Michigan escaped Indiana with a wild 48-41 double overtime victory on Saturday, but it was not easy and the Hoosiers were dangerously close to ending the Wolverine's Big Ten title hopes.
Here are the takeaways:
Jake Rudock is Better Than We Thought
After a 337 yard, two-touchdown performance through the air against Rutgers, many were eager to see what Rudock would be able to do against an Indiana defense that has had problems stopping anyone all season long.
He certainly topped that.
Rudock finished the day 33-of-46 with 440 yard and six touchdowns, while adding 64 yards on seven carries, making him Michigan's leading rusher on the day.
It would be pretty easy to chalk the last two weeks up to fluke performances against bad defenses, but Rudock is a different player than earlier in the season right now. Throw the stats aside, and you see a guy who is making good, accurate throws, completing passes downfield and tucking the ball away and making plays with his feet when they present themselves. He threw a bad interception today, but nobody is perfect.
I've said all year that Rudock is a guy that is not going to win you games with his arm, but he did just that against Indiana. And Michigan needed him to be that guy.
Rudock's is now at 2,220 yards passing with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on the season.
The Wolverines finish the year against two pretty good defenses in Penn State and Ohio State, so we will have to wait and see how he comes out in those games.
Where is the Running Game?
Looking at the box score, you will see a team that ran the ball 55 times for 307 yards on Saturday.
It wasn't Michigan.
Rudock leading the way with 64 yards of his own is fun to discuss on social media and what not, but it is an alarming trend that the Wolverines have to reverse in the final two weeks of the regular season. This isn't a team that can get by throwing the ball 40 times a game.
Michigan finished with 141 yards on 28 carries, which isn't awful, but it's not what we've come to expect. De'Veon Smith and Drake Johnson have been banged up and sharing carries all season and neither have really been able to emerge as a lead back.
Heck, even Sione Houma is getting carries. (5 rushes, 17 yards on Saturday)
The offensive line is not blameless here, either. We've seen them unable to get a consistent push since early on in the season and they are flat out getting blown off the football at times. Those guys are really going to have to step up against two teams in the next couple of weeks that boast pretty good front sevens.
Also, the hogs up front have been flagged for way too many presnap penalties this year. It stalled drives on Saturday and can't keep happening.
Defensive Red Flags Show Back Up in a Big Way
Michigan's defense has struggled at times on the road this year, but Saturday was flat out alarming and head scratching.
Ryan Glasgow missed Saturday's game (more on that injury shortly) and the defensive line was thin with Tom Strobel and Hank Poggi even getting reps today. Indiana's offensive tempo at times was relentless and they imposed their will in the run game. At one point, they nearly went a whole quarter without attempting a pass, it seemed like.
Mario Ojemudia, who has been out since the Maryland game, was a guy who was missed today. He was having a really nice season and did a great job of setting the edge in the run game. Royce Jenkins-Stone has done a serviceable job, but there has been a drop off.
The secondary was solid. Jourdan Lewis did his Jourdan Lewis thing and had a nice game. Dymonte Thomas was having a really good day until he left the game injured. Jeremy Clark and Channing Stribling have their moments, but struggled in coverage at times as well.
It was Delano Hill who ended up saving it for Michigan in the end. Indiana decided to throw on its final play and Hill broke up the pass to seal the deal.
Michigan's inability to stop the run on Saturday heading into games where they'll face PSU's Saquon Barkley and OSU's Ezekiel Elliott is concerning. All we can do is sit back and see if they bounce back.
Glasgow's Injury is a Big One
Jim Harbaugh said after Saturday's game that it appears Ryan Glasgow will miss the rest of the season with a pectoral injury, which is a huge loss for a defensive line that is already a bit thin.
We saw how the lack of depth up front hurt the Wolverines on Saturday. Michigan's defensive line has been so good this season because they come at teams in waves and find ways to stay fresh. That took a hit in training camp when Bryan Mone went down and Glasgow's injury adds to that.
Glasgow has been one of the unsung heroes of Michigan's defense all season long. If he is unable to return, that is a big deal going forward.