIVE STAR: Tate Forcier? The true freshman from San Diego enrolled early and went through spring drills, giving him a chance to start at quarterback for Michigan. The position was chaotic last season, with Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan and Feagin all taking snaps. Sheridan is back, and Forcier will be pushed by another true freshman, Denard Robinson. Forcier is an accurate quarterback and, more importantly, was recruited to play the dual-threat quarterback position.

DEFENSIVE STAR: Senior Brandon Graham is the type of pass-rushing threat most teams would love to have. He had 46 tackles, 20 for a loss, and 10 sacks as a junior. That was good enough for second nationally in tackles for loss and seventh in sacks. At 6-foot-2 and 268-pounds, the Detroit product is a strong bull that is relatively low to the ground for a defensive end. He’s noted for his quickness in pursing the ballcarrier, and is considered the No. 2 NFL prospect in the Big Ten by CBSSports.com.

WHY INDIANA WILL WIN: Because if it’s not going to happen now, it might never happen. Only one starter returns in the secondary, and Michigan is hoping two freshman who have yet to be cleared by the NCAA will and can step into a somewhat significant role this season. A young secondary means the Indiana gameplan will likely ask quarterback Ben Chappell to sit in the pocket and make some throws downfield. The Indiana receivers are, outside of true freshman Duwyce Wilson, experienced and could be in a position to exploit Michigan’s mistakes. On defense, ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton will need to create a consistent pass rush on whoever is playing quarterback.

WHY MICHIGAN WILL WIN: Michigan will be playing home game No. 4 to start the season and could be 3-0 (or at least 2-1) heading into the matchup. It’s still the Big House and that creates a unique home field advantage that no Indiana player has experienced. Graham could have a big day against the Indiana offensive line, taking Chappell out of his game. On offense, Michigan will be better as Rodriguez continues to bring in players that fit his version of the spread offense.

NOW YOU: Call it — win, lose or draw? Well, ok, just win or lose. State your reason, as well.

21 comments

  1. Rich Rodriguez is NOT a Michigan man. IU starts him on his road out of Ann Arbor with a stunning upset victory.

  2. I think the last time IU won up there was when Nixon was president. They’ll beat us and beat us good.

  3. Last time Michigan was this bad was back then as well, Moose.

    IU could win this game, but I don’t think they will. Michigan has a lot of pissed-off players and pissed-off fans after last year’s debacle, and, in spite of what I see as his poor personality, RichRod is a pretty solid coach. 30-24 Michigan.

  4. h b donnelly is exactly right. iu could win but um probably will because they are mad about last year and want to atone. they beat wisconsin up there last year so are capable of playing well and this year will be better than last, especially with accurate passer forcier and runners and receivers who know where to go and better lines and dbs.

    every one of richrod’s teams has gotten better with each year and eventually been very very good. give um under him time and they will be, too. prediction: um 28 iu 17.

    ps, reagan was president, not nixon, when iu last beat um, but both were from california — someplace iu’s football team sees only once every 50 years or so i’m afraid.

  5. 100,000 maize and blue clad fans cheering against us. The first Big Ten game of the year, on the road no less. Possibly some false confidence from beating lesser opponents in weeks 1-3. All this equates to a loss, possibly a bad loss. I’ll say IU keeps it more respectable than normal against UM, losing 35-21.

  6. Michigan is bad, but not that bad… Michigan gives us a good beating 33-13. IU will have 2 field goals in the first half, with the TD coming late in the 4th.

  7. johnnycee,

    You’re right, Reagan was president the last time IU beat Michigan. However, I was talking about the last time IU won in Ann Arbor. That was 1969, if I remember correctly.

    UM still has LOADS more talent than IU, unfortunately. I just don’t see this game being close…..but I hope I’m wrong.

  8. I see us winning up there only if between now and then Nixon is re-elected, fixes health care, and ends the Vietnam war.

  9. It was 1967, the last time IU went to Pasadena & 2 seasons before Bo took over @ UM. I was there. The IU game is also Homecoming. UM wins.

  10. If IU does happen to win this game, I will streak around my neighborhood in my adidas and socks. The last time I did that was 2002 when IU beat Duke in bball in the big dance. No better feeling than to know in your heart that your Hoosiers do not truly have a chance and to go and beat a team…WOW!!!

  11. I agree with GFdave that dickrod is not a Michigan man and that Rodriguez will be gone after this season, but I don’t think they’ll lose to the Hoosiers. The wolverines have to much talent and experience to lose to Indy, especially at the Big House. But then again, I said the same thing about Toledo. /:

  12. I believe Michigan will suprise a lot of people this year. They finally have a Quarterback (Tate Forcier) that can run this team the way it needs to be run. Tate has an excellent arm (70% completion last year) and excellent speed to run with the ball. He has the skills Rodriguez was looking for and needs. Something Michigan really missed last year. Michigan should win at least 7-8 games this year – including against Ohio State !! Sit back and watch and be amaized this year.
    Go – Blue !!!!!

  13. Loss. Probably big, as I am afraid dejection in the ranks may have arrived by then, but hope I’m wrong…

    If JPat does circle the block nearly all-natural, what I wanna see is the You Tube of his WIFE and her reaction. hahahaha

    Now JPat, if we would whack OSU, I’ll join you in downtown B-ton for a little run…..wouldn’t that be fun!

    Go Hoosiers!!

  14. Thank god IU is on the schedule this year. With IU, CMU, WMU, and Delaware, we can surpass last years win total (if WMU doesn’t kick our butt).

  15. This is why I’m so fearful of this year. There is a decent chance that we lose one of the first three and go in 2-1 with our fragile confidence levels crushed. Not what you need heading into play Michigan no matter how bad they may/may not be.

    I see a big loss for the Hoosiers. Even if Michigan is down, they still have a huge talent advantage over us. RichRod has proven to be a much better coach than Lynch. I just can’t see us making this a game.

    Michigan 34 – Indiana 10

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