Seniors look to bow out of Michigan Stadium with 1st win against Iowa
ANN ARBOR -- The climate is right for Michigan to look past Iowa, which is 4-6 after dropping four straight games, to next week's matchup against unbeaten Ohio State.
Except for one thing: No current player has beaten the Hawkeyes.
The seniors have one last shot to topple the Hawkeyes, and they can do it in their one last shot to play at Michigan Stadium. Rest assured, that's become a point of emphasis in team meetings this week.
"It shows what kind of team they are, and how well they're coached," senior center Elliott Mealer said. "It's a reminder we can't look past these guys. It's a big one on our lists, to beat these guys."
No. 23 Michigan (7-3, 5-1) hasn't beaten Iowa since posting a 20-6 victory on Oct. 21, 2006. That six-year drought is the Wolverines' longest against any Big Ten opponent.
They have lost three straight in the series, including a 24-16 setback last year in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes rushed right at that formidable Michigan defense with success, as Marcus Coker racked up 132 yards on 29 carries.
The Wolverines had four shots at the end zone in the closing seconds, including one pass that Junior Hemingway caught but was ruled out of bounds, but couldn't convert.
"They've been able to control the game clock, they can control the tempo of the game and they've kept our defense on the field too long," senior safety Jordan Kovacs said. "(We) didn't get off the field enough and didn't give our offense the ball back to put us in a position to win.
"We've had struggles with them year in and year out. They're a tough football team, they run the ball downhill and (James) Vandenberg is a good quarterback, so we'll have our hands full. Obviously you don't want to go 0-fer against an opponent, so we're hungry."
Coker is gone this year, and Iowa is a different team.
The Hawkeyes rank near the bottom of the Big Ten in most offensive categories, including rushing (11th), scoring (10th) and yards (11th).
They have lost four in a row, a stretch that includes defeats against Northwestern and Purdue, two teams Michigan has beaten.
The Hawkeyes appear wounded, but Michigan isn't taking them lightly.
"I have not beaten Iowa yet and I know for selfish reasons that will be a huge motivation," senior defensive lineman Craig Roh said. "I never want to go not beating a team in my career. That's something we control, that this whole team controls."