Friday, September 25, 2009

GBMW Link Man: Steve K's -- Why Indiana will win / why Michigan will win

Indiana at Michigan
 Steve's Indiana might win / Michigan might win

Well three weeks are in the books and I think both teams have surprised the conference and the critics – but, who (if either) is the contender and who is a pretender? Well we have seen a UM team start slowly in the first half of all three games, yet still put up big numbers and win a season defining game against ND. Meanwhile, IU is 3-0 in its own right and has changed the MO in the process. However, all of IU’s victories have been within a TD of a loss. But, IU has abandoned a spread formation, in its true form, for a Nevada like Pistol Veer system. So, let us look at this match-up.

Why IU might win:

In this baby shotgun formation the back essentially is in an I formation and, much like the spread, the QB options off of an end read. IU has changed lead QB's this year with Chappell, who can run and has the better arm, will be the starter. So far, Chappell has averaged over 200 yards a game, with a 69% completion rating. He has, however, evened up TD’s and picks at 3 apiece and rushed for one score but nothing for serious yards. IU’s offensive success will depend upon RB McCray, who is the lead rusher with approximately 200 yards for three games. UM will have to be assignment smart, and, much like a spread defense, not over-commit. IU has a big O-line and UM fans have seen what beef does to our front seven – but none-the-less if IU is to win it will be because of defense. IU has probably one of, if not the best, DE bookend combos around. Jamie Kilew finished last year with 74 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and 19.5 tackles for a loss, and has amassed 11 tackles so far, with 6.5 for a loss. His partner, Greg Middleton, led the nation in sacks two years ago with 16 tackles for loss. Collectively, the IU D has 9 sacks already for 76 yards.

Why UM might win:

While IU’s 3-0 start is impressive, they have barely won these games and have not met a team with the speed and tools UM has at its disposal. Once again we will get to see a passing game from UM since IU plays a very good run defense - but not good enough to stop the Michigan stable. The effective UM running game will open up UM’s receivers to have an outing much like the WMU game and will once again feature the game ready Hemmingway. If UM’s defense can provide solid play against the short running game and provide decent coverage – the UM offense should rule the day.

Come back later to see the entire GBMW preview and predictions.

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Written by Steve

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