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October 01, 2010 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-01

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6 - Friday, October 1, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Michigan defense to face prolific passing attack .1

By RYAN KARTJE
Daily Sports Editor
Through four weeks, the Michigan
offense has been nothing short of extraor-
dinary. Sophomore quarterback Denard
Robinson and the rest of the Michigan
offense has put up
almost 563 yards per a
game, good enough to Indiafa at
be the No. 2 offense in Michigan
the country. Mat
But Indiana, the hdianap-0
Wolverines' opponent Michigan 4-0
this week, has been no
slouch on offense this When: Satar
season, either - the ay 3:30p.m.
Hoosiers boast the No. Where:
11 pass attack in the Memorial
nation and best by far Stadium
in the Big Ten. TV/Radio:
And with that tal- ESPNU
ented offense, headed
by experienced senior
quarterback Ben Chappell, Michigan may
have its hands full on defense. The Wol-
verines have given up, on average, 400
yards per game so far.
"We've got to do a good job defensively
limiting the big plays, which we've strug-
gled with at times and know that they can
pitch and catch it at anytime," Michigan
coach Rich Rodriguez said in a teleconfer-
ence Wednesday.
Chappell also has two of the league's

standout receivers in Damarlo Belcher -
statistically the top receiver in the Big Ten
- and Tandon Doss, an explosive player
who's used all over the field.
"They're big guys," Rodriguez said.
"They're very athletic, they can run.
We've got a lot of young DBs ... soit's a con-
cern, especially because they're throwing
the ball so well."
And with the Wolverines still strug-
gling in the secondary, they may find
themselves locked in a shootout.
In a high-powered offensive game like
Saturday's matchup is expected to be, the
winner may just be the team that has the
ball last. The Wolverines' spread option
run attack is known for consistently run-
ning the clock down, as they've only lost
the time-of-possession battle in one game
so far. Winning that battle could mean
having the ultimate advantage over a team
that's reliant on getting down the field
through the air.
For now though, stopping Chappell's
aerial attack out of Indiana's pistol offense
is at the forefront. Chappell's skills have
forced Michigan to make several changes
to their game plan to adapt.
"If you blitz all the time and expose
yourself to one-on-ones ... that's a dan-
gerous combination," Rodriguez said. "I
don't know if you can confuse (Chappell)
because he is a veteran guy and they have
a veteran staff ... They have ways of really
protecting him in their offense."

As for the pistol offense the Hoosiers
employ - one-of-a-kind in the Big Ten
- Rodriguez isn't concerned with its
uniqueness.
"It's a system, it's the same as any
offense," Rodriguez said. "If they execute
it well, they're goingto get their moments.
They're goingto have plays where they get
you."
Robinson, who was deemed OK to play
after suffering a minor injury last week,
could play an even more prominent role
in the run game as Michigan will play
without running backs Michael Shaw
and Fitzgerald Toussaint, leaving Robin-
son, Vincent Smith, Stephen Hopkins and
Mike Cox to carry the load in the team's
running-by-committee system.
Regardless of the matchups, the Wolver-
ines are eager to move one step closer to
proving that this year's 4-0 start is differ-
ent than last year's, when they closed out
the season losing seven out of eight games.
And in a Big Ten opener, Rodriguez
said that his team knows the importance
of this week's matchup in terms of the rest
of the season. Of course, the team's 3-13
record in-conference - with just a single
Big Ten road win - should be motivation
enough as the Wolverines head to Bloom-
ington on Saturday.
"It needs to crank up even another
notch, going into Big Ten play," Rodriguez
said. "They understand how important all
of these Big Ten games are."

Sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson leads the NCAA in rushing yards
season. The Hoosiers have the second-worst rush defense in the Big Ten.

STAFF PICKS
The Daily football writers do their
best to predict what happens
in the 2010 football season.

Nicole
Auerbach

ArM sr

Ryan M.
Kartje

'f,

Guest Picker:
Chris Armstrong
MSA President

Tim
Rohan

Joe
Stapleton

.:

No.19 Michigan (-10.5) at Indiana
No.1 Alabama (-7) vs. Florida
No. 2 Ohio State (-20) at Illinois
No. 3 Boise State (-37) at New Mexico St.
No. 4 Oregon (-4) vs. No.9 Stanford
No. 5 TCU (-30) at Colorado St.
No.8 Oklahoma (-4) vs. No. 21 Texas
No.10 Auburn (-30) vs. LA Monroe
No.11 Wisconsin at No. 24 Michigan State
No.12 Louisiana St. (-16) vs. Tennessee
No.16 Miami (Fla.) (-3) at Clemson
No.17 Iowa (-7) vs. No. 22 Penn St.
No.18 USC (-11.5) vs. Washington
No. 23 North Carolina St. (+3) vs. Virginia Tech
No, 25 Nevada (-21) at UNLV
Northwestern (-4) at Minnesota
Overall record (through Week Four)

Indiana
Alabama
Ohio State
Boise State
Oregon
Colorado St.
Texas
Auburn
Michigan State
Louisiana St.
Miami (Fla.)
Iowa
USC
Virginia Tech
Nevada
Minnesota
45-29-2

Michigan
Alabama
Ohio State
New Mexico St.
Oregon
TCU
Oklahoma
Auburn
Wisconsin
Tennessee
Miami (Fla.)
Iowa
USC
North Carolina St.
Nevada
Northwestern
45-29-2

Michigan
Alabama
Ohio State
Boise State
Oregon
Colorado St.
Oklahoma
Auburn
Wisconsin
Tennessee
Miami (Fla.)
Iowa
USC
Virginia Tech
UNLV
Northwestern
40-34-2

Indiana
Alabama
Ohio State
Boise State
Stanford
Colorado St.
Oklahoma
Auburn
Michigan State
Louisiana St.
Miami (Fla.)
Iowa
USC
North Carolina St.
UNLV
Northwestern
46-28-2

Michigan
Alabama
Ohio State
Boise State
Stanford
TCU
Texas
Auburn
Wisconsin
Louisiana St.
Miami (Fla.)
Iowa
USC
Virginia Tech
Nevada
Northwestern
16-7-2

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