Iowa vs. Michigan
Betting Line: Iowa -3.5 o/u 53
They say what goes up must come down. Michigan fans were high as a kite about their chances of success this year, until they were soundly defeated by in state rival Michigan State a week ago. They must now clear the wreckage from the blast and prepare to take on an even tougher opponent. That opponent comes in the form of QB Ricky Stanzi and the Iowa Hawkeyes. They are ranked the 15th best team in the country and they enter this Game on a week of rest. They have been rock solid on defense so it will be interesting to see how they deal with QB Denard Robinson who is the best mobile QB in the BCS. Let’s analyze this battle of Big Ten foes.
Defense, defense, defense, and more defense, has been the theme for the Iowa Hawkeyes. They are #1 in the country in the category of points against. They allow only 10.2 points per Game. This team is giving up only 246 yards of offense per Game. They are going to always be in with a shot to win when they play that well. One area they could improve on is sacks. They have got to opposing QBs only 7 times this year. It won’t be easy to do that against Denard Robinson. Teams have been good in the air against Iowa, but have done poorly running the ball. Robinson is a runner, but he can also pass so it’s important that the Hawkeyes don’t over emphasize their strategy on stopping him in the run Game.
The Iowa offense has a great leader in QB Ricky Stanzi. He has 10 TD passes and just 2 INTs this year. If he is effective and doesn’t make mistakes this team is very tough to beat. Adam Robinson gets the job done in the run Game for the Hawkeyes. He is averaging 4.9 YPC for a total of 480 yards and 6 TDs this year. The Michigan defense hasn’t been able to stop a sneeze this year, so we can expect Iowa to put a heaping helping of points on the board. The only way they could fall apart is if the offensive line collapses. They allowed 6 sacks in Iowa’s loss to Arizona on the road.
The Michigan Wolverines were delivered a 34-17 sMACk down at the hands of Michigan State at home last week. Denard Robinson, who has been a large part of the Wolverines success, was a large part of their downfall. We’ve said it in the past: this team will live and die with Robinson. In this Game, they died as he tossed 3 INTs and only found the end zone twice. On the year he has 1,223 passing yards and 6 TDs. He has rushed for a massive 991 yards and 9 TDs. Michigan has to prove they can be dynamic in this Game. They won’t win with Robinson alone. It will be interesting to see how the sophomore recovers from playing his first bad Game.
The Michigan defense has been exposed as phony time and time again. With the recruits that this powerful program draws in, it’s hard to believe, but it’s the truth. They are allowing an average of 451 yards per Game. FCS opponent Massachusetts was able to get 37 points from them. Indiana picked up 35. They looked good holding Notre Dame to 24, and UCONN to 10, but it appears a stroke luck allowed them to do that. The Wolverines have to come out and play inspired on BOTH sides of the ball or they won’t have a chance and RichRod will be back on the hot seat just as quick as he got off of it.
To make their 15th ranking legit, the Hawkeyes are going to have to win on the road. Their only other road Game this year ended in defeat at the hands of Arizona, 34-27. On paper they look like the better team here. Unfortunately, they don’t play the Games on paper. But we’re going to go ahead here and back Iowa as the number is low enough. Currently there are a couple of -3’s on the board and we’re likely to see more as the week goes on.
Iowa -3 over Michigan Predicted ScoreIowa 31 Michigan 17