Football

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The Daily breaks down how Michigan matches up with the Buckeyes in all facets of the game.

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BLOOMINGTON — Shea Patterson’s previous pass had fallen hopelessly incomplete, a wide-open Donovan Peoples-Jones looking on as the ball clattered to the end-zone turf.

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BLOOMINGTON — Nico Collins took his time walking off the field Saturday night. Helmet off, Collins peered up at a cluster of visiting Michigan fans. He heard a few “Let’s go Blue” chants mixed in with “Beat Ohio,” a smattering of yells rendering both incoherent.

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.

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.

Sophomore wide receiver Ronnie Bell leads Michigan with 621 yards on 37 catches, but still hasn’t found the end zone.

Bell’s block was perhaps the best example of improved blocking from Michigan’s wide receivers over the past month or so. While blocking isn’t nearly as glamorous as catching passes or scoring touchdowns, it’s equally important, and the Wolverines’ receiver room has taken that message to heart.