2020 Michigan vs Indiana: Takeaways & Highlights

Michigan went into Bloomington with a 24-game winning streak that dates back before I was even born and with plenty of people set to pull the plug on this season after the MSU blunder, the Wolverines laid another egg. Getting torched through the air by Michael Penix Jr. while the offense couldn’t find any consistency to keep up. It was ugly and magnified the writing that may already be on the wall for this coaching staff.

Michigan 21 – Indiana 38

Here are my takeaways from Michigan’s loss to Indiana:

1. Something Has to Change

Don Brown may need to be let go. I try to avoid saying someone should lose their job but when things are as bad as they’ve been over the last two weeks added on to the last couple of years of OSU and bowl game blowouts, it’s warranted.

Though Jim Harbaugh has actually been pretty decent at adapting his mindset and assistant coaches to meet today’s game, he’s already come to the defense of Brown following the week three loss.

The defense’s performance against a bad Michigan State team and an up and coming Indiana team was embarrassing. Imagine what it’ll look like if nothing changes and Michigan heads to Columbus? That 100 point threat/rumor out of Ryan Day could come to fruition.

Now, do I think he’ll be let go this season? No. Should he? Another stinker this Saturday and it’ll be damn near impossible for anyone to defend it.

Jim Harbaugh can’t have a 2-3 win season in year six and expect anyone to want to give him another year. Even with all the crap that comes with this COVID season including lack of offseason training and losing two of its top players to train for the NFL, a sub-.500 season will be damn near indefensible.

As for the record, I believe Michigan should and will give Harbaugh the rest of this year and the 2021 season to prove he’s the guy to take the program to that elite level. Even though the doubts clearly outweigh the hope.

2. Where’s the Run Game?

13 yards on 18 carries between 6 players. That’s what Michigan was able to muster up against Indiana, who came into the game giving up an average of 185 yards per game.

Obviously, it didn’t help being down pretty much the entire game but if the running game was able to ever get its footing, that lead wouldn’t have grown into a “hopefully Milton can save us”.

  • Hassan Haskins: 6 carries for 19 yards
  • Chris Evans: 3 carries for 5 yards
  • Zach Charbonnet: 1 carry for 4 yards
  • Blake Corum: 2 carries for -3 yards
  • Giles Jackson: 1 carry for -3 yards
  • Joe Milton: 5 carries for -9 yards (sacks are included)

That’s not good enough to win any game in the Big Ten. Josh Gattis, Ed Warinner and Jay Harbaugh will need to get this figured out with Jim Harbaugh if this offense is going to have any consistency or balance.

3. Stock Up

  • Coaching Search Rumors
    • The coaching replacement rumors and name dumps are at an all-time high for the Harbaugh era. Now, as I said above, I don’t believe Michigan is going to make a move this year so it’s pretty much all for nothing in my opinion. But to join in on the fun a bit, I threw out Sean Payton’s name on Twitter as a dream top target after he was rumored to be a candidate the last time around. Add in the end of the Brees-era coming and the blank check the Michigan money cannon can offer, why not?
    • As for more realistic options, some intriguing names I’ve seen thrown out there are Luke Fickell, Brent Venables, Mario Cristobal, and Matt Campbell. But I haven’t dove into that really at all. Add some of your favorite head coaching or defensive coordinator candidates in the comment section below.
  • Brad Robbins
    • The punting game needed to be fixed and Robbins had a nice performance against the Hoosiers.
  • Underclassmen
    • If the Wisconsin game goes as poorly as the Michigan State or Indiana games, then the coaches will need to start using the remainder of this season to prepare for the 2021 season. That means letting the young talent get some experience under its belt. That includes Blake Corum, AJ Henning, Zak Zinter, Karsen Barnhart, Nikhai Hill-Green, Kalel Mullings, Andre Seldon, and Darion Green-Warren.

4. Stock Down

  • Required Viewing
    • The season is not “over” but I can’t blame anyone who decides not to plan their Saturdays around watching Michigan football. Not going to lie, I had the game on in the background for the second half against Indiana. Wasn’t going to ruin a memorable 70-degree day in November with the performance.
  • More Injuries
    • Aidan Hutchinson is having surgery and may be out for the remainder of the season. That’s just another one of the best players on the roster going out. Add his name alongside Jalen Mayfield and Ryan Hayes, who missed the Indiana game, and things just keep getting tougher for this Wolverines team.
  • Betting on Blue
    • Stop making Michigan the favorite in these games. MSU won outright with a 25+ spread, Indiana was a better team than the favorited Wolverines, and now the early line on the Wisconsin game is in favor of, guess who? Michigan (-3). Let’s let them win a couple of more games before ranking them above ranked teams.

Photo Credit: HoosierSportsReport

Garrett Fishaw