Game balls from Michigan football's win at Indiana
Michigan football moved to 6-0 on the year with a 31-10 win at Indiana on Saturday afternoon. It was an odd game with a lot of adversity throughout, but the Wolverines found a way and hammered home late, scoring all of the game’s 21 second-half points.
Anthony Broome, Clayton Sayfie and Chris Balas select a player each week for Michigan after the game concludes. Here are the players that get the biggest nod from our staff following a Week 6 victory over the hosting Hoosiers.
• Postgame reactions to Michigan football’s win at Indiana
Chris Balas: Graduate WR Ronnie Bell
Michigan’s passing attack was paced by 11 catches for 121 yards from graduate Ronnie Bell, who might be the team’s MVP on offense right now. He was targeted 14 times and is by far the wide receiver room’s most reliable weapon at the moment. Much of his damage comes via the intermediate passing game, where he finds ways to get open and is as sure-handed as it gets. There was also a catch along the sideline where he found a way to keep his feet in bounds to secure a positive play. Indiana did not have any answers for him on Saturday.
Anthony Broome: Michigan’s defensive line
It is tough to single out any particular player, so instead the pass rush as a whole gets a shoutout. Michael Barrett, Junior Colson, Eyabi Okie, Jaylen Harrell, Mike Morris, Derrick Moore and Braiden McGregor were responsible for Michigan’s 7 sacks on Saturday. This group is ascending and everyone is finding a way to apply more consistent pressure. Okie in particular was a standout and had his most extensive run of the season yet, which was necessary given how Indiana’s tempo keeps defenders on the field. You can see the light continue to come on for him.
Clayton Sayfie: Running backs coach Mike Hart
This was a game that Michigan had to find a way to win for running backs coach and program legend Mike Hart. He collapsed on the sideline in the first quarter and was carted off the field after suffering a seizure. Hart is in stable condition at a local hospital and will undergo further evaluation. Michigan had to channel whatever energy it could to stay focused and walk out of Bloomington with a win, but some things are much bigger than football. Their second-half effort was inspired after making contact with Hart at halftime, and his leadership deserves even more shouting out after Saturday.
Michigan football honorable mentions
Sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy: McCarthy’s first 300-plus-yard passing game in a Michigan uniform helped the team pull away in the second half. He finished the day 28-for-36 for 304 yards, with 3 touchdowns and an interception. He is still learning the ins and outs of the position, but U-M put the ball in his hands in the second half and asked him to deliver. McCarthy mostly did, sans a costly interception in the end zone. He bounced back from that to lead a pair of touchdown drives. There is a lot of work to do still. But he grows in a different area each week.
Junior RB Blake Corum: It was another game with a heavy dose of Corum, who finished with 25 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown. His 50-yard run helped the Wolverines get the scoring going in the first quarter.
Graduate tight end Luke Schoonmaker: “Schoony” continues to impress as the team’s full-time starting tight end with 9 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. Prior to his emergence over the last three weeks, Michigan was not targeting its tight ends much. He has changed that in a big way.
Senior wide receiver Cornelius Johnson: He dropped a potential 97-yard touchdown, but made up for it with a pair of scores late and 4 catches for 52 yards on the day.