Michigan 42, Indiana 35

Michigan Indiana Football

Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher (88) makes the catch for a touchdown and starts to celebrate during the first half Saturday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

Indiana spent the offseason focusing on finishing plays and games, looking back on the mistakes that haunted the Hoosiers in 2009.

But in the first Big Ten game of the season, Indiana again came up short, losing 42-35 to Michigan.

The Hoosiers (3-1, 0-1) tied the game at 35 with 1:15 remaining when Darius Willis caught a 19-yard pass from Ben Chappell.

But the Wolverines (5-0, 1-0) would not be denied, working the ball downfield. Denard Robinson threw a 42-yard pass to Junior Hemingway, who caught the ball over Richard Council and put Michigan at the Indiana 4.

Robinson then ran the ball in for the game-winning touchdown.

Both quarterbacks were on point. Robinson was 10-of-16 passing for 277 yards and three touchdowns, then ran for 217 yards and two more scores on 19 carries. He only furthered his Heisman Trophy candidacy.

Ben Chappell set new IU single-game records for completions (45), attempts (64), passing yards (480) and total offense (475).


  1. Painful irony that when IU finally seemed to have Robinson contained, that it was Richard Council giving up the big play again to seal the loss. Why isn’t Andre Kates being given the chance to play? It is obvious that Council is subpar and that Matt Ernest is a WR not a CB!!

  2. Hugh…not sure that “not finishing” is “the” story here. IU battled/played hard the entire game. The inability to stop big plays the entire game is the story. We gave them too many easy scores early…and then obviously Meechigan’s last possession and that big play.
    Hugh…how about the no-call holding on #77 on that last possession that would have backed up the UM offense?

  3. Well, I predicted a loss after watching IU’s defense for the first three games. I’m wondering why number 15 remains on the field. He’s a poor tackler, takes terrible pursuit angles. I can’t believe the coaches what film week after week, and say…”yup, he’s our starter.”

    Well at least the offense put on a good show for the sell-out crowd. However, it’s really frustrating to see them lose in such a traditionally IU football way.

  4. Let me tell you a little story about the Washington Huskies. They may struggle and lose to the Nebraskas of the world, but they come back and spank historical conference powers. That is what football schools do.

    No excuses, no blaming the talent pool, no blaming history.

    Get’ er done, boyz.

  5. Opps. ^^^Have you ever heard of such ecstasy that you forget the final score? Such is that which is felt in this corner of the woods at this moment.

  6. ^^^ Accidental? I don’t think so:

    in the final minutes of the first meeting between USC coach Lane Kiffin and Washington.s Steve Sarkisian, who ran the Trojans. offense together as assistant coaches.

    In any event who the hell cares. See you on Sat Nov 6, dude.

  7. Don’t know about anyone else, but I am getting tired of “moral victories”. We had a very good chance at beating Michigan today and failed yet again. We are still the most pathetic team in the Big Ten in football, and that will not change until we start winning some of these games against premiere teams.

  8. Psych,

    I agree with the moral victory stmt. In the 3rd qtr Chappell seemed to go on a mental vacation. He certainly wasn’t as sharp as he was earlier & while I realize UM was making adjustments to him Ben was simply throwing bad passes. His interception was under thrown into triple coverage & IMO thrown too soon. A 5th yr. Sr. MUST realize that with those numbers one of the other 5 WR would be open. I really hate to pick on one player but certainly IU has someone else to play other than Council. Yes, the game was won or lost on more than just one play but wow what a play to screw up on. Kates, Barnett? let’s find more players NOW!

  9. Actually Ben’s interception was thrown to late, not to early. He pumped it and tried to float it over the top. If he fired it (not float) and made the pass without the pump, he had his guy open for the TD.

    As far as the mental vacation goes, it is hard to continue to be as sharp when the defense is dropping eight in coverage every play.

    There is no complaints you can put on the offense though. 568 yards of total offense, 35 first downs, 41m 47s of possession time and five scores.

    Picking on Council is acceptable, every offense we play picks on him, and for good reason. Though yesterday you can pick on Ernest & Evans for piss poor play. Council was just the icing on the cake.

  10. I don’t know who does more stroking exhibitions to give us evidence their passion for cream and crimson. Is it 4spatterguards with the climatic bursts that “everything hinges on my Cody” for post play, or Tom uncontrollably whipping out all that “accidental ecstasy” his Husky junk way too big for his Indiana trunks? And to think the formidable task the roll of tissue needed to wipe away all those Hoosier tears.

  11. Actually Ben’s interception was thrown to late, not to early.

    Are those nicknames for Doss and Belcher?

  12. Great & exciting game! It was tough to take a loss after our boys battle so well, but that QB for michigan is special. He will give many more teams major fits this season. Our guys have nothing to hang their heads down about. They played a ranked team to the final minute. IU teams in the past would have been out of the game by halftime. This team is improving and is fun to watch. Another tough opponent next week, but another opportunity for an upset, go get ’em IU!!!

  13. MarkMe — I think it’s kind of silly to pick out the single mistake Chappell made when he threw for 480 yards by the end of the day.

    If our defense was even average, we would be celebrating the victory right now.

    silkyslim — that’s a really nice, warm, feel-good bow you’ve put on things, but it’s just not true. If you don’t think our defense has something to hang its collective head about, I don’t know what game you were watching. That was one of the most embarrassing defensive performances I’ve ever watched. If they don’t get things figured out, we may not win another game.

  14. Yo MarkMe, I stand by my comments for they are true & no sugar coating either. The Michigan QB is special and will be putting up some more monster numbers on good teams. You will see similar high scores. Mark my words.
    Also, in the final minute, the IU defensive back was in good position, but the michigan WR just made a great play and on the same play our DT was in the face of the QB. Is our “D” there yet, no, but they are definitely improving, so expect an upset or two with 3-4 more wins total before the year is out.

  15. silkyslim,

    What signs of improvement do you notice in our defense? The final play wasn’t the only the only blown play of the game — just the most costly and notable of many instances.

    I don’t think we’re doing ourselves any favors by practicing without pads. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you condition yourself to tackle lightly, you’ll do that in a game. We go through the week practicing touch football, and it’s translating to our play on Saturdays. Poor tackling and poor pursuit angles. What’s most troubling is, those are two things the coaching staff called out as weaknesses, and it doesn’t seem we’ve done anything to correct them thus far.

    I’m not saying there absolutely aren’t signs of improvement, but I haven’t seen them. I’m interested to hear what you see that I may be missing.

    I love our offense. They’re fun to watch. It’s just a shame that their efforts are essentially canceled out by a defense incapable of competing with a Big Ten team.

  16. This actually was one of the best games I’ve seen IU play in recent memory. Our offense was outstanding and our D showed some improvement. That said, our defense is not B10 competitive. Our techniques are poor, we lack killer instinct and we are so so so slow.

  17. Casey, I agree so much with your 2:37 post. I was so scared that this would happen. It is hard to learn basic tackling…wrapping up and taking down…without going in full pads. I am curious what the Scoop guys would say but I bet it is 75% or better that IU practices without full pads and full contact. It is showing so much that I hope they change their philosophy. What is worse, losing a kid to a season ending injury or having almost an entire defense with awful tackling??

  18. The defense is a work in progress. Even with moving Fisher and Smith last year and Ernest, Evans and and adding 3 JC’s this year more ponies are needed. There are many talented D players waiting in the wings in the form of 2010 redshirts, RS Freshmen and of course the future 2011 class. There will no doubt be more skill players moved from offense to defense. The coaching staff recognized this and started taking the needed action 3 seasons ago.

  19. If there are more talented players in the wings because of redshirts, Lynch needs to be smacked upside his head! The defense needs the best players on the field, even if they are true freshmen!

  20. Clarion and all, fact is the defense it awful and a notch below Mich, which is why IU lost. I have watched bad defense at IU for a long long time…this year is awful! The reason it is awful is partly IU has not put as much emphasis on recruiting D as O and also coaching issues. Why do we switch O players to D all the time, think about it. I am afraid that if this awful D does not improve, it could be why Lynch is let go if IU does not make a bowl game. Takes me back to the Randle El days…

    Please call it like you see it, be pos when need be and neg when need be but don’t sugarcoat!!!

    Pat Fitzgerald wins at NW, look it up. The stadium and facilities are crappy, school so small and harder to get into than IU…now how has he won at NW with less talent to work with than IU???

    I want to win, being competitive does not satisfy me!!!

  21. You boys are only looking a half inch deep. The records set on Saturday by IU were by offensive players because that is where the talent is. Look at where the emphasis has always been. Hell Hep heralded the “7 blocks of limestone” for the offense because it had priority ,he made no mention about ever recruiting the Men from Mars for defense. Mike P. you know very well you do not experience even marginal success starting 3 star Freshman talent against 4th and 5th year seniors. They are talented but their skills need developed that is why they redshirt. Now if the recruiting was bringing in 4 and 5 star talent for the defense that could make it be different. That is why this is a work in progress. I am always astounded that a coaching staff complimented for studying, dissecting and overcoming an opponents D is the same staff bitched at for being to stupid to field a defense. It just does not correlate because it is about the talent. Three seasons ago all we had to crow about for offensive scoring was Hardy and Lewis. In two seasons since look what we have now. The talent gap on the defense is narrowing. Also, JPat, Fitzgerald may have had equal talent to IU for a season, possibly two but never less talent than IU. Even Woody Hayes moved talent from the offense to the defense. The first one he ever moved to the defense was a talented running back named Jack Tatum. How well do you think that worked out for the Bucks?

  22. Clarion, out of respect I will leave it as I stand by my post above. The defense on the field right now for IU looks like a big high school D from down in one of the southern states. It is really sad! I thought about that all day and then listened to some local and national sports media on the radio going home and they were saying worse than me. GO IU!!!

  23. I did not say the defensive performance is acceptable. So keep that in mind. I am simply stating it is now the piece of the project at the top of the priority list like the offense was three and four seasons ago. Sports media are paid to make good things out of sight and bad things terrible just like immature kids do. RMK had the right opinion about them.

  24. I stand by what I say, if the freshman are better, more talented players they need to be on the field.


    I honestly can’t believe that Council and Ernest are the best they have. If that is true, they are screwed even worse without him!

    Of course I know you have the Lynch Kool-Aid fed to you via IV cause you can’t drink it fast enough.

  25. Wow. It’s just Hoosier football. 1/3 of the country is unable to come up with their next mortgage payment. Maybe we should settle down a bit and enjoy some 4guards’ basketball insight with a cup of warm tea.

  26. Actually not only available in IV and liquid form but also tablets, capsules, a skin patch and the newest form is gum, all with the anecdote to resist negative bias. The thing I like most about it is it not only works in observational skills for entertainment but also real life. It is though in short supply vs. high demand.

  27. Nice post Clarion.

    Still I can’t buy into the spin and refuse the Kool-Aid in any form.

    The concerns are there and washing over them that we just don’t have the athlete’s, blah, blah, blah!

    I want Lynch to succeed, if he does that means we have a winning program to cheer on, but I’m not going to sugar coat a complete and total lack of fundamental disciplen by the secondary that creates missed tackles and allows big gains out of plays the should have been short gains or a loss.

  28. I certainly have no offense to your take. But we thought and stated the same complaints about the offense just 2 seasons ago, and with the same coaching staff now as then(except Mo). What changed? I say young offensive talent recruited was given time to develop and mature over those 2 seasons. And that is my take. See ya.

  29. And in that same time the defense, under the same coaches, has declined!

    I’m not 100% on this offense, there still is no running game to speak of, the points scored and yardage gained has been against defense ranked towards the bottom of the NCAA. Now that we are into the Big Ten season, we’ll see how they do.

  30. I have to respectfully disagree fellows. Last year we were giving up about 30 points per game, and this year it is down to 25. We didn’t struggle against the mac teams like years past and I am seeing more aggressive play from our “D”. Expect our “D” to mature this year and stun a favorite in the B10 for a win.

  31. silky, you drinking the Kool-Aid as well?

    Through the first 4 games last year, 3 of which are the same teams, the defense gave up an average of 22.25ppg, this year it is up to 25 through 4 games.

    After 5 games last year, it was 24.5ppg, if OSU gets their average this week, for the season it will be up to 28.8ppg this year.

    Make sure when you compare numbers, you compare the right numbers.

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