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Michigan running back Karan Higdon scored the game-winning touchdown against Indiana in a 27-20 overtime win in October 2017 in Bloomington, Ind.

Choosing Michigan’s ‘trap game’ on 2018 schedule

Rachel Lenzi

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet here to Rachel Lenzi or here to Kevin Goheen. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day. Go here to see our previous answers.

What is Michigan’s ‘trap game’ on 2018 schedule?

The easy answer is to say that Michigan cannot overlook any of its opponents this fall. Phil Steele, one of the nation’s top college football analysts, ranks Michigan’s schedule as the No. 3 most difficult in the nation, behind Florida State and Nebraska.

But the answer to your particular questions? Nov. 17 against Indiana. That will be the dreaded “trap game.” That’s a game where one team might look at another as an easy win, but the opponent puts up a formidable showing.

The Hoosiers have been troublesome for the Wolverines in recent years. Even last October, Indiana took Michigan to overtime on Griffin Oakes’ 45-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. (The Wolverines won 27-20 in overtime in Bloomington, Ind.)

A reader brings up a good point about the Hoosiers:

Also, look at where Indiana is on the schedule. The Wolverines host the Hoosiers a week before they play at Ohio State — and a week after playing at Rutgers. (It might be too early to call that a “gimme” game for the Wolverines, but Michigan has won by an average of 44 points in its last three meetings with Rutgers.)

The Wolverines can’t look past Indiana as they prepare for Ohio State.

We posted a poll on what our readers think will be the “trap game” this fall. The majority voted for the Sept. 29 game against Northwestern.

But Indiana is a bit of an enigma. The Hoosiers have the pieces to be competitive but aren’t typically in the thick of a championship race. Still, the Hoosiers annually wield an up-tempo offense that wears down an opponent during a game. Indiana has a secondary that can give fits to passing games. It also has an incentive.

As a Big Ten East Division opponent, Indiana would love to spoil a team’s hopes of contending for the East Division title. Michigan also faces Indiana on its Senior Day. None of those seniors want to fall into that trap and leave their final game at Michigan Stadium with a loss.

Read more answers to questions about the Michigan Wolverines here.