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Takeaways From Michigan’s Win Over Indiana

Michigan survives Indiana’s upset bid to set up winner-take-all game at Ohio State.

NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After a back and forth first half that left the Wolverines trailing, Michigan got it together in the second half to defeat the Indiana Hoosiers 31-20 at Michigan Stadium. The win moves U-M to 10-1 overall and 8-0 in the Big Ten. It sets up a gigantic showdown with 10-1 Ohio State next week in Columbus, where Michigan can clinch the division title and put itself in a position to make the College Football Playoff. Here are our takeaways from today’s victory:

Moody Replaces Nordin

Redshirt sophomore Quinn Nordin has been Michigan’s starting kicker since the beginning of last season, however, he entered today’s game just 3-for-7 on field goals dating back to the Wisconsin game. Jim Harbaugh clearly has lost some faith in his ability to come through in big games, prompting a switch to freshman Jake Moody, who had never previously attempted a field goal at U-M.

The move paid off. Moody made all three of his first half kicks and ended the day 6-for-6, while making all of his extra points. He set the record for most field goals made in a game at Michigan.

It stinks that Nordin hasn’t worked out as well as everyone thought he might after a strong start to his career, but Michigan needs to be able to rely on its kicking game against Ohio State and in the postseason. Nordin will have every chance to compete and win back the job, but after Moody’s performance today, don’t expect that to happen until next fall.

Injury Status Of Chase Winovich

At the time this is being written, we do not know the extent of the injury suffered by Chase Winovich, but if it is significant, it would be a huge blow to the Wolverines. Winovich has been the heart and soul of this team and defense, and has been a leader and voice off the field.

Michigan does have great depth, especially at defensive end, but Winovich is a player the team will really miss if he can’t play against the Buckeyes. If he misses time, expect to see more of Kwity Paye, Josh Uche, Carlo Kemp and Aidan Hutchinson.

It wasn’t a great game overall in terms of health for U-M. Khaleke Hudson, Aubrey Solomon, Josh Metellus, Devin Bush, David Long and Berkley Edwards all left the game with injuries, although Hudson, Metellus, Bush and Long all returned to action. Bush and Long both appeared to have cramps. Edwards left the game on a stretcher after being brutally hit on a kick return. Our thoughts are with him and his family, and we hope for a full recovery.

Red Zone Struggles

While Michigan scored 7-of-8 times it reached the red zone, six of those scores were field goals. That’s just flat-out not good enough, especially if U-M has hopes of beating Ohio State or another quality opponent in postseason play.

Michigan’s offense outside of the red zone was dynamic. It gained 507 total yards and decimated Indiana’s defense up and down the field, but it just wasn’t able to finish.

There were multiple dropped passes, runs stopped short and some was just good defense by IU, but U-M will need to do a better job in Columbus.

Up Next

This is it. This is what it all comes down to: Ohio State.

The Buckeyes have owned the Wolverines, as everyone knows. U-M has yet to go to a Big Ten championship game and has never made the College Football Playoff. Next week gives Michigan the win against its rival that it craves and clinches the East Division, setting up the possibility to make the playoff.

This season has been an overwhelming success - so far. It’s time for Michigan to seal the deal.