Friday, November 4, 2011

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Iowa

For some reason it seems like last Friday was an eon ago, and I can't really place why. It's ok though, because it is Friday, game day is tomorrow and the Maize and Blue are on the road in Iowa City. If you recall the last time Michigan visited Iowa, Denard was a check down away from driving them down field for the winning field goal. Also, I was at that game, freezing my ass off as it was some ungodly low degree at night. Look:

So yeah it was cold and I was drinking PBR. But that was then and this is now. Let's take a look:

(16) Michigan (7-1, 3-1) @ Iowa (5-3, 2-1) 12:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3

Offense
Me, along with the rest of the Michigan fandom loved was we saw last week when Fitz ran for 170 yards. We also saw Denard stepping into throws and making good decisions. Now, was that a function of Purdue or did we learn something in the bye-week? Let's hope it's the latter, because Iowa's defense is ripe for the pickin. The good news is the Iowa run defense has given up 194 to Iowa St, 231 to a QB-less Penn st, 217 to Indiana  and 178 to Minnesota. That's the 43, 56, 54 and 72nd ranked attacks. Michigan is 11th. Dear Borges, more Fitz!

Defense
Continue playing solid football. We need the D-line to get penetration to bottle up Coker. If they can halt the run game, they can get pressure on Vandenberg and force mistakes and maybe plenty of punt from the Michigan of the field as Kirky liks to do. The other thing is the linebackers have to play with their heads up and avoid DERPY play action burns. Michigan has had a tendency to make Iowa TE's look like All Americans.

Special Teams
I have a feeling they are going to need a field goal or two, so Gibby needs to keep it up. Otherwise, its the same story, tackle well in space.

The Pick
Start of the season I circled this game as a likely loss. Now, not so much. It's still Iowa, in Iowa City, so that makes me nervous. But I just can't get past the struggles they've had against running QB's. Oh and Minnesota! If the defense has trouble with the play action and Iowa gets a couple big plays, this could be trouble. If not, I can't see Iowa doing much. I'm gonna go with the latter. Michigan is a 4 point favorite and I don't think they have a problem covering. Michigan 31-20.

Let's see what everyone else is saying:

BWS calls for a similar outcome as yours truly.

Go Blue Michigan Wolverine's coach corner says it's a toss up game. I'm sure predictions will come later.

Maize and Go Blue has record watch and thinks Michigan wins comfortably.

Maize and Blue Nation says it's about coaching man!

The Big House Blog says Michigan needs a complete to win.

MGoBlog has Steele Jantz and Tequila Kitty but says M gets the W.

Touch the Banner goes corn fed.

Know your foe at The M Zone!

The Wolverine Blog is short and sweet and predicts a squeaker.


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