Friday, November 16, 2012

Preview: Terrible Iowa 2012

Iowa vs. #21 Michigan
The Big House, Ann Arbor, MI
Kickoff 12:00 pm EST
Forecast: Mid-40s, 20% chance of rain 

This game, like Minnesota, does not warrant a full preview. Despite playing in the worst conference in America, Iowa is 98th in rushing offense, 113th in passing efficiency, 102nd in scoring offense, 60th in rushing defense, 59th in pass efficiency defense, and 29th in scoring defense. Basically, this is an average defense in a terrible conference and an atrocious offense. The only way Michigan loses this game is if both Devin Gardner and Denard go down, and even then, Michigan will probably still be able to eek out a win.

I do have slight reservations about the game. It seems like every week, teams break tendencies against Michigan. Though Iowa OC Greg Davis may be allergic to passes longer than 10 yards, I would not be surprised if Iowa tried to attack Michigan's suspect secondary. It won't make a difference to the final score, but James Vandenberg has the arm to attack Michigan's corners. Michigan's front seven should demolish Iowa's janky offensive line and backup-backup-backup running backs, so they will eventually have to start airing it out.

Since this won't be much of a contest, things to watch in this game include: Can Ondre Pipkins build upon a decent outing against Northwestern? Linebacker rotation, specifically, how much time Desmond Morgan gets. How open do Iowa's receivers get downfield, regardless of whether or not the passes are completed. Jake Ryan, because he's going to have a monster game. Denard Robinson, if he's playing, because it's his last game in the Big House. Whether or not Dennis Norfleet can actually return a kick for good yardage or if he keeps just running directly into a wall of oncoming defenders.

Final score: Iowa 3 - Michigan 38


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