Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Nate Sudfeld is out for the season with a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder, and a team that once had three quarterbacks with starting experience now has to rely on true freshman Zander Diamont for the second week in a row. The Hoosiers looked severely handicapped on offense two weeks ago against Michigan State, and now Michigan‘s defense has to make sure it’s applying all the pressure it possibly can on the young Diamont.
Michigan’s defense has had its struggles this season, but overall the performances haven’t been bad. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison loves to dial up the pressure, though it hasn’t resulted in many turnovers. That pressure has been effective, though. The Wolverines have tallied 19 sacks and 54 tackles for loss so far this season. On the ground, opponents are only averaging 109.3 yards per game, which ranks Michigan near the top of the list in rush defense.
We came into this season wanting to see Michigan do better in the department of dialing up pressure, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. Sure, the struggles in the secondary are making it a little more difficult than anticipated, but at least for this week, the air raid won’t be much of an issue.
Diamont’s first bit of action against the Spartans was pretty much everything you would’ve expected it to be. Five completions on only 15 attempts was painful to watch, but to be fair, it was against a tough Michigan State defense in the cold and rain.
The struggle bus will probably be full when Indiana travels to Ann Arbor on Saturday, but Michigan’s defense can take advantage of a young, inexperienced quarterback and continue to do what it’s been doing for most of the season.
Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of TheBigHouseReport.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.