ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan Stadium isn't widely considered one of the toughest road venues in college football, but that mindset is starting to change.
For the second time in three seasons, the Wolverines went undefeated in Ann Arbor, polishing off a 7-0 record Saturday with a win over Indiana.
In four seasons under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is 24-4 at the Big House, with two losses each to Michigan State and Ohio State.
Michigan has knocked off five ranked teams at home over that span, including a 38-13 win over Wisconsin and a 42-7 dismantling of Penn State this season. Western Michigan, SMU, Nebraska and Maryland also visited Ann Arbor this year, and all four lost by more than 20 points.
Indiana managed to keep the game close, but Michigan ultimately won by 11 points.
Michigan played 420 minutes of football at the Big House this season and only trailed for 26 minutes and 49 seconds. The largest deficit was four points.
Most importantly, there was never a moment inside the Big House this season when it actually felt like Michigan was going to lose a game. Despite playing on ESPN's "College Gameday" against Wisconsin and squaring off with No. 14 Penn State, Michigan cruised to seven wins.
Sure, Indiana hung around for the majority of the game and held a halftime lead, but the Wolverines were never truly in trouble, racking up more than 500 yards without diving deep into the playbook.
This season's home slate was eerily similar to the 2016 campaign, when Michigan went 8-0 at home with only one win by single digits. Harbaugh's team smashed eventual Big Ten champion Penn State by 39 points and eventual Pac-12 South champion Colorado by 17 points.
Like Saturday, Michigan closed out the 2016 home schedule with a closer-than-expected win over Indiana that ended in double figures.
Harbaugh has established a dominant home field advantage, but the tougher task is winning at a high level on the road. Michigan has started to improve in that area, winning handily in East Lansing and knocking off Big Ten West champ Northwestern in Evanston earlier this season.
But goals that have eluded Harbaugh so far will be on the line Saturday in Columbus. He has yet to beat the Buckeyes in three attempts, and the program has never been to the Big Ten Championship Game.
Those goals are both within reach this weekend, but they'll have to be achieved outside the friendly confines of the Big House.
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