Parents' Weekend: Where there is an abundance of food, a
plethora of drunk middle-aged tailgaters trying to stumble back
toward the glory days and way too many people who forgot
how to drive a car in a college town. Hope everyone is ready for
things to get real weird.
Everett Cook, Zach Helfand, Matt Slovin and Liz Vukelich.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This is the page where you chuckle (or
giggle) and mock Everett for how bad
he's doing in Staff Picks.
See where Michigan's advantages lie in
this week's breakdown. Here's a hint: Sat-
urday is going to be a shootout.
Devin Funchess is evolving into a wide reciev-
er before our eyes, but that process might
have started before he ever put on a winged
Cover photo by Adam Glanzman
Central Michigan (Aug. 31): Michigan beat the
Chippewas by their largest opening-day margin
Notre Dame (Sept. 7): Eminem is still in the
ESPN booth, wondering where he is and where
all the people went.
Akron (Sept.14): Unfortunately, Akron is chick-
ening out of this great rivalry after this year's
Connecticut (Sept. 21): UConn lost to Buffalo.
Buffalo. Bufflalo. But almost beat Michigan.
Minnesota (Oct. 5): Against Michigan last year.
Minnesota promoted epilepsy awareness. For
information, visit: epilepsyfoundationmn.org.
Penn State (Oct. 12): Unhappy Valley! Crappy
Valley! Funny play on words!
Indiana (Oct.19): When is the last time anyone
in Ann Arbor felt this uneasy about Indiana?
Michigan State (Nov. 2): Michigan State's
defense is really good. Michigan State's offense
is really not.
Nebraska (Nov. 9): The problem with Nebraska
fans is they're much too nice to hate. Unless, of
course, the 'Huskers win again this year.
Northwestern (Nov.16): Nice kitty.
Iowa (Nov. 23): Vodka Sam!
Ohio State (Nov. 30): The Game is past its peak
-- the rapper, that is.
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IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL
By EVERETT COOK
Michigan pass offense vs. Indi-
ana pass defense
As always, Michigan's offense
lives and dies with redshirt junior
quarterback Devin Gardner. He's
going to make spectacular plays
and get his yards, but if he turns
the ball over as much as he has
been, the final score is going to be
a lot closer than it should be.
If Gardner can keep the ball out
of the Hoosiers's hands, the player
to watch is sophomore tight end
The decision that offensive
coordinator Al Borges made to
move Funchess into more of a
wide receiver role has really paid
off - Funchess has 11 receptions
for 263 yards and three touch-
downs in his last two games.
Indiana's secondary has an
issue with finishing tackles
and plays mostly a man-to-man
defensive scheme, so the 6-foot-5
Funchess should have a field day
if the Hoosiers's secondary can't
wrap him up.
While underrated, Indiana's
secondary shouldn't be able to
stop Gardner, Funchess and Co.,
unless Gardner is handing the ball
Michigan rush offense vs. Indi-
ana rush defense
Other than Gardner, this hasn't
been a bright spot for Michigan.
Fifth-year senior running back
Fitzgerald Toussaint is averaging
just 3.4 yards a carry and was bot-
tled up in Happy Valley, rushing
27 times for 27 yards.
Most of the woes can be blamed
on the offensive line, which has
been an utter disappointment so
far, so much so that a player Hoke
recruited as a left tackle, redshirt
freshman Erik Magnuson, could
be in the mix at left guard this
weekend. While highly recruited,
Magnuson also weighs 285 pounds
and doesn't have the mobility of a
In better news, Hoke said that
his All-American left tackle, fifth-
year senior Taylor Lewan, will be
playing this weekend after sitting
out the second half in State Col-
lege, which should help Michi-
gan's ground attack. This also
isn't a juggernaut defensive line -
Michigan State ran for 238 yards
against Indiana last week and is
allowing 4.6 yards per carry this
So if Borges does what he said
he would do this week with Gard-
ner - which was run his quarter-
back as much as he could in order
to win the game - Gardner will
have a big day on the ground.
And as we've seen with this
Michigan team, if Gardner has
a good game on the ground, it
doesn't really matter what the
running backs are doing. His good
performance will mean a good
game for the rushing offense in
Indiana pass offense vs. Michi-
gan pass defense
Indiana's offense is almost the
exact opposite of Michigan's. The
Hoosiers rely on two quarter-
backs, Nate Sudfeld and Tre Rob-
erson, and the offense runs almost
entirely from the spread. Sudfeld
- who is projected as the starter
on Saturday - is the more tradi-
tional passer, while Roberson has
just four more passing attempts
than rushing attempts on the
season. He plays mostly in short-
yardage and goal-line situations,
so in terms of the secondary, Sud-
feld is the man to focus on.
Sudfeld has had a very steady
year, completing almost 62 per-
cent of his throws, though-his
(6:13) is high.
Indiana has a complementary
group of wideouts, six of whom
have more than 10 catches on
the year (for comparison, Michi-
gan has two). The Hoosiers also
have one of the biggest downfield
threats in the Big Ten in wide
receiver Cody Latimer, who is
averaging more than 15 yards per
This is a sneakily underrated
offense that has scored less than
40 points in a game just twice
this season and put up 44 points
on Penn State and 28 points on
Michigan State. Defensive coor-
dinator Greg Mattison is going to
No.4 Ohio State (-17) vs lowa
No.7 TexasA&M(-13)vs No.24TAuburn
No.8 Louisvlle -14)vs centralFlorida
No.9 UCLA (+6) at No.13 Stanfordd
No.14 Missouri (+3) vs N5.22 Fordia FaiaMas~
No.16 Texas Tech (-6)vat West irginia
No.17 FresnoState (-25)vs UNLv va
No.18 Oklahoma(-23)at Kansas
No.21 Oklahoma Statea(-7.5)vs TcU
No.23 NorthernIllinois(-6)at centralMichigan
No.25 Wisconsin -4)at llinois
Michigan State (-27)vs Purdue
Michigan (-10) vs Indiana
Michigan coach Brady Hoke has many tough decisions to make on Saturday, including how to counter Indiana's up-tempo attack.
have his hands full against a team defensive line handle a completely Across the board, Indiana's
that forces defenses to stay disci- mobile quarterback? special teams are pretty average.
plined, something the Wolverines Along with Roberson, Indiana It's attempted three field goals
have struggled with this year. also has a main running back, on the year and is averaging a
Advantage: Indiana Tevin Coleman, who has already little more than 17 yards per kick
Indiana rush offense vs. Michi- rushed for 557 yards and eight return, around 40 yards per punt
gan rush defense touchdowns while averaging more and more than 15 yards per punt
than six yards per carry. return. Solid, if not unspectacular.
Defensively, this is going to be On the year, opponents are Advantage: Michigan
an interesting matchup for Michi- averaging less than three yards Intangibles
gan. Against Penn State, the Wol- per carry against Michigan, and
verines struggled greatly against a Indiana's offensive line has strug- Indiana hasn't beaten Michigan
hurry-up offense that didn't allow gled at times, particularly last since 1987, and not in Ann Arbor
for the mass defense rotation that week against Michigan State. since 1967. Read that sentence
Mattison likes to employ. But Michigan hasn't had an again.
And if that hurry-up burned opponent with this many ground It's impossible to tell how Mich-
Michigan several times last week, threats this season or for that mat- igan is going to respond to a heart-
it's only going to be exasperated ter, a team that likessto hurry it up breaking loss in Happy Valley. The
against an Indiana team with the as much as the Hoosiers do. How Wolverines have weathered bad
type of tempo that the Wolverines Mattison and the defense reacts performances this season (Akron,
haven't faced all year and with the could decide this game. Connecticut) but had stayed scot-
type of running quarterback they Advantage: Indiana free until last weekend. Before the
haven't seen all year.
Michigan's constant defensive Special teams
line rotation is going to be slowed
on Saturday. If Mattison isn't able Fifth-year sen
to cycle through fresh bodies as dan Gibbons is g
usual, the Wolverines on the field for his follies i
are going to tire out faster than where he missed
usual. end of regulation
Plus, we've seen how Michigan time, all three t
struggles against semi-mobile Gibbons is going
quarterbacks (Minnesota comes misstep shouldn'
to mind), so how will a tired reputation.
ior kicker Bren-
oing to take flack
n State College,
a field goal at the
and two in over-
o win the game.
g to be fine. One
I destroy his solid
season, this game was seen as a
pushover for Michigan, an auto-
matic 'W' to pencil in.
Now? It's not so clear. This
might be the most scared Michi-
gan fans have been about a three-
loss Indiana team in a very, very
Michigan 38, Indiana 34
I I II5 I I8-7
2 tFootballSaturday - October 19, 2013
3 1 FootballSaturday - October 19, 2013