ANN ARBOR - Michigan's record-setting offensive output in its 63-47 win over Indiana may be seen as an aberration. However, this is how Michigan's offense needs to operate - and not just out of the urgency that comes with playing in a defense-optional game against a defense-optional team. It's also out of necessity.
Jeremy Gallon had a school- and Big Ten-record of 369 receiving yards in a single game, and is second in the NCAA record books behind Louisiana Tech receiver Troy Edwards, who set the single-game record of 405 yards in 1998. Devin Gardner set a school record with 584 yards of offense in a single game (including 503 yards passing), besting a record set by a likely Michigan icon and a former teammate, Denard Robinson.
The numbers are gaudy, yes. Against Indiana, it's a unique situation. Indiana's defense is its offense, and that's what it forces its opponents to do, turn to the offensive. Michigan had to make the most of that. A week after an anemic team rushing performance at Penn State, Fitzgerald Toussaint had a season-high 151 yards and four touchdowns. Gardner and Gallon found a certain groove - while only six players had rushing and receiving contributions, there was no reason to break the chemistry Gardner and Gallon had yesterday.
Now, Michigan needs to continue a certain offensive pace, and it needs its defense, which Indiana rendered non-existent Saturday night, to rediscover itself. The Big Ten is bringing a bad rap upon itself this season - Ohio State is likely cursing Northwestern after its 20-17 loss to Minnesota on Saturday - and each team has to truly pull its weight if the conference wants to retain its credibility. Finding that rhythm will be key in Michigan's final five games of the season. That's where we'll see the Wolverines' mettle, if it has any hopes of playing for the Big Ten title.
Lost in all of this? With six wins, the Wolverines are now bowl-eligible.