The Michigan Wolverines improved to 10-1 (7-1 Big Ten) with a 20-10 victory over Indiana (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon. The win matched the Wolverines season win total from a year ago.
This one was a nail bitter for most of the afternoon. The Wolverines were held to just 111 first half yards, and just three total points. They trailed the Hoosiers 7-3 at the halftime break, and really had nothing working offensively. After a three and out for the Hoosier offense to start the second half, the Wolverines took over on downs from the Indiana 41-yard line. Michigan was able to march down to the 15-yard line, before their drive sputtered out, and they were forced to attempt a 33-yard field goal. Senior kicker, Kenny Allen, had no problem with the kick, and the Wolverines trailed by just 1, with 9:40 left in the third quarter.
The Indiana offense hit right back, as they went 68 yards in 11 plays, to kick their own field goal, and regain a 4-point lead. This is where things started to open up for the Michigan offense, as De’Veon Smith found pay dirt four plays into the drive, when he rumbled 34-yards to give the Wolverines a 13-10 lead. Two drives later, the story was the same for the Wolverine offense, as Smith found room and scampered into the end zone, this time from 39-yards out.
Overall this was a great TEAM win for the Wolverines, and one that I believe will be very valuable to them as they make their final push for a Big Ten Championship. Anytime you can grind out a Big Ten win in November, it will pay off in the long haul. Michigan played a great TEAM game this afternoon, but let’s see who are “Harbaugh’s Heroes” this week.
De’Veon Smith, Senior, Running back
-6.9 yard per rush average
-Longest run of 39 yards
Many people jumped all over Smith’s case last week, as he ran very conservatively in the final minutes of the loss at Iowa (ahem….guilty), and De’Veon took note. We have seen this before with him. He has a few games where he is basically non existent, and everyone is ready to throw in the towel on him, and then he explodes the next game. My only question with Smith this point is, why can’t he do this week in week out?!?! If Michigan is going to beat Ohio State next week, they are going to need Smith to have a big game. With John O’Korn under center (possibly), the Wolverine offense needs a spark. O’Korn was just 7-16, for 59 yards.
Kenny Allen, Senior, Punter
-2/2 field goals (33 yards, 28 yards)
-4 punts inside the 20-yard line
-41.2 yard per punt average
-Longest punt of 54 yards
Kenny Allen has been a solid part of the kicking game for the Wolverines the past two seasons…..period. His only hiccup this season, was of course the Wisconsin game. Since that game, Allen has been lights out. In a phase that is often forgotten about by many around the country, Kenny Allen has been as solid as they come. The Wolverines will lean on the senior kicker/punter in order to win a Big Ten Championship.
The Wolverines will be back in action next Saturday, as they travel to Columbus for “The Game”. Kickoff is set for noon, and you won’t want to miss this one. A trip to the Big Ten Championship is on the line…Go Blue!