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Sunday, October 20, 2013
What we learned: Week 8

By Chantel Jennings

Michigan’s 63-47 win said a lot about this team's offense ... and a lot about the defense, too. Here are three things we learned in the Wolverines’ win.

1. This offense has a lot (A LOT) of upside: Yes, we had seen that this offense could be good. But 751 yards of total offense good? Holy smokes. The numbers the Wolverines put up were insane. And the fact that they did that without too many unforced errors (two fumbles, but with that many play calls and carries, I guess we’ll let some things slide) is quite impressive. Devin Gardner and Jeremy Gallon proved to be a dynamic duo and Fitzgerald Toussaint impressed in the run game. With confidence and an offensive line that has less of a rotating door, this offensive attack could prove to be one of the most effective in the Big Ten.

2. The defense is less consistent than we had imagined: So far this year Michigan’s defense has been the consistent part of this team, sure and steady through any kind of storm the offense seemed to bring upon the team. But against Indiana, they allowed big play after big play. Their leading tackler also had footballs thrown over his head on multiple occasions, and the Hoosiers gashed through for big gains and first downs far too much for Greg Mattison’s comfort. If the Wolverines want to have a successful season they need to fix the many issues that Indiana exposed. Because if their defense doesn’t figure it out, Michigan State and Ohio State are going to have field days with this group.

3. The Big Ten is far from being decided: Northwestern has started the conference schedule 0-3. Not sure how many people saw that coming, especially considering the Wildcats’ most recent loss came at the hands of a previously winless in conference Minnesota team. Then there’s Indiana, which smothered Penn State, which managed a win over Michigan, which took care of business against Indiana. Several of the league’s quarterbacks have already shown their best and worst this season and that has seemed to spill over to their teams, too. This conference is far from figured out, and with a little over a month until Indianapolis, there could be a few surprises in the bag for the Big Ten.