Week 11 Preview: #3 Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Last week Michigan dismantled Maryland at home, and this week they look to go on the road to Iowa and take on the Hawkeyes. Michigan stayed at the number three spot in the latest college football playoff rankings.
Iowa won’t be an easy game for the Wolverines as Kinnick Stadium is always a tough place to play, especially in primetime. Iowa is 5-4, coming off a two game losing streak to Wisconsin and Penn State so they will be heated and on a different level at home at night. Michigan shouldn’t overlook the Hawkeyes as it will be a rough road game, check out what to expect below.
What to Expect Against Iowa
Wilton Speight will have a tough test against the Hawkeyes pass defense. Desmond King leads the team in pass deflections with seven, six pass break-ups and one interception. Speight will have to be careful to where he throws the ball and make sure he doesn’t cause any turnovers.
De’Veon Smith is looking better and better each week. Drake Johnson is officially out for the season, despite reports saying he was 100 percent just a few weeks ago. Luckily the Wolverines have many running backs that having him out for the rest of the year isn’t a problem, they have been just fine without him so far. Linebacker Josey Jewell will be the guy to help try to stop Smith and company. Jewell has 87 tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
The receivers will have some tough tests besides Desmond King. Safety Brandon Snyder has a team high two interceptions along with a pass break-up and three pass deflections. Luckily for the Michigan offense they have more than one weapon so while King and Snyder will possibly covering Chesson/Darboh and Butt, that still leaves another one receiver or two against an easy opponent that should be able to break off from easily.
The offensive line will have to monsters to stop. The first is Jaleel Johnson who is the team leading sack machine with five and a half sacks, 38 tackles and six and a half tackles for loss. The other problem is defensive end Anthony Nelson. He has 25 tackles, five tackles for loss and four sacks. Michigan might struggle to run the ball if Nelson and Johnson can have an impact and get pressure to Speight and Smith.
Michigan’s defensive line held the Terrapins rushing attack in check last week and Iowa has a similar attack. They have two main backs with Akrum Walker leading the team in yards with 664 on 99 carries and eight touchdowns. LeShun Daniels Jr. leads the team in carries with 129 for 642 yards and six touchdowns. Taco Charlton and Ryan Glasgow will need to help stop the run to make the Hawkeyes rely on the pass.
Jabrill Peppers and Mike McCray will need to do well in helping stopping the run as well along with the passing attack. Jabrill needs to have a big game as all the lights will be shined on him. If the run game can get through the stout defensive line, the linebacking core will be there to put an end to it.
The defensive backs for Michigan will need to be on their game. C.J. Beathard is having a good year so far, throwing for 1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. They have many receivers that Michigan will need to watch out for. Riley McCarron is the leading receiver with 34 catches for 378 yards and three touchdowns. Three other receivers had 19 catches, George Kettle has 289 yards and two touchdowns, Matt VandeBerg has 284 yards and three touchdowns and Jerminic Smith has 271 yards and two touchdowns. The secondary will need all the help they can get as Iowa will have many weapons to push them to their limit.
Overall this will be a tough game for the Wolverines. Iowa is having issues, but they will bring it all at home at night time. Michigan will have some issues, but they will get it all figured out by the end of the first quarter and dominate the rest of the game. Michigan will show the world what they can do in primetime as the season nears the end.
Prediction: #3 Michigan 38 – Iowa 10
Brandon Knapp covers the Michigan Wolverines, follow him on Twitter @BKnappBlogs