By Jacob Keppen September 29, 2022 6:30 am
By Jacob Keppen |
This is the week Iowa fans have been waiting months for.
The last time these two met it was on Dec. 4, Lucas Oil Stadium the backdrop, and subsequently the witness, for a Big Ten Championship beatdown for the ages. Iowa’s defense was on fire, causing a bevy of turnovers every week and just making life hectic for opposing offensive coordinators. The team’s stock might not have been where it was a few weeks ago when the Hawkeyes somehow found themselves ranked second in the nation, but big wins over Penn State and Minnesota showed that they deserved to be there!
Michigan obviously thought otherwise, treating their black and gold opponents like a bug on their windshield, one that would not stand in their way to either the Big Ten Championship, nor the College Football Playoffs.
Winning 42-3 in a conference championship against one of the best defenses in the nation no less is pretty much as profound a statement you can make as a program. Michigan truly was back, and all of the Harbaugh naysayers who called for his job the past few years would have to flock back to the woodwork.
Now, almost a year later, these two teams meet in a much different venue, Kinnick Stadium, the host for Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff and one of the most anticipated Big Ten matchups of the season.
Pete Fiutak. in his recent breakdown for College Football News sees this one going the way of the Wolverines, in a comfortable, low-scoring contest.
Michigan hasn’t given away a thing.
One interception against Hawaii, one fumble against Maryland. That’s been in for the turnovers. The team has been flagged a ridiculously low nine times, and it’s been able to get through any slight adversity by being methodical.
This is the game for the Michigan defense.
The offense will sputter and cough, and Corum will be bottled up, but it’ll be a slow and steady drum beat with just enough points to get by. The Wolverine D will hold up well with a great day against the non-existent Iowa passing attack.
Michigan 26, Iowa 13. – Fiutak, College Football News.
Iowa sputtered out of the gates to start the season, the offense quite literally offensive to any onlookers those first two games. It has since improved over the past two games, 27 points scored in both contests which isn’t amazing but it is pretty good for typical Iowa standards.
Meanwhile, Michigan enters Kinnick undefeated, overcoming their biggest test yet in Maryland last week. Ranked fourth in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, they face easily the biggest defensive test of the season in the Hawkeyes. It is assumed that the J.J. McCarthy-led offense is legit again, but this will be their chance to prove so.
Every Hawkeyes fan in Kinnick will have the hope that their team will come away with the victory, the Iowa defense exposing the Wolverines offense as overrated whilst the offense does just enough to capitalize. With all rationale and logic heading in, those hopes are most likely just that: hopes. The same argument of Michigan having yet to face a truly good opponent also rings true for the Hawkeyes as well.
The difference though is that Michigan looked fantastic against the teams they were supposed to look great against. Iowa instead has struggled to inspire any confidence in their offense, the biggest cause for optimism is the unit scoring 27 points against Nevada and Rutgers.
By all rational logic, Michigan should win this one in a classic Big Ten-style way, their talent simply too much for Iowa. You never know, though.
Games are not won on paper.
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2022 Big Ten Football, 2022 Big Ten Football Season, 2022 Iowa Football, 2022 Iowa Football Schedule, 2022 NCAAF season, Big Noon Kickoff, Fox, Iowa Michigan, Kinnick Stadium, Michigan, Michigan Football, Michigan Wolverines, Football
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By Jacob Keppen September 29, 2022 6:30 am