5 Players to Watch Against Indiana

5 Players to Watch Against Indiana

Football

5 Players to Watch Against Indiana

Michigan sat put in the latest College Football Playoff rankings at number four after their win over Rutgers last week. This week they take on a feisty Indiana team that always gives it their all against the Wolverines. Here are my five players to watch in that game.

1. RB Karan Higdon – Michigan

Running back Karan Higdon had his worst game of the season last week against Rutgers of all teams. He was held to 42 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. While the touchdowns were helpful, it was the second time this season he was held under 100 yards. The last time he was shut down like that? Notre Dame

Higdon responded to his poor week one performance with a 156 yard game against Western Michigan the following week, so Indiana should be prepared to take on Higdon, who is now over 1,000 yards rushing on the season.

2. QB Peyton Ramsey – Indiana

The last time Michigan played against a dual-threat quarterback they contained him well and made him throw the ball. This time, they take on Indiana quarterback Peyton Ramsey. While Ramsey isn’t a run-first type of quarterback, only rushing 97 times this year for 266 yards and four touchdowns, his arm is impressive and accurate, more accurate than Shea Patterson.

Ramsey is 243/361 for 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this year with a 67.3% completion percentage, higher than Patterson’s 66.7%, but his higher number of interceptions is the main difference between the two quarterbacks. Ramsey tries making plays and costs himself sometimes. If the Michigan defense can jump on Ramsey to force him to throw those passes, or take advantage of his poor decision making, they could make it a long day for him.

3. LB Devin Bush – Michigan

When it comes to containing a dual-threat quarterback, who do you call? Linebacker Devin Bush. Bush is the fastest defender on the team and can easily play either QB spy or coverage, or blitzing. Bush should be able to keep up with Ramsey if he decides to break out, or bullrush him and get a good lick on him.

Bush is having another great season, with 49 tackles, seven for loss, four sacks, and two pass deflections. Bush is what can keep this defense in check against Ramsey and this offense. They are a tough group to get rid of and Bush will be able to lead the charge in stopping them.

4. DB Bryant Fitzgerald – Indiana

Indiana doesn’t have an impressive defensive line or front seven, but their secondary isn’t the worst either. A freshman defensive back, Bryant Fitzgerald is someone Patterson is going to have to be careful of. Fitzgerald has 25 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one tackle for loss this season.

Fitzgerald getting involved could help the Indiana defense stop the Michigan offense and the more plays the Michigan defense is on the field, the more tired they are going to get and if Indiana can control the time of possession, they could certainly play an upset role.

5. K Quinn Nordin – Michigan

The weather for Saturday in Ann Arbor is currently 36 degrees with 40% chance of snow and winds at six MPH. While those aren’t crazy conditions, the wet snow could affect how the ball is snapped and held, and with the field conditions being wet and slippery, it could affect the kicker as well.

Quinn Nordin hasn’t been impressive this year, going 11/16 on field goal attempts and while five misses are the same amount from last year, there have been a few times this season where Michigan was in field goal range and Harbaugh went for it on fourth down, questioning the confidence he has in his kicker. Nordin could be asked to kick a lot because of the weather and he is going to have to show up and put some points on the board.

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