What to Take from Michigan vs Indiana

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan went score-for-score with Indiana for much of a rainy afternoon before pulling away late in the game. What did we learn about the Wolverines, and what does it mean going forward?

The Bad

The defense still has work to do

Michigan came into the game against Indiana confident that it was one of the better defensive units in the conference, but Indiana slowed those thoughts by putting up 46 points with relative ease. The sad part is that some of the defensive struggles fell directly on Greg Mattison, who didn't have the defense prepared for a speedy no-huddle team, giving Indiana a free touchdown on one no-huddle pass play and many yards on others.

The no-huddle wasn't the only issue. Michigan continues to give away its blitzes at an alarming rate. Indiana, like many teams before it, would quickly step to the line of scrimmage and use a long cadence, drawing every blitzing Wolverine into the box before calling an audible to exploit said blitzers. I know that part of the struggles on plays like this are due to a lack of athleticism at certain spots for Michigan, but I still feel like this is something that needs to be addressed.

Oh, and Da'Shawn Hand can commit to Michigan any time now. Frank Clark and the rest of Michigan's pass rushers just aren't getting the pressure that puts a defense over the top.

A true freshman could start at offensive guard

Makes you cringe, right? The shuffling and struggling continues up front for Michigan. Joey Burzynski stepped in at guard for the Wolverines and eventually left the game with a torn ACL, forcing Hoke and the staff to toy around with redshirt freshman Kyle Kalis and true freshman Kyle Bosch. Both are far too young an inexperienced to give Michigan consistent play up front. It didn't show too much during the Indiana contest because it was Indiana's defense across from the offensive line, but it will against Michigan State.

The Good

A 63-point effort takes a little bit of heat off of Al Borges

Don't get me wrong: Al Borges' job is still very much under question in my eyes. That being said, this performance helped him silence the haters. Devin Gardner broke Michigan's single-game passing record by consistently exploiting a weak Indiana defense. Jeremy Gallon broke Michigan's single-game receiving record – and almost the NCAA record – by doing the same. The running game even had mild success here and there, allowing Fitzgerald Toussaint and Derrick Green some room despite all of the drama up front. Another great performance against a solid Spartan defense would work wonders for Borges' career at Michigan.

Funchess and Gallon are seemingly unstoppable

The big-bodied tight end and the ninja-sized receiver continue to pick defenses apart. Every defense Michigan faces from here on out will face tough decisions because of the duo's abilities. Do you bracket Gallon and gamble by using single coverage on Funchess, or do you reverse the coverage and watch as Gallon destroys your best corner? It might be impossible to take both options away.

Derrick Green looks slimmer and quicker

No one is talking about this and I'm struggling to figure out why. I criticized Green earlier in the year for showing up to fall camp way above his playing weight, but the true freshman is looking and playing better. He's only slightly above his playing weight now, allowing him to make some impressive cuts against Indiana for such a powerful back. Borges now has two solid options to go to in the backfield.

The Takeaway

This has to be the most frustrating Michigan team I've ever watched. Al Borges flails around one game, only to come back and put up 63 points the next. The halfbacks begin to come around as soon as the offensive line goes from bad to worse. The defense shows signs of a pass rush one week, only to let Indiana play hot potato the next. Will the madness ever come to an end?

Maybe. Or maybe not. I know the coaching staff is grateful that it gets an extra week to prepare for Michigan State, which boasts the conference's best defense and an offense that at least has its quarterback situation figured out. My ever-changing feeling of this Michigan squad has me thinking Michigan State won't be able to score enough points to win against Gallon and Funchess, but their defense could turn in another stellar performance and give me the finger. We'll know in a little less than two weeks' time.

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