ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Wolverines found out just how valuable quarterback Wilton Speight is the hard way.
De’Veon Smith ran for two touchdowns in a 3:33 span late in the third quarter, finishing with a career-high 158 yards rushing, to help No. 4 Michigan shake off Indiana 20-10 Saturday.
John O’Korn made his first start for Michigan (10-1, 7-1, No. 3 CFP), replacing its injured starting quarterback, and struggled to lead an offense that was averaging 45 points and 232 yards passing.
O’Korn completed 7 of 16 attempts for just 59 yards. His best play was a 30-yard run, escaping a collapsed pocket on third down to set up Smith’s shifty, 34-yard run that put the Wolverines up 13-10 with 4:02 left in the third. Smith’s 39-yard run later in the quarter put them ahead 20-10.
For two-plus quarters, it looked like the Hoosiers (5-6, 3-5) might win one of the most significant games in school history. Indiana has beaten only one top-five team, No. 3 Purdue in 1967, the last year it won at Michigan Stadium. The Hoosiers haven’t knocked off a top-10 team since beating No. 9 Ohio State in 1987.
Indiana’s Richard Lagow was 14 of 29 for 191 yards, and Devine Redding was held to 50 yards rushing on 22 carries a week after running for 108 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to then-No. 12 Penn State.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have been good enough to be competitive with ranked teams this season. That’s a sign of improvement. If Indiana avoids getting upset by rival Purdue at home, it will earn consecutive bowl bids for the first time since 1990 and 1991.
Michigan: The Wolverines desperately need to get Speight healthy enough to play the second-ranked Buckeyes on the road. He beat out O’Korn for the job this season behind closed doors at practice. In public, it was easy to see why Jim Harbaugh chose Speight ahead of O’Korn. The Houston transfer missed open receivers when he had time and looked flustered when his offensive line didn’t do its job in pass protection.
Indiana: The Boilermakers will have a chance to spoil the Hoosiers’ shot to become bowl-eligible.
Michigan: The Buckeyes are waiting, aiming for their fifth straight win in the series and 12th in 13 years.