Grade the Wolverines: Rate Michigan's performance against Iowa
Here's your chance to weigh in on the Michigan football team's 24-16 loss at Iowa. Grade the Wolverines on offense, defense, special teams, coaching and overall:
The Wolverines outgained Iowa (323-302) and had more first downs (22-15), but also ran 19 more plays (75-56) than the Hawkeyes. The four most important came in the final 16 seconds of the game from the Iowa 3-yard-line when Denard Robinson (17-of-37 passing, 194 yards, 2 TDs) threw four straight incomplete passes. Running back Fitz Toussaint gained 58 yards on 16 carries before leaving with an injury and taking the ground game with him. Robinson ran 12 times for 55 yards.
Marcus Coker (29 carries, 132 yards, 2 TDs) was the workhorse for Iowa and the Michigan secondary had trouble handling Marvin McNutt (9 catches, 101 yards) at times. However, the defense gave the Wolverines a chance to win. Jake Ryan’s tackle-for-loss on a 3rd-and-1 play - one of eight team TFLs - got Michigan the ball back with 2:15 to play. Iowa was 4-of-12 on third-down conversions.
An early missed extra point (holder Drew Dileo bobbled the snap) would have been more damaging had Michigan scored late and been forced to attempt a two-point conversion. Brendan Gibbons hit a 32-yard field goal, Will Hagerup averaged 39.4 yards on five punts, Martavious Odoms averaged 23 yards on three kick returns and kick/punt return units were relatively solid.
The Hawkeyes’ biggest weapons (Coker, McNutt) did their jobs on Saturday while a combination of Iowa’s game planning and Michigan’s play calling seemed to take Robinson’s running ability out of the equation. Win, Kirk Ferentz and Co.?
The Wolverines are 7-2 and likely out of Legends Division title contention since Michigan State and Iowa hold tie-breaker advantages against them. Was this a respectable and understandable Big Ten road loss for a rebuilding program, or a sign that not much has changed - besides the coaches - around Schembechler Hall.