Week 11 Review: Iowa Hawkeyes 14 – #3 Michigan Wolverines 13
This was the best time to lose. There was an upset last night in Kinnick Stadium as the Iowa Hawkeyes took down the third ranked Michigan Wolverines. Michigan was flat on offense, while the defense did its best possible job to keep them alive. Jim Harbaugh had his worst coached game, while quarterback Wilton Speight had his worst game of his career. Michigan losing doesn’t mean the world is over though, there is still hope left in this season.
The main reason for the upset in Iowa was Wilton Speights performance. He went 11/26 for 103 yards and an interception. Some of those incomplete passes were right in receivers hands and they dropped it. The interception wasn’t a smart throw and was contested on the way down. Speight overthrew many receivers and it gave some fans flashbacks to Jake Rudock earlier in the year in 2015.
Along with the passing game not starting out strong, the run game didn’t help much either. Fans were upset with the rushing attack, screaming for Ty Isaac to get the ball more. Sadly, those upset fans wouldn’t get their wish as Ty Isaac only had one carry for seven yards and a touchdown. De’Veon Smith lead the team in carries with 12, but only got 28 yards. Chris Evans was the best running back with eight carries for 52 yards.
Another mistake by the Wolverines was the poor receiver play. Jake Butt dropped many passes, but still lead the team in catches with four for 39 yards. Jehu Chesson had two catches for 30 yards and Grant Perry made his return and got one catch for 10 yards. upset.
The offensive line didn’t exist in the upset. While they allowed two sacks, they couldn’t get the run game going. They couldn’t push the defensive line in Iowa backwards to create a lane for any back. Poor performance by all five men as they also allowed a safety.
Now while the offense didn’t show up in the upset, the defense did it’s job for the most part. The defensive line was inconsistent, but did the best they could do. Chris Wormley had his best game with six tackles, two for loss and a sack. Taco Charlton had four tackles and a sack, while Chase Winovich had just one tackle and a sack.
If the defensive line let the running back for Iowa go through, the linebackers had to be the next one to stop whoever it was and they struggled with that. Michigan allowed 177 yards on the ground as Mike McCray had a horrible game, blowing coverage and not wrapping up tackles, but ended up with seven. Jabrill Peppers was quiet, getting just five tackles. Ben Gedeon had nine tackles, one for loss.
The secondary for the Wolverines was the bright spot on the defense in the upset, holding Iowa to just 66 passing yards. Dymonte Thomas was the leading tackler with 10. Channing Stribling had three tackles and a late interception that could have sealed up the win for the Wolverines. Jourdan Lewis had two tackles.
Special Teams would have been the best unit if it wasn’t for the one mistake made by Khalid Hill. He had two kick returns for 23 yards, and on one the ball was going to go out of bounds if he let it bounce, but he took it and ran and got hit hard and fumbled the ball to open the second half and give Iowa momentum. Jabrill had one return for 16 yards and had one return for 19 yards on a punt. Kenny Allen was solid, punting six times for 244 yards and was 2/2 on field goals, his longest from 51.
Week 12 Preview and Notes
The good news about this upset? Michigan wasn’t the only one to get upset yesterday. #2 Clemson lost to Pitt, #4 Washington lost to #20 USC, #8 Texas A&M lost to Ole Miss and #9 Auburn lost to Georgia. This helps the Wolverines greatly. If Michigan would have been the only team to lose, they could be lower on the playoff rankings. Looking at how everything is though, Michigan’s best chance is to be the number six seed, while the worst case is number 10. Michigan had to win out to make the playoffs either way, so they aren’t out of it just yet.
Michigan plays Indiana next week in which should be a good game. Indiana has given Penn State and Ohio State upset scares, but it shouldn’t be a blow out or an upset. Michigan will come in pissed and thankfully it is the final home game, so the team will want to send the fans home happy for the final time in 2016. They should be able to do that before traveling to Columbus.