Michigan football’s start against Indiana was as dull as the weather on this wet, gray October afternoon in Ann Arbor.
The offense allowed a sack on each of its first two offensive possessions, leading to consecutive three-and-outs. A bad punt midway through that stretch gave the Hoosiers solid field position. Although UM came up with an interception inside its own red zone, IU put together another long drive on its next drive that ended with a 44-yard trick play for a touchdown and Michigan’s first deficit of the season.
It didn’t last long.
After being outscored 141-17 in the first quarter, the Wolverines scored 45 points in the game’s final three quarters, and the Wolverines scored on the next eight possessions to waltz to a 52-7 victory on Saturday.
J.J. McCarthy again made several exciting highlight plays, including one late in the first half when he dodged off his blind side, turned left and fired the ball to Donovan Edwards for 16. Two plays later, Michigan scored.
On a third-and-10 early in the second half, he rolled right and appeared to be running for a first down, flipping the ball to Colston Loveland for a 54-yard touchdown at the end. The yard touchdown reception is the longest in a sophomore’s career.
McCarthy was 14-of-17 for 222 yards, three touchdowns and 27 rushing yards.
Jack Tuttle replaced him against his former team and completed 5-of-5 passes for 22 yards and a touchdown pass to Carmelo English.
Overall UM didn’t do much on the ground — short-yardage specialist Khalel Mullings was ruled out pregame — but Blake Corum continued to pace himself with 13 rushes for 67 total yards and two touchdowns. Nation in basic scores.
The Wolverines rushed as a team 42 times for 163 yards and three scores.
That included Edwards, who rushed nine times for 20 yards and found the end zone in the fourth quarter for his first touchdown of the season, although he had only one run of more than 3 yards.
The 141 yards allowed in the first quarter were the most in any first half this entire season, and the Hoosiers made all their turnovers after the first quarter as they managed just 40 yards on their next seven possessions, including four takeaways.
Rod Moore and Keon Chubb each had an interception, Michael Barrett recorded a strip sack and fumbled, and Jaylen Harrell forced another fumble recovered by Mason Graham as Jesse Minter’s unit finished with six quarterback hurries, nine tackles for loss and six sacks. .
Attack by air
Michigan has allowed just three sacks in its first six games and is ranked No. Entered the tie for 2. But UM allowed three sacks in the first quarter.
The first drive came on third and 7, left tackle LaDarius Henderson helped out from a running back and seemed to think he was leaving a free rusher at the end. On the next drive, McCarthy was dropped on second-and-4 as the pocket collapsed around him, before the next series, he was chased from behind and fumbled on second-and-8 for his third sack in eight plays.
However, that play was overturned, as McCarthy pulled the needle on the team’s first down to Loveland in the corner.
McCarthy completed 14 of his final 15 attempts — the first eight of which went for at least 13 yards — as he connected with seven different UM pass catchers to shred the Hoosier defense.
Corum had a 1-yard touchdown run to cap the first, an 11-play, 77-yard drive.
The next drive went 11 plays for 87 yards and ended with a 2-yard play-action touchdown pass to Roman Wilson on fourth-and-goal, whose ninth touchdown reception was the most for a UM wide receiver in a season since Mario Manningham (2007).
Michigan’s next three drives were all set up due to solid field position; Six plays for 46 yards, four plays for 65 yards and five plays for 52 yards culminated in scores by Corum, Loveland and Semaj Morgan, who overcame four tackles and caught a 7-yard screen pass before scoring a second touchdown. respectively.
Security does the rest
Indiana changed offensive coordinators in their bye week, hiring Rod Carey to engineer the offense, one reason the Wolverines drew the contest in a season-opener where they didn’t know what to expect.
This led to a conservative game plan at first for Michigan’s defense while evaluating Indiana’s program. After the Hoosiers went three-and-out on its first series, they became the first team all year to get inside UM’s 10-yard line when Tayvon Jackson completed six of seven passes down the field.
However, on third-and-12, he forced a pass over the middle that was deflected by Mike Sinristle and intercepted by Moore and returned 38 yards.
On the next drive, IU came up with some tricks, when the wide receiver converted a double-pass from former quarterback Donavan McCully to Jaylin Lucas — the defense was tough on the sub, fake — to go up 7-0.
Indiana’s next seven drives went as follows: punt, punt, half, punt, fumble, fumble and interception.
The first fumble came late in the third quarter on third-and-9, when Barrett came up untouched up the middle, forcing a sack and coming away with a fumble recovery. Harrell forced the next fumble late in the third quarter on fourth-and-3, which Graham recovered before Chubb picked off late.
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