The Indiana Hoosiers (5-5) are going to have their hands full on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. for a tilt at the Big House with the No. 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines.
The good news — IU has taken the Wolverines into overtime in two of the last three years.
The bad news — the Hoosiers haven’t defeated Michigan since 1987, and as a big road underdog, that doesn’t appear likely to change this year, especially not on their Senior Day.
“But that’s why they play the game.” And people are talking about that game, including Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and members of the Michigan media.
Below we bring you some of the more interesting takes from behind enemy lines.
INDIANA’S BEST RICKEY FOGGIE IMPERSONATION?
The Hoosiers have a chance to play spoiler this week, with Michigan having a Big Ten title and the college football playoff within its sights. Michigan fans have a nightmarish memory of a similar scenario from the year before IU last beat the Wolverines. The Detroit Free Press brought back those disturbing thoughts in their game preview, and Jim Harbaugh has been doing the same this week.
Jim Harbaugh already has brought up the 1986 Rickey Foggie Minnesota game a few times this week, in which his Michigan team had a perfect season destroyed on senior day in Ann Arbor just before the Ohio State game. Bo Schembechler told his team prior to kickoff that day that he hoped they’d done enough in practice the week prior to find a win. They didn’t. Harbaugh has seniors and, possibly a handful of juniors, who will be playing at Michigan Stadium for the final time. This message has surely been hammered home. Will it resonate?
INDIANA A TRAP GAME?
Of course with a national title still on the radar and Ohio State looming next week, Saturday’s game against IU has the potential to be one that Michigan overlooks. MLive took the temperature in the Wolverine locker room on that very topic, and of course, the standard talking points are emerging.
“I know it’s kind of cliche — ‘just take it game by game’ — but that’s really what we’ve been doing,” said tight end Sean McKeon. “We’re not worried about two weeks from now, or three weeks from now. We’re just worried about beating Indiana this week.”
BREAKING DOWN THE IU OFFENSE
MGoBlog does a better job of dissecting the IU offense than anyone in the Hoosier press corp that we’ve seen, as they take the standard fan refrain of “DeBord Sucks,” and actually attempt to explain it, all while stealthfully looking ahead to next week’s game against Ohio State. Their opening statement was perhaps the most interesting take….
I respect Indiana. When we talk about the vast ethical shortcomings of our division rivals, Indiana is our version of nisi Vanderbiltum. Kevin Wilson, their best hire since Mallory, built a modern, terrifying stretch zone & bomb machine that tore up Michigan’s 2015 defense on the ground. And IU fired him immediately when concerns surfaced about player safety in Wilson’s tough-guy program culture, despite what that would mean from a competitive standpoint.
Indiana also took the extra, and unnecessary, step of hiring Mike DeBord to run their offense.
….but if you want a comprehensive view on the IU offense from an opposition perspective, we highly recommend this one.
JIM HARBAUGH DISCUSSES INDIANA
Jim Harbaugh is a well documented IU basketball fan and we have just the photo to prove it above. We can’t imagine anything that has changed since then that would alter his undying affinity for the candy stripes.
In all seriousness, the Wolverine head coach is always entertaining to listen to. He starts discussing Indiana around the 12 minute mark.
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