Observations on the loss to Iowa, 16-24
To say we got screwed by the officials is certainly an understatement, the final drive had a sure TD call reversed and a pass interference call on the last play ignored. I counted four ignored pass interference calls on the game against us. We were screwed by the officials, and the officials were "gutless" and hardly Big Ten caliber. An official is supposed to give both teams a fair chance to win; they didn't do that. Officials are supposed to call the first and last play of the game with consistency, and they failed on that count as well. Michigan could only convert 16 points in five red zone opportunities while Iowa scored 21 points in 3 red zones along with 3 points off two Wolverine turnovers for the win.
Denard Robinson was 17 of 37 for 194 yards, 2 TDs and a pick, and ran 12 times for 55 yards with a fumble give to the Hawkeyes. Fitzgerald Touissaint ran for 58 yards in 16 carries, and a 5 yard TD reception. Vincent Smith had 14 yards in 4 carries, and 2 catches for 12 yards, but a big drop on the next to the last play of the game. Offense had 323 yards, 127 on the ground, 22 first downs and was 8 of 18 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. Junior Hemingway had 5 catches for 64 yards, Roy Roundtree has 2 catches for 37 yards, and Kelvin Grady had 2 catches for 22 yards. Time of possession was even, but obviously Iowa did a better job with their time than we did. Jordan Bernstein had 15 tackles, and Tyler Nielsen had 13 plus a sack, a forced fumble and fumble recovery for the Hawkeyes.
Defense allowed Iowa 302 yards of total offense, 131 on the ground, 15 first downs and 5 of 14 on 3rd and 4th down conversions. James Vandenburg was 14 of 21 for 171 yards. Marcus Coker has 1332 yards on 29 carries for 2 TDs. Marvin McNutt had 9 catches for 101 yards, and a 7 yard reverse. Keenan Davis caught a 44 yards to set up their first red zone opportunity, and had one second half catch for 8 yards. Kenny Demens led the defense with 11 tackles. Blake Countess, Jordan Kovacs, Mike Martin, Desmond Morgan and Troy Woolfolk had 6 tackles each.
Brendon Gibbons hit his only field goal opportunity from 32. Jeremy Gallon had two punt returns for 17 yards, and a 13 yard kickoff return. Martavious Odoms had 3 kickoff returns for 69 yards. Will Hagerup had 5 punts for a 39.4 yard average. Matt Wile had 4 kickoffs, but one went out of bounds. Drew Dileo fumbles away the extra point. We allowed Micah Hyde two punt returns for 28 yards.
It was a much more evenly played game that the score indicates, and should have gone into overtime. Oh well, in the end, our red zone lack of execution was what lost this game for us along with the lack of offensive execution including offensive turnovers. Hopefully, we can rebound next week against Illinois; otherwise, we may be looking at a 7-5 record with ending the year with 4 losses in a row.