BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The last time Michigan lost to Indiana in football, Bo Schembechler was coaching and nobody on the current roster was within a decade of being born.
But that could change this weekend.
Indiana last beat Michigan 33 years ago, on Oct. 24, 1987. Since then, the Big Ten foes have met 24 times, with Michigan winning 17 by double digits.
Jim Harbaugh has gotten a few scares from the Hoosiers, most notably in 2015, when Michigan needed a fourth down conversion to stay alive and a goal line stand to escape in double overtime.
Then, in 2017, the two teams went to overtime again. The 2016 and 2018 matchups were also extremely competitive in Ann Arbor.
Last year was the first time Michigan dominated Indiana in the Harbaugh era, but now, with a second-straight trip to Bloomington on the horizon, the Wolverines are in a precarious spot.
Michigan State exposed Michigan on both sides of the ball -- and that was seven days after MSU lost to Rutgers. That doesn’t bode well for a team that once vaulted into the top 15 thanks to a dominant win over Minnesota.
Michigan’s offense was completely stagnant against the Spartans. The offensive line got bullied for 60 minutes, failing to create any holes and allowing MSU to pressure quarterback Joe Milton.
Even when he had time, Milton struggled to throw the ball accurately down the field.
Too often, when Milton did hit his targets, the receivers dropped passes.
It was a comedy of errors, and now, against a 2-0 Indiana team ranked No. 13 in the nation, we’re about to find out what Harbaugh’s squad is made of.
Rocky Lombardi torched Michigan’s secondary, primarily picking on cornerbacks Vincent Gray and Gemon Green. Indiana quarterback Michael Penix is more than capable of putting up big passing numbers, so Don Brown will need to adjust to avoid getting beat over the top.
Last week against Rutgers, Penix threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another score. Whop Philyor caught five passes for 137 yards, and he’s licking his chops after what he saw from Michigan’s secondary last weekend.
Everything seems to be crumbling around this Michigan team. Can it stem the tide and get back on track with a very impressive win? Or will the adversity be too much and snowball into another loss?
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Indiana is tired of hearing about the 33-year losing streak and that Michigan has won 39 of the last 40 meetings. The Hoosiers have a dangerous team, and they’re hungry to end the streak.
Michigan has had some close calls against Indiana. Will this be the year the floodgates finally burst open?