No. 4 Michigan meets Indiana with showdown game ahead

No. 4 Michigan meets Indiana with showdown game ahead

Michigan’s Blake Corum leads the nation in rushing touchdowns, and the Wolverines’ defense has been stout.

Fourth-ranked Michigan could not have asked for a better start, and now on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., the Wolverines will face an Indiana Hoosiers team that is coming off a surprising 14-point loss to Nebraska.

Entering Saturday’s Big Ten game off a 13-point victory at Iowa and with a home game against No. 10 Penn State looming, the Wolverines must avoid looking ahead to that showdown.

“Consider them a blue-collar team that always has a lot of talented guys and is really well-coached. So we’re going to have to play good. It’s always going to come down to that,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said when asked if Saturday was a trap game. “However, whatever tag you put on a game, it comes down to if you play good, coach good and make sure that we’re prepared.”

The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0) have done that so far, ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense and scoring defense.

Corum has played a big role in that success, rushing for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns. He carried 29 times for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes’ strong run defense in a 27-14 win Saturday, a week after rushing for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland.

“I think he’s checking every box he could check, as an every-down back, as a short yardage back, as a versatile back,” Harbaugh said. “And he can run all the assortment of the runs. He can make the inside runs, he can run the outside runs, he can protect, he can block, he can catch out of the backfield. He’s a five-tool running back, does it all.”

Michigan’s defense held Iowa scoreless until the fourth quarter, and the second Hawkeyes touchdown came with eight seconds remaining.

“We’re just coming out of the gate starting fast,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we definitely want to be about. And I thought we were in this game.”

The Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1) started strong this season, winning their first three games. Following a non-conference defeat at Cincinnati, Indiana was stunned by Nebraska 35-21 last weekend. The Cornhuskers entered the contest with a nine-game losing streak against FBS opponents.

The Hoosiers were outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter of a game that had 23 penalties.

“It’s been frustrating, and some of it has been younger guys, but at the same time, we’ve got to continue to teach,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “It’s technique. It’s execution. There’s no shortcut to doing that. It’s continuing to make it a point of emphasis in practice and focus on it, because we go into the fourth quarter tied 20-all and we’ve got to find a way to win the fourth quarter.”

Hoosiers quarterback Connor Bazelak has thrown for eight touchdowns this season but has completed just 52.5 percent of his attempts while getting picked off five times.

The team’s top receiving threats, Cam Camper and D.J. Matthews Jr., missed the Nebraska game for undisclosed reasons. They could return against the Wolverines.

“I think it’s always difficult when you lose two guys that have been your most productive playmakers, but at the same time other guys have to step up,” Allen said. “Other guys made some plays. I think we had five drops, which is something we can’t have.”

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The Home Depot Fantasy of Prizes!

The Home Depot Fantasy of Prizes!

UPDATE: The Grand Prize winner for The Home Depot Fantasy of Prizes is Dale Dillman! Dale won the Husky 12 Volt Inflator, the Festive Nutcracker LED Pre-lit Wreath, The Grinch Air Blown Inflatable, and the Nexgrill 30Q Turkey Fryer Package!

Congratulations Dale and thanks to all of those who were qualified, and don’t forget to check out East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s Fantasy of Trees “Christmas in the Pines” this year at the Knoxville Convention Center from Nov. 23rd through 27th!