Friday, November 16, 2012

Lazy Man's Michigan Preview: Iowa


So that is more or less a metaphor for Iowa's football program. You're cruising along, competing for the Big Ten title every other year or so, you take a trip to a BCS game every now and then. Then all the sudden it starts to rain a little and you lose to Minnesota. Then it starts to get a little windy and you lose to Iowa State and Minnesota a second year in a row. Then the Cyclone (literally and figuratively) hits and you lose to ISU in consecutive years, Central Michigan at home and are staring at missing a bowl game entirely this year.

Train derailed.

Such is the Iowa football program. Let's take a look.

Iowa Hawkeyes (4-6, 2-4 B1G) @ (21) Michigan Wolverines (7-3, 5-1 B1G)
Saturday 11/17, Noon ET, Michigan Stadium ESPN/ESPN 3D


Offense


Sigh! Well it's senior day and it looks like Denard will be sidelined by his stupid elbow nerve. This makes me sad. The rumor is Denard will have one ceremonial play. Let's hope is of Western Michigan quality.

All sadness aside, Gardner is doing a nice job filling in and it makes sense to keep Denard rested in hopes he can play next week or in the bowl game. Iowa's defense is middling to bad. Offenses have been able to pretty much do what they do against them. The internal line issues aside, I think we'll see more doubles at the point of impact which means Fitz may finally have some room to run. Devin may have a little more trouble as Iowa's pass defense is better than the last two team's he's faced. But, the offense gets the job done.

Defense
I feel bad for Iowa fans. Their offense is 109th in total offense. They can't run (101st). They can't pass (96th). Subsequently, they can't score (104th). I'm pretty certain the have given up after four straight losses. I wouldn't be surprised if the defense shuts them out. The D line continues to play well and Demens, Morgan and Ryan get back to leading the team in tackles this week.

Special Teams
Okay punt return team. This is your week. Iowa is going to punt like 100 times in this game, so it's your time to shine. Make me proud.

Prediction
Like I said, I think Iowa has quit on the season. Couple that with being Senior day and that spells disaster for the Hawkeyes. Of the teams that stayed on Michigan's schedule over the career of the seniors, this is the only one they haven't beaten (Wisconsin and Penn State being the others. Go Minnesota!). Hoke and his staff have made a point to emphasis the importance of seniors in this program. I'm sure the entire team is going to be fired up to make sure the seniors go out on a high note. For that reason, there will be no looking to next week in this game.

I hope Denard gets his play and Michigan Stadium gives him a standing ovation. And for Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, Will Campbell, Craig Roh, Roy Roundtree, Mike Kwiatkowski, Brandon Moore, Patrick Omameh, Elliot Mealer, Ricky Barnum, JT Floyd and Jordan Kovacs: Thank you!

Michigan 38 - 3

In and around Michigan Blogdom

The Big House blog calls for a similar score and a "Beat Nebraska" chant.

BWS has slight reservations, but then says: No contest!

Holdin' The Rope reminds us that the last time Michigan beat Iowa was 2006! Holy crap!

Maize N Brew predicts a close game at half, then Michigan takes control.

Maize and Go Blue points out that Michigan has the second longest home winning streak in the country.

The M Zone thinks the Hawkeye logo looks a bit like Fred Flintstone, in Know Your Foe

Touch the Banner is calling for a close one. And had cheerleaders!

MGoBlog has a variety of Senior Day activities.

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