Aiming to end decades of frustration against Michigan, Indiana came out firing on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
As they jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 14-7, it looked like IU was ready to go 15 rounds with their nemesis to the north.
But in the end, the Wolverines had more bullets. A lot more as it turned out.
After the Hoosiers took a seven point lead for the second time early in the second quarter on a quarterback Peyton Ramsey one yard run, Michigan brought out the big guns — and set them on rapid fire.
When the dust settled 32 consecutive points later, the Wolverines had the game set on a cruise control, and the Hoosiers were left dazed and confused.
Michigan scored touchdowns on two of their next three second quarter drives after falling behind 14-7.
First a Donovan Peoples-Jones 11 yard touchdown reception from Shea Patterson capped off an 8 play 62 yard Michigan scoring drive, and then a 24 yard Nico Collins scoring reception ended a 4 play 80 yard Wolverine march.
Collins scored three times and had 165 receiving yards on the day.
Michigan was up 21-14 going into halftime, but really, they were just getting warmed up. The Wolverines scored on three of their first four drives to open the second half including two touchdowns and a field goal.
Over the course of just under two quarters of game time, IU went from up 14-7 to down 39-14, which would end up being the final score on a wet and chilly day in Bloomington.
While Michigan’s offensive lit up the scoreboard, the Hoosier attack sputtered out.
For Indiana head coach Tom Allen, Michigan’s defensive line played a big role how the game changed so dramatically.
“I think a lot of it was their D-line really was dominant, I thought,” Allen said after the game. “They gave us a lot of trouble. Didn’t allow us to get things the way we wanted to get them done in terms of time to throw. Really very disruptive.”
On the other side of the ball, Patterson put up huge numbers against IU, completing 20-of-32 passes for 366 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Indiana (7-4, 4-4) appeared to emphasize stopping Michigan’s rushing attack, and that left their defensive backs in one-on-one matchups.
Those were matchups that the Hoosier defenders were largely unable to win.
“That was one my concerns was their receivers versus our secondary, just a matchup,” Allen said. “We play a fair amount of man and those guys have to win those one-on-ones. We didn’t win very many of those and that to me was the biggest frustration was you got to win those.”
While Patterson was thriving while facing very little pressure, Ramsey was often on the run.
And he didn’t always escape.
Ramsey took a big hit in the first quarter as he was throwing the ball downfield. The redshirt junior from Ohio was laying on the field and had to be attended to after the play.
The pass was intercepted by Michigan, and although he returned for the next drive, there was at least some thought that Ramsey was not the same after the hit.
Allen was asked about that after the game.
“He got hit pretty hard,” Allen said. “But he’s a tough old kid now, so I don’t think it affected him. If it didn’t he never said anything. He’s not one to complain. But it was kind of more of a, got hit in the rib area. But he’s going to be fine.”
Ramsey finished the game 17-of-29 for 217 yards and the interception.
Michigan outgained IU 453 to 321 for the game, and for the most part Indiana was unable to establish a running game against the Wolverines’ stout front seven.
Sophomore Stevie Scott had 13 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, but he came in and out of the game with an injury. Allen was unsure of his availability for next weekend’s game at Purdue.
BAD BLOOD BETWEEN ALLEN AND MICHIGAN’S JIM HARBAUGH?
Michigan made a peculiar decision to go for a two point conversion after claiming a 30-14 lead in the third quarter.
Allen was asked about that decision by Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, and a rather abrupt handshake at the conclusion of the game.
“No, no. It was efficient,” Allen said of the handshake. “But it wasn’t, I mean, I don’t know. There’s nothing with he and I. I got a lot of respect for them. But two-point play, we didn’t get lined up. Well, I’ll take that back. We didn’t execute. They had not shown that before but it was just other people do it too. So that one of the backs was suppose to fire and take the quarterback on that but didn’t do it. But, no, they’re just competing trying to score points and do what they need to do, so it’s all good.”
The Hoosiers will travel to Purdue for a noon kickoff next Saturday in the annual Old Oaken Bucket clash to end the regular season. The Boilermakers lost 45-24 to Wisconsin on Saturday to drop to 4-7 on the season.
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