Michigan’s Blake Corum leads the nation in quick touchdowns, and the Wolverines’ defense has been strong.
Fourth-placed Michigan couldn’t have asked for a better start, and now the Wolverines face a team from the Indiana Hoosiers who are suffering a surprise 14-point loss to Nebraska in Bloomington, Indiana on Saturday.
Entering Saturday’s Big Ten game after a 13-point win in Iowa and an upcoming home game against No. 10 Penn State, the Wolverines need to avoid looking ahead to that showdown.
“Think of them as a working class team that always has a lot of talented guys and is trained really well. So we have to play well. It’s always going to come down to that,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said when asked if Saturday was a trap game. “However you mark a game, it comes down to playing well, training well and making sure we’re prepared.”
The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0) have done so so far and are ranked in the top 10 nationally in offense and goal defense.
Corum played a big part in that success, rushing for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns. He carried 29 times for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes’ strong running defense in a 27-14 win Saturday, a week after rushing for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland.
“I think he checks every box he can check as an every-down back, as a short-yardage back, as a versatile back,” Harbaugh said. “And he can run the full range of 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 return, does everything.”
Michigan’s defense kept Iowa scoreless through the fourth quarter, and the second Hawkeyes touchdown came with eight seconds remaining.
“We’re just coming out of the gate and we’re starting fast,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we definitely want to take care of. And I thought we were in this game.”
The Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1) started the season strong, winning their first three games. After an out-of-conference loss in Cincinnati, Indiana was stunned by Nebraska 35-21 last weekend. The Cornhuskers entered the contest on a nine-game losing streak against FBS opponents.
The Hoosiers were outplayed 14-0 in the fourth quarter of a game that had 23 penalties.
“It was frustrating, and some of them were younger people, but at the same time we have to keep teaching,” said Indiana’s coach Tom Allen. “It’s technique. It’s execution. There’s no shortcut for that. It keeps it a focus in practice and it’s focused on that because we go into the fourth quarter with 20 points and need to find a way to win the fourth quarter. “
Hoosiers quarterback Connor Bazelak has thrown eight touchdowns this season but completed just 52.5 percent of his attempts while being picked up five times.
The team’s top threats, Cam Camper and DJ Matthews Jr., missed the game in Nebraska for unknown reasons. They could return against the Wolverines.
“I think it’s always difficult when you lose two players who have been your most prolific playmakers but at the same time you have other guys coming up,” Allen said. “Other guys made a few plays. I think we had five drops, which we can’t have.”
– Field level media