It was been up and down week for Michigan against Indiana. The defense is still holding tough but the offense has become somewhat of an issue. Injuries have added some adversity but if any team can pull through it, it’s Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines.
Check out the five things I took away from Michigan’s 10th win of the year:
1. There is a chance Speight could play next week
John O’Korn held down the fort for the week but it’s clear that this team isn’t the same without Wilton Speight. Not only has Speight started 10 games this season, he looks like a better player. O’Korn could definitely beat Speight in a foot race but that’s not what this offense calls for. O’Korn finished 7-for-16 for 59 yards and had a run of 30 yards. Not good enough against when playing a team like Ohio State next week.
Speight was dressed and threw during the pre-game, giving hope to a potential return next week.
2. Special teams making plays
With a shaky offense, Michigan has become much more aggressive on the punt return team. In recent weeks, they’ve turned up the juice on opposing punt teams, putting the punt block on several of its returns. Some of it hasn’t worked out so well (see Iowa game), but they were able to change field position twice in this one, giving the Wolverines great field position.
The punt team also did an excellent job, pinning Indiana deep within their zone multiple times.
3. Harbaugh not afraid to stick with the run
With an inexperienced quarterback, Harbaugh grinded out a win with the run game. Running the ball 50 times to 16 passing, Michigan played to its strengths and ran the ball downhill all afternoon. De’Veon Smith did his best Jekyll & Hyde act, breaking through late for 158 yards and two touchdowns. Smith was the best player on the field offensively
4. Peppers for Heisman?
Jabrill is running out of time in the Heisman race. The last two games have been stinkers for a potential Heisman trophy candidate. He continues to make plays on the defensive side but when he enters the game on offense, defenses load up to stop him. Peppers finished with two carries for two yards but should seal a trip to New York with a solid week in Columbus.
5. 10 win seasons are back
Michigan has secured back-to-back 10 win seasons for the first time since 2002-03. I think this is something Michigan fans should get used to moving forward. Harbaugh is a coach that gets the most out of his players and is consistently consistent with his teams. Expect plenty more 10 win seasons, 11 and 12 too.
What are your biggest takeaways from Michigan’s 20-10 win over Indiana? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog
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