Michigan took the field in the Big House for the second to last time this season Saturday night against the Indiana Hoosiers. With pressure from fans and media alike following the Michigan State loss, this game needed to be a statement of resilience from the Wolverines.
The Hoosiers third string quarterback Donaven McCulley was forced into starting duties due to injury and the true freshman struggled to gain any rhythm against Michigan’s pass rush.
Offensively, the Wolverines were limited with tight end Erick All being ruled out before the game and running back Blake Corum leaving in the first quarter due to injury.
While at times a sluggish effort that saw Michigan trying to escape without their entire roster in the blue tent, the Wolverines got the job done 29-7.
Let’s hand out some game balls.
With Corum exiting early and third-string running back Donovan Edwards also unavailable, it became the Hassan Haskins show. No problem.
Haskins finished the game with 168 yards on 27 carries and one touchdown. A workhorse of the highest volume, the second-leading Wolverine in rushing attempts was quarterback Cade McNamara with three. Moreover, Haskins’ 188 total yards accounted for 46% of Michigan’s total offensive production.
With 829 rushing yards on the season, Haskins will attempt to break the 1,000-yard mark in Happy Valley next week.
Have a day, Schoonboy Q!
While a prominently featured player, tight end Luke Schoonmaker became the starter with Erick All out due to injury. Schoonmaker only had three catches — still a career high — but made the most of them by securing two for touchdowns.
Schoonmaker was inches away from a third touchdown on a one handed catch reminiscent of Odell Beckham Jr. He secured the ball but landed out of bounds. Not bad for a “blocking tight end.”
The first four possessions for the Indiana Hoosiers in the second half resulted in four three and outs, 25 yards and 0 points. In total, the Hoosiers gained 53 yards, two first downs and punted five times in the second half.
Edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo were relentless throughout, the secondary was sticky and the linebacker corps eliminated the running game.
After an average first half showing, defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald made the necessary adjustments to smother any hopes for a depleted and desperate opponent.