Football

Michigan's defense allowed less than five yards per play against Indiana on Saturday.

After the promise of the game’s opening 20 minutes, Indiana ran into the same wall that befell Michigan State, Maryland and Notre Dame. In the end, Michigan won, 39-14, holding an offense that came into Saturday ranked top-15 in SP+ to less than five yards per play and next to no production after three opening drives that seemed to poke holes in a maize and blue facade.

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BLOOMINGTON — Five minutes in and the game already seemed like a nightmare.

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Ronnie Bell’s name would not have occupied the same breath. But that’s where he is — the leading receiver on the team, on pace for the most receiving yards in a season since Amara Darboh in 2016. Even after a career-high 150-yard outburst against Michigan State, Bell’s mindset has never wavered.

Senior quarterback Shea Patterson had the best game of his Michigan career last week.

With that in mind, The Daily breaks down what to watch for as the Wolverines attempt to answer the questions they face before the Buckeyes come to town.

The Michigan football team's offense has begun to click over the last month.

Over the last month, as Michigan’s offense has rounded into shape — finally starting to look like the high-powered machine that was promised during the offseason and what it so plainly wasn’t during the season’s first five weeks — the explanations from the program have been simple.

Fifth-year senior defensive end Michael Danna is nearing the end of his one year at Michigan.

Michael Danna had never experienced anything close to this, running out on the field for one of the best-known rivalry games in college football, helping his team blow that rival to bits and hoisting the Paul Bunyan Trophy up in the Michigan Stadium end zone.

The transition to a more up-tempo, spread offense has benefitted speedy receivers like freshman Giles Jackson.

Giles Jackson, then a four-star whose position in college was at question, committed last September. His skillset, based around speed, not size or technique, didn’t seem to fit into Jim Harbaugh and Pep Hamilton’s offense. To succeed as a receiver, Jackson would need to be put into open space, where he could make use of that skill set and pick up yardage after the catch. Gattis, of course, has built his offense around that very concept.

Presented by The Michigan Daily’s sports section, a rotating cast of writers discusses Michigan sports.

Senior sports editor, Ben Katz, and football beat writers Max Marcovitch and Theo Mackie discuss Michigan’s 44-10 rout of Michigan State and how the offense, led by quarterback Shea Patterson, is firing on all cylinders. Plus, a look ahead to Indiana.

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Redshirt freshman Cam McGrone has developed into a permanent starter and one of the Wolverines' key defensive pieces, moving beyond just his unrivaled speed.

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This year, in particular, few in and around Schembechler Hall are under any illusions about the challenge of going to Indiana and the cliche of the Hoosiers providing Michigan with a trap game.