Observations on the loss to Iowa, 28-30!

1--Iowa wins the game with 9 points off 5 Michigan turnovers while Michigan manages 7 points off one Iowa turnover in the first 40 seconds of the game. Iowa converts 3 red zones into 10 points while Michigan also gets 3 red zones for 21 points. Iowa takes control of the game in the second quarter and doesn't look back as they maintained a two score lead for most of the second half. Iowa scored 6 times, 4 offensive and 2 defensive while Michigan comes up with 4 scores, 3 offensive and 1 defensive. Iowa is a good football team currently ranked #12 nationally; we are not a very good football team.

2--Forcier was benched by Rodriquez late in the 4th quarter after going 8 for 19 for 94 yards with an interception. Coach Rod constantly yelled at Forcier throughout the game for mistakes so the entire nation could view. Odoms caught 4 and Koger had 3 catches, but passing game was miserable with 124 yards for the game.

3--Minor had 95 yards in 22 carries and 2 TDs. On the bright side offensively, we managed three rushing TDs against a defense that had not allow any rushing TDs in the last 33 quarters. We managed 18 first downs, net rushing was 195 yards and total offense was 319 yards. We were 4 of 12 in 3rd and 4th down conversions with 4 offensive turnovers and forced into 5 punts. I think we had at least 4 three and outs. Iowa has one of the best defenses in the nation and Big Ten. Jeremiha Hunter had 12 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception; Pat Angerer also had 12 tackles, Tyler Sash had 9 tackles and 2 pass break ups and E.J. Edds had 9 tackles and a pass break up for the Hawkeyes. Iowa had no sacks, but a forced fumble and two interceptions including the game ender by Greenwood.

4--Defense couldn't stop a very mediocre Iowa offense. This same Iowa team will get shellacked when they visit Columbus. Rick Stanzi raped our defense for 20 of 38 for 284 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception. The Hawkeyes have rolled up 367 net yards, 17 first downs and over 5 minutes time of possession advantage. Our safety play continues to be atrocious. Kovacs led the defense with 11 tackles. Brandon Graham had 9 tackles including 2 sacks. Jonas Mouton had 8 stops, 3 for loss. Iowa executed a great game plan against the Michigan defense, and our game plan was not effective nor was it effectively executed. 5th year Tight end Tony Moeaki returned after missing the last 3 games for Iowa and destroyed our defense. Moeaki had 6 catches for 105 yards and 2 TDs of 33 and 42 yards on designed screen passes that exposed our terrible coverage underneath in the middle of the field. If one notices, we are consistently exposed in the middle of the field with poor linebacking and safety play. Teams like Iowa and Michigan State simply expose what they see on the film, poor coverage and players consistently out of position failing to cover their zones and gaps. Our players miss tackle after tackle, game after game. A poor defense will never win championships. Our defensive backs dropped several interception opportunities in the second half, at least two or three by my recollection. We continue to give up big plays like the 3rd and 24 47 yard pass that led to a TD in the second quarter and the 42 yard screen for a TD in the 4th quarter. We are not a bend and break defense, but a broken defense.

5--Special teams play was miserable! Mathews fumbled a punt return leading to a Hawkeye red zone in the 3rd quarter to catapult Iowa into their first two score lead, 23-14! We miss a tackle after a tremendous Mesko punt that gives Iowa a 20 yard punt return and the ball on our 42; on the next play, Stanzi hits Moeaki for a 42 yard screen pass for a TD and another two score lead. Murray hit 3 of 4 field goals, only missing just before the half on a 53 yarder due to a delay of game call. Mesko outpunted Donahue with 5 punts and a 54 yard average; however, the superior Hawkeye punt and kickoff coverage, 9 points from special teams while giving away 3 points with the Mathews turnover gave Iowa a 12 point special teams advantage.

6--Rodriquez showed why he is such a poor coach visably losing his composure on the sideline and yelling at players. His demeanor looks and is unprofessional. He has a mean scowl on his face throughout the game particularly when our team unravels in the second half. One doesn't observe the same unprofessional demeanor from professional coaches like Ohio State's Jim Tressel, USC's Pete Carroll, Florida's Urban Meyer or Stanford's Jim Harbaugh. They stay composed and positive throughout the game, and have their assistant coaches do any "yelling" or "chewing out" players in appropriate places (like on the bench in hidden view) in an effort to correct mistakes rather in public view directly after an obvious mistake with demeaning tirades like we see from Coach Rod. The benching of Forcier and insertion of Robinson did spark the team with an 11 play, 59 yard TD drive pulling us to withing two with 3:19 to go; however, with 1:30 to go with the ball on our 17 and no time outs, I believe we needed to re-insert Forcier, the superior passing quarterback who executed a 92 yard drive a week ago in a similar situation. The reassertion of Robinson in the last 1:30 was not a wise decision. We only needed to get to the Iowa 30 yard line to have a chance for a game winning field goal attempt.

7--Michigan will defeat Delaware State; however, when we get back to Big Ten opponents, I am not expecting much based on this team's performance. We were outplayed, outhustled and outcoached like we were against Michigan State. I see us 6-6 and an optimistic 7-5 finish with losses to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State with possible wins against Purdue and Illinois.

8--Nothing much to report new on the player participation except Moundros didn't play. Everyone knows by now that Carlos Brown didn't make the trip due to concussion and Boubacar Cissoko may be off the team with attitude issues so he didn't make the trip either. Coach Rod stated after the game Cissoko was suspended due to team violations; however, he was benched in the Indiana game and stayed on the bench pouting. Then, he hasn't played since while J.T. Floyd finished the Indiana game and started the MSU game. Wolfolk started at corner in place of Floyd and Williams took over his Free Safety position. I don't think either Williams or Wolfolk played well, and neither look good at their respective positions. We are very, very weak at the corner and safety positions.

Observations on the first half with Iowa, 14-20!

1--Iowa is in control! The Hawkeyes have 10 points off two red zones, and Michigan comes up with 7 points in one red zone. Iowa converts 6 points off 3 Michigan turnovers (2 by Forcier and one by Minor) and Michigan converts 7 points off one Iowa turnover in the first 40 seconds of the game.
2--Forcier is 5 of 9 for 74 yards, and 8 runs for another 31 yards. Offense manages 8 first downs and is 3 of 7 in 3rd and 4th down conversions and 160 yards in total offense. Odoms has 3 catches for 62 yards. Iowa has 4:30 in time of possession advantage. Jeremiha Hunter leads the Hawks with 6 tackles and an interception.
3--Minor has 48 yards in 12 carries and a TD. Net rushing is 86 yards.
4--Defense can't hold a very mediocre Iowa offense. The Hawkeyes have rolled up 203 net yards, 9 first downs and Stanzi has 200 yards in passing with 12 of 21 and 7 of 11 in 3rd down conversions including a 47 yard pass on a 3rd and 24 to set up their last TD to go ahead. Our safety play continues to be atrocious. Kovacs leads the defense with 6 tackles. Warren and Mouton have 5 each; Warren has 2 pass break ups along with his TD interception. Graham has 2 sacks in his 4 tackles.
5--Special teams advantage goes to the Hawkeyes! Their kickoff and punt coverage is excellent. Stonum got his "bell rung" on one. Murray hit two of three field goals, only missing just before the half on a 53 yarder due to a delay of game call.  Donahue had two nice punts. Mesko had two great 50+ yards punts. Hemingway and Mathews had short punt returns.
6--Michigan's only chance in this game, in my opinion, is to score off their opening drive in the 3rd quarter since they get the ball first. Iowa has a +2 in turnovers and we need to even this out and capitalize to have a chance. It will take at least 30 up on the board to win this one.

Iowa's Pink Visitors Locker Room

Friday Walk Through Video

Iowa Press Conference

Iowa Depth Chart

Wednesday, October 7 Press Conference

Iowa Preview 2009

The Michigan Wolverines invade Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City at night with hopes to ruin the Hawkeyes homecoming; however, they are a touchdown underdog. Iowa has won 41 of its last 49 games at home, one of those 8 losses was to Michigan in overtime in 2005. Iowa has lost three in a row to Michigan, but since the last meeting was in 2006, this is the first meeting between Coach Rodriquez and Coach Ferentz.

On offense, Iowa starts Junior Quarterback Ricky Stanzi; he is not a scrambler like Cousins, but he is 43% on 3rd down conversions. His favorite targets are Sophomore Marvin McNutt and Trey Stross; they average 48 and 46 yards per game. Redshirt Freshman Tailbacks Adam Robinson is averaging 72 yards per game on the ground and Brandon Wegher is averaging 54 yards per game. The Hawkeye offensive line is led by Senior Dace Richardson and Junior Brian Bulaga. The matchup with Brandon Graham and Bulaga will be a good one. Senior Rafael Eubanks is the Center, Right Guard is manned by Junior Julian Vandervelde and Senior Kyle Calloway is the Right Tackle. One thing you can be sure about in Iowa, this is a corn-fed offensive line; big, strong and beefy. They are solid in run blocking, and don't give up many sacks. Iowa plays "power football." Iowa is ranked #10 in the Big Ten in scoring offense, #7 in pass offense, rushing offense and 3rd down conversions and #9 in total offense; yet, #1 in time of possession. Nationally, they rank #74 in total offense, #55 in passing offense, #62 in rushing offense and #82 in scoring offense. Iowa is not a prolific offense. We should be able to stop them, and hold them below 20 points offensively; if we can't stop this offense, we are headed to a 6-6 season. Iowa managed 17 points against Northern Iowa, 21 against Penn State, 24 against Arkansas State, 27 against Arizona and their season high of 35 points against arch-rival Iowa State in Ames. Much of their scoring has been due to defensive turnovers, defensive scores; however, their offense has converted many of these turnovers into points.

On defense, it is quite another story for the Hawkeyes! We will have quite a challenge running the football since their defense has not allowed a rushing touchdown in the last 33 quarters although they are only ranked #51 in rushing defense; they are tough to run on in the red zone. Their pass defense is ranked #31 nationally and #3 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeye pass efficiency defense is ranked #1 in the Big Ten and #4 nationally with 10 interceptions and 5 TDs. Their total defense is ranked #32 nationally, #3 in the Big Ten, and scoring defense is an impressive #10 nationally. Their red zone defense has only permitted 4 TDs in 5 games whith 10 opponent trips to the Hawkeye red zone. Iowa is ranked #5 in the nation in turnovers gained, and #17 in turnover margin. Iowa is led on defense by Senior Linebacker Pat Angerer, and Junior Linebacker Jeremiha Hunter. Senior A.J. Edds is the other linebacker. Sophomore defensive back Tyler Sash is #2 the nation in interceptions with 5 picks in 5 games. Sophomore Brett Greenwood is the other corner. Amari Spievey is the safety. The Hawkeyes should be able to thwart a weak Wolverine passing game. Junior Adrian Clayborn will be putting heat on Forcier; he has two forced fumbles and three sacks in five games. Sophomore Broderick Binns is the other defensive end. Juniors Karl Klug and Chris Ballard are the defensive tackles, hard to move out. This is another great Norm Parker and Phil Parker product, both are formerly Michiganders who have been coaching the Hawkeye defense for the last 11 years.

Special Teams are led by Junior placekicker Daniel Murray and Junior Punter Ryan Donahue. They are both consistent, and the Hawkeyes always have solid special teams; they are ranked #4 in kickoff coverage in the Big Ten and net punting ranks #31 nationally. Junior Paul Chaney Jr. is their kickoff and punt returner; he also will run some reverses and is a backup wide receiver.

I'm predicting a Wolverine defeat! I don't think we'll be able to run the ball effectively against the Hawkeyes, and my opinion is that we'll lose the turnover battle and Iowa will convert turnovers into points. Our poor red zone offense will struggle against a tough Iowa defense; our only hope is to break some big plays early and get a lead on them that would take the crowd out of the game and put pressure on a mediocre Iowa offense to come from behind. While this idea sounds romantic, but the more realistic reality tells me that Iowa prevails.

Michigan 16 Iowa 24