- Iowa Runs one of the most balanced offenses in the big ten running about 225 passing plays this year and 225 rushing attempts.
- The team is led by JR QB James Vandenberg. In his first year taking snaps full time he’s has thrown 17 TD and only 4 INTs(very accurate completing 62% of his passes).
- One of the reasons for Vandenberg early success is SR WR Marvin McNugget who has snagged 48 receptions including 9 TDs
- Although Vandenberg gets all the media hype the second part of Iowa’s balanced offence SO RB Marcus Coker has had a spectacular year, rushing for 100 yards or more a game in every game except one, and amassing 969 yards and 10 TD’s.
- Although the offensive line has had a good season run blocking, they have also been prone to giving up sacks, with Vandenberg getting taken down 17 times this year.
- Iowa’s biggest problem this year has been their defense which allowed Iowa St to drop 44 points, Northwestern 31 and Minnesota to drop 21.
The Michigan Defense Vs. The Balanced Iowa Attack – The Michigan defense is going to have a large challenge this week, Iowa’s offense is very good(35th in the nation in points for) and Michigan’s defense is reeling a bit with injuries. But don’t overlook this battered Michigan defense they may now have to start some freshman but if you take a closer look many of these players had earned starting time and or significant playtime before the injuries started to pile up(Jake Ryan and Blake Countess to name a couple). The defense will still be well prepared by Coach Mattison and should be ready for battle. The most important part of attacking Iowa will be shutting down Coker and the run. If Michigan is able to shut him down(or contain him) they will be able to limit the damage that the Iowa offense can deal. For Example, get the offense into 3rd and long or medium; and the poor pass blockers (mentioned above) will allow Michigan’s complex blitzing scheme to rain fire and brimstone on Vandenberg all day. Iowa is a talented offense and will find ways to put up points but if we can limit one of the aspects of their attack the offense will become significantly less dangerous.
Michigan Offense Vs. Iowas Defense/Turnovers– Although Iowa’s Defense is ranked 40th in the country in points against and have been more solid at home then on the road I still believe that this is one of the Big Ten’s weakest D units. If you look beyond the scores and record of Iowa they have let bad teams put up huge numbers Iowa St put up 473 yards of total offense, Pitt 475, LA-Monroe 293 passing yards, Penn ST 395 total yards, NW almost 500 yards of total offense, and the list goes on and on home or away it doesn’t matter, the offense has been forced to bail the defense out time and again. What does this mean for Michigan? Well for starters it means that we should expect huge days from our stars Denard, Fitz, and a WR core looking for a big game. The only thing that can stop our super powered offense is and has been all year turnovers. And don’t get me wrong last week we showed positive signs with only the 2 Ints(one from Drob and one From Devin) But even those turnovers can easily be eliminated. If Michigan can continue to limit the turnovers there is no defense in the country especially a weak Iowa defense that can stop us.
Iowa has threats alright (Vandenberg, Coker, and McNugget) but they have only seen a defense like the Wolverines once this year and in that game Iowa was only able to put 3 up on the board. And on the other side of the ball they will have never seen an offense like the Michigan’s which has threats and on the ground and through the air that can score at any time. Look for Iowa to stay close in the first quarter before Michigan’s offense and defense takes it up a notch and obliterates the Hawkeyes.