BLOOOMINGTON, Ind. — In a game that seemed to be eerily tied to the weather conditions of the afternoon, the Hoosiers lose on senior day to No. 13 Michigan 39-14 behind Wolverine quarterback Shea Patterson who threw for 366 yards and five touchdowns. Indiana moves to 7-4 on the season and will look to the Old Oaken Bucket game against rival Purdue to get their eighth win of the season.
For all of the marketing activities that the Indiana football program pushed prior to today’s contest, the weather seemed to have something different in mind. Rain, high winds, and below thirty degree air surrounded Memorial Stadium prior to the 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
As if it was written in a story, the clouds parted, the rain slowed down, and came to a stop just as fans began to fill the seats of the stadium. Instead of a wet and grinding game played on the ground, both the Hoosiers and Wolverines had no problems scoring in the air to open the game.
Indiana received the ball first, and behind the guidance of quarterback Peyton Ramsey, they scored on 4:53 minute drive across 75 yards. The drive was capped off with a Stevie Scott leaping run into the end zone for his tenth touchdown of the season.
While it looked easy for Indiana’s offense, Michigan’s offense took it to house with just as much ease. Michigan QB Shea Patterson drove down on perfect throwing, which included a 50-yard bomb to Giles Jackson. The Wolverines completed their own opening drive with a touchdown pass to Ronnie Bell for his first touchdown of the year, despite being Michigan’s leader in receptions.
At least in the first half, Indiana stayed competitive. After matching drives that did not result in any points, both the Hoosiers and the Wolverines found the end zone once again just a series later. For Indiana, it was a rushing touchdown for Ramsey, and for Michigan, it was an athletic touchdown reception for Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Without Michael Penix and Whop Philyor, the already depleted Hoosiers took a couple of more hits to their depth. WR Ty Fryfogle walked off gingerly a couple of times due to discomfort in his knee and Scott was taken to the locker room due to what looked like a shoulder injury.
Even Ramsey was slow to walk off after a hard hit in the backfield which forced him into an interception. However, the Hoosiers would receive good news as all three would return later in the game, but they were not likely at 100% readiness.
It was only until the end of the second quarter where Michigan took their first lead of the game. Indiana’s secondary lapsed significantly with WR Nico Collins being the target for three of the four-play drive. Collins was responsible for 61 yards and the touchdown catch, which gave the Blue a one-touchdown lead going into halftime.
The story got worse for the Hoosiers after the break. Right out of halftime, Michigan once again had no problem picking apart the Indiana secondary which led to the first field goal of the evening.
Indiana’s offense line must have ran out of gas, because they struggled uncharacteristically in the latter portions of the game. In the pass protection, they were unable to buy Ramsey enough time for the wide receivers to separate, and they not open many gaps for the Hoosier backfield. Sure the drizzle did not help, but for the first time since the Ohio State game their inexperience began to show.
The result of the Michigan defensive line overpowering Indiana’s box included penalties, rushed throws, and eventually a forced fumble with two minutes to go in the third quarter. Indiana was not able to use the air or ground for offensive productivity.
Just as the weather turned from rain to snow in Bloomington, the scene on the field turned scary for Indiana as well. Both freshman OL Matthew Bedford and Stevie Scott both went down with injury on the same play. The two laid helplessly inches apart for what felt like the longest ten seconds of the game.
After another unfruitful drive, Indiana eventually sent out backup quarterback Jack Tuttle to lead the Hoosier offense with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Tuttle orchestrated a respectable drive of 48 yards where freshman running back Sampson James got much of the action.
Ultimately, the Wolverines depth and ability to take advantage of Indiana’s secondary was too much for Indiana to handle. Indiana managed to march down the field a couple of times, but unable to convert into point-scoring plays.
Michigan wins their fourth game in a row and move to 9-2 on the season. They will face the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes who won the Big Ten East earlier in the day.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ