While 7-3 though ten games is not what Michigan envisioned when the season started, how they got there has been equally as disappointing. They showed marginal improvement last week against an injury riddled Northwestern team, however this week in Iowa City will be a much stiffer challenge.
With the shot of playing for a B1G championship gone, a chance at 8 or 9 regular season wins is still on the table.
Iowa’s defense won’t be confused with MSU’s anytime soon, but their front is stout and with Michigan’s struggles along the interior of the offensive line, expecting to rush for near 4 yards a carry two weeks in a row is unlikely.
Devin Gardner, from the outside looking in, had a somewhat efficient game last week. But if Northwestern’s defense didn’t have lobster claws for arms they would have picked him off 5-6 times. I get that he’s running for his life nearly every play, but at some point throwing the ball out of bounds needs to cross his mind if his first or second target are covered.
Michigan will try to pound the ball, if for no other reason of Gardner’s preservation. Expect Iowa to use the blueprint of the previous three games and load the box and largely be successful. Michigan will make enough plays to stay in the game.
However both of Iowa’s lines will prove too much for Michigan to overcome, and Iowa will make just enough plays to win.
Iowa 23 Michigan 17