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Week 6 Game Thread: No. 4 Michigan at Indiana

They say this is a trap game. But opportunities abound for Michigan to open up the playbook.

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

It’s hard to believe that today’s game marks the halfway point in the 2022 season for the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. Michigan has cruised to a 5-0 start and are looking to make it 6-0 against an Indiana program on the downswing. If the 22-and-a-half-point line is any indication, this isn’t the 2020 version of the Hoosiers, who beat the Wolverines for the first time since the Reagan administration.

Between coming off an important win at Iowa and a top-10 tilt against Penn State looming next week, the phrase “trap game” has been bandied about this matchup. Jim Harbaugh’s comments at his presser suggest he’s not taking the Hoosiers too lightly. Perhaps part of that is due to Indiana’s reasonably prolific quarterback/wideout duo in Connor Bazelak and Cam Camper, who could keep the game interesting.

Now let’s get to the facts:

Game Info

Teams: No. 4 Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers

Date: Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022

Location: Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind

Kickoff: Noon

Television: FOX

Radio: Michigan/IMG Sports Network (to listen online, click here)

Spread: Michigan -22.5; O/U: 59.0

Today’s question: Can J.J. McCarthy start to connect on deep shots?

Thanks in no small part to J.J. McCarthy, the Wolverines’ offense has gotten off to a hot, highly efficient start to the 2022 campaign. However, one aspect of the sophomore gunslinger’s game has held Michigan from taking an additional step towards joining college football’s upper echelon of high-powered offenses — overthrows on deep shots.

Near misses on these throws prevented the Maize and Blue from busting the Maryland and Iowa games wide open and kept those games somewhat competitive in the 4th quarter. The coaching staff has a fantastic opportunity to work on this against an abysmal Hoosier secondary. Indiana ranks 116th in passing defense efficiency and has surrendered nearly 1,400 yards through the air. If there ever was a time to open up the playbook and improve the offense’s verticality, this is it. Now, the question is, will McCarthy finally connect?