Observations on the overtime win over Iowa, 23-20!

1-Iowa's offense creates five red zone opportunities including one in overtime for 20 points while our offense creates three red zone opportunities including one in overtime for 16 points and the win. We matched and surpassed their intensity in the second half, and while we lost the first half, we did what we needed to for the win. How about the undefeated overtime record?

2-Henne was 14 of 21 for 207 yards, 1 pick and 2 TDs! We were five of thirteen on 3rd and 4th down conversions, 19 first downs and 342 yards in total offense on 63 plays. Jason Avant has 7 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD. Steve Breaston's big play of 52 yards gave us the lead. We've been forced to punt 6 times by a tough Iowa defense who also stopped a drive with a pick by Merrick and forced a fumble by Bass, but didn't convert either opportunity into points with that fumble being a red zone opportunity. Abdul Hodge had 20 tackles and Greenway had 16 tackles each to lead their defense. Hodge also forced the Bass fumble.

3-Kevin Grady had 62 yards on 18 carries, but it was 4th stringer, Jerome Jackson, who scored the winning touchdown that concluded an 11 carry, 44 yard day. Michael Hart left the game after his ankle was taped 3 times; he had 17 yards on 5 carries plus one 9 yard catch. Max Martin comes in and fumbles on his first play, but it wasn't called a fumble. We got a break there.

4-Defense won this game by shutting down the Iowa offense in the second half, and in overtime. It was won of the most heroic efforts I've seen by a Michigan defense that definitely matched the Iowa intensity level in the second half and in overtime. Grant Mason had 12 tackles and Prescott Burgess had 11 tackles to lead a stingy, tough Wolverine defense. Burgess also had one sack. Our best defensive player, Lamarr Woodley, left the game with an injury, and Woods had 4 tackles, 2 for loss including one sack and a tipped pass while Tim Jamison had another sack as he replaced an injured Alan Branch at the other end. John Thompson came in to replace Chris Graham in the second half and had 8 tackles including 3 for loss. David Harris and Brandon Harrison had 8 tackles each, and Morgan Trent really played well with 6 tackles. Harris was credited with the field goal block. Jamar Adams had 7 tackles, and replaced Brandent Engelmon who started, but didn't last long in this tough hitting affair.

5-Drew Tate was 27 of 39 for 288 yards and 2 TDs, one pick and 3 sacks. Herb Grigsby has 5 catches, 2 for TDs for 68 yards while Scott Chandler had 8 catches for 90 yards. Clinton Solomon had 8 catches for 76 yards. Albert Young had 153 yards on 30 carries, but Thompson led our left side to stop the Hawkeye attack in the second half. Still, they ended up with a 14 play advantage that our defense negated; although, gametacker is reporting us with a 20 minute time of possession advantage (I think that is wrong). Iowa had 23 first downs, and 411 yards in 77 offensive plays with 5 of 16 in 3rd down conversions. We forced the Hawkeyes into 6 punts. Iowa fumbled twice, but only lost the ball once on the interception by Harrison.

6-Jake Long is back and played some in the game including at the end where we ran over right tackle for the win. Iowa took 11 penalties for 94 yards while we had 3 for 29 yards. That was a huge difference, but in the end either team could have won. Crable really goofed on the stupid hold in overtime when we had them stopped.

7-Special teams didn't win or lose the game, but while Schlichter hit two of three field goals and Rivas hit one of one; it was the tipped field goal by Harris that stood out as the special teams play of the game. Ryan punted well 6 times with 3 downed inside the 20. Breaston had no punt returns and 2 kickoff returns, but a ferocious Hawkeye unit limited him to only 30 yards.

8-I thought a safety should have been called on the kickoff that was tipped, then kicked by the Iowa player into the end zone for a touchback rather than a safety. The impetus of the ball placed the ball on the one, but it was the kick by the player that placed the ball in the end zone.

9-This game reminded me of the Purdue game a year ago, 16-14, where Shazor leveled the Purdue receiver, Bryant, to win a low scoring defensive struggle. We really missed a chance to ice the game with the interception drop by Harris, and then Tate outhustling and outgrabbing Harris for the fumble on the next play.

10-If I don't post a halftime or end of the game summary, it will be because I've had a heart attack or stroke with the nailbiting games that we persist with. 5 of our Big Ten games this year have been decided in the last 24 seconds or in overtime: 3 wins, 2 losses. Lloyd Carr get his 100th win! The Northwestern game will be huge next week at night in Evanston with the Wildcats having a spread offense that will cause us real problems. If we can survive, we'll be in position to meet the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor for a possible title match.
Observations on the first half with Iowa, 7-14!

1—As everyone can see, we are completely being outplayed in every phase of the game: offense, defense and special teams. We aren’t matching or meeting Iowa’s intensity, and it is reflected in the score. Iowa converts on two offensive red zones for 14 points while we convert our one red zone attempt for 7 points.

2—Henne is 8 of 13 for 103 yards, 1 pick and 1 TD! We are one of five on 3rd down conversions, 12 first downs and 173 yards in total offense on 34 plays with almost 2 minutes time of possession advantage. Jason Avant has 4 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD. We’ve been forced to punt 4 times by a tough Iowa defense who also stopped a drive with a pick by Merrick. Hodge and Greenway have 9 tackles each to lead their defense.

3—Kevin Grady has 49 yards on 12 carries. Michael Hart has left the game and had his ankle taped 3 times; he has 17 yards on 5 carries plus one 9 yard catch, but won’t play much in the 2nd half if at all. Max Martin comes in and fumbles on his first play, but it wasn’t called so he’s back on the pine for the rest of the game.

4—Defense looks bad! Grant Mason has 6 tackles, Harris and Burgess have 5 each. Woodley left the game with an injury, and Woods had 4 tackles, 2 for loss including one sack while Tim Jamison has another sack as he replaced an injured Alan Branch at the other end.

5—Drew Tate is on fire, and is 14 of 19 for 153 yards and 2 TDs, no picks and 2 sacks. Herb Grigsby has 4 catches, 2 for TDs for 36 yards while Scott Chandler has 5 catches for 67 yards. Clinton Solomon has 3 catches for 35 yards. Albert Young has 93 yards on 12 carries as the Hawkeyes continue to attack our left side successfully blocking Burgess and Graham, and forcing our safeties and backs to come up to make tackles. Iowa has 12 first downs, and 242 yards in 37 offensive plays with 4 of 8 in 3rd down conversions. We forced the Hawkeyes into 3 punts. We are lucky they didn’t convert the turnover into points.

6—Jake Long is back and played some in the game. Iowa has taken 8 penalties for 67 yards, and if it weren’t for that and the missed fumble call, we’d be further behind.

7—I don’t like our chances because we aren’t meeting their intensity and toughness, but hope our players and coaches will re-group and respond in the 2nd half.

Iowa Preview:

Iowa has earned 5 victories, and although upset by intrastate rival, Iowa State, has only one loss in the Big Ten to Ohio State. Both losses came on the road, they are undefeated at home. They will be tough at home in Iowa City with a strong defense.

Their offense is led by Junior quarterback Drew Tate who has guided the Hawkeyes to the top of the Big Ten in Red Zone efficiency with converting 23 of 24 attempts for 15 TDs and 8 field goals. Tate averages 192 yards per game with 53% completion rate; he has not been spectacular, but he has been efficient when it counts and is #2 in the Big Ten in efficiency with a 154.4 rating behind Drew Stanton. Senior Clinton Solomon is his favorite target with 20 receptions and 6 TDs. Sophomore Albert Young has rushed for over 102 yards per game, and has 133 all-purpose yards per game. Their offensive line is led by former Michigan recruit, Junior Guard Mike Jones, and Kirk Ferentz' son, Brian, at center.They are the worst team in the Big Ten in time of possession advantage, but as Indiana learned after 101 plays and 40 minutes of possession, it is the final score on the scoreboard that counts.

Their defense leads the Big Ten in red zone defense allowing opponents only 13 conversions in 21 attempts, 12 TDs (5 by run and 7 by pass) and 1 field goal. Conversely, they are the worst in the Big Ten in opponent 3rd down conversions allowing 55 of 120 for 45.8%. I guess this is your "bend, but don't break" defense. They have only allowed opponents 17 points per game. Senior Linebacker Chad Greenway leads the conference in tackles with 93 which averages to 13 per game. Senior Linebacker Abdul Hodge is the 4th leading tackler in the conference averaging over 11 tackles per game. Javon Johnson is an excellent defensive back with 2 interceptions so far, and Redshirt Freshman Mitch King is doing a nice job on the defensive line; he has 7 tackles for loss and 3 forced fumbles. Sophomore Kenny Iwebema is their sack specialist with 5 sacks from the defensive end position. Former Michigan Coach Greg Mattison's son, Bryan is the other defensive end; he wanted to play at Michigan, but we couldn't find a scholarship for him. He was a Sporting News Freshman All-Big Ten last year.

The strength of their special teams is their field goals where Junior Kyle Schlicher is 9 of 10, best in the Big Ten. They have the worst kickoff return team averaging only 12.8 yards per return; this starts them in poor field position. Senior receiver Ed Hinkel does a nice job in punt returns, and hurt Michigan in previous games; however, he won't return punts due to a broken arm so Javon Johnson gets the call. Iowa always has great special teams, and that is because Ferentz is such a great coach; they are #2 in the conference in net punting. They also are the least penalized team in the Big Ten so they typically don't beat themselves with a lack of discipline.

It looks like another low scoring nailbiter!

Michigan 20 Iowa 16