Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
We are entering the final month of the 2014 season and what a wild and crazy ride it has been for Hoosier Nation. Indiana goes into Michigan Saturday looking to end a 47-year drought at the Big House. While Indiana has had their fair share of drama on the field with injuries to their top two quarterbacks, Michigan has had more distractions both on and off the field and it continued Friday when Dave Brandon resigned as Athletic Director, but enough of the drama. Let’s get down to football on this cold rainy Halloween and talk about the three keys for a Hoosiers victory on offense.
1. Feed The Beast- If Indiana has any advantage in this game it is on the ground. Tevin Coleman has had an extra week to gear up for a good Michigan run defense. Coleman is averaging 8.8 yards per carry and has 11 scores on the ground. However, the he has not gotten as many carries as one would think. Coleman averages fewer than 20 carries per contest. The Hoosiers need to get him the ball 25 to 30 times Saturday if they want to come out with their fourth win of the year. The Wolverine run defense may be good, however they let Jeremy Langford run for 177 yards and David Cobb to go for 183. So against the best of the Big Ten Michigan is not so stout.
2. Give Zander Some Time- This is a two-fold statement. First, the offensive line must protect Diamont better in passing situations. He cannot be on the run for his life like he was in his first start against Michigan State. If he has some time in the pocket he can make some throws. Secondly, the fans must give this kid some time as well. He is a true freshman making his first start on the road. If he bounces his first pass don’t get too upset. He was not supposed to play this year. However, he should be better prepared to play coming off a bye week and hopefully the game has slowed down for him this week. If Diamont can throw for 100 yards or more IU has a great shot to win.
3. Score First- The atmosphere surrounding Michigan this game is already depressing and boarder line angry, and not in a good angry way either. With AD Dave Brandon resigning Friday, head coach Brady Hoke does not have a shield to the blame from the fans. All the anger of a 3-5 season will be directed at him now. So what is the best way to get a fan base to turn on its coach and team? Jump out to an early lead as an underdog. The Hoosiers should be more focused than the Wolverines and the crowd will not be a typical Michigan crowd. The 100,000-fan streak may be in jeopardy (although teams fudge numbers). Tickets on StubHub are going for as little as $15.50 as of Friday afternoon. If Kevin Wilson’s squad can get into the end zone early and open up a two score lead Ann Arbor will become a ghost town.