November 15, 2012

2012 IOWA FOOTBALL - WEEK 12: IOWA @ MICHIGAN


Sedge’s Hawkeye Game Notes - 2012 Edition
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Iowa’s Record: 4-6, 2-4 Big Ten, 2-1 B1G Legends
Iowa’s Rankings:
AP:
USA Today:
BCS:
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2012 IOWA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE*

September 1st @ Northern Illinois WIN 18-17
September 8th v. Iowa State Loss 9-6
September 15th v. Northern Iowa WIN 27-16
September 22nd v. Central Michigan Loss 32-21
September 29th v. Minnesota WIN 31-13
October 13th @ Michigan State WIN 19-16 2OT
October 20th v. Penn State Loss 38-14
October 27th @ Northwestern Loss 28-17
November 3rd @ Indiana Loss 24-21
November 10th v. Purdue Loss 27-24
November 17th @ Michigan, 12:00 pm, ESPN
November 23rd (Friday) v. Nebraska 12:00 pm, ABC

*Times Eastern

Scouting Next Opponent: Minnesota @ Nebraska, 3:30 pm, BTN
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November 17th, 2012.  Iowa @ #21 Michigan Wolverines, 7-3, 5-1 Big Ten
Previous Meetings: 57, Michigan leads 40-13-4
Last Meeting: 2011, Wolverines 16, Hawkeyes 24

Current Line: Iowa +20

Turnover Margin: +11 B1G #1 FBS #12

Current Week 2 Deep:

Hawkeye Stat Pack (2012 season to date)
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Offense
Total   321.6 Pass  197.6  Rush 124.0  Scoring 20.8
B1G    #12               #6             #11                  #10
FBS    #115             #94            #98                  #102
Defense  
Total   380.3  Pass  225.7 Rush 154.6  Scoring 22.0
B1G    #8               #10               #7                    #5
FBS    #51             #50               #60                  #29  
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Week 11 Recap: Purdue 

The Fence.

Tis been about, 6 years since I had to use this.  I.E the last time it was pretty obvious our season was ending in November.

The back story.  Back in junior high and high school, my friends and I bowled quite often.  Way back in the day that this was, we didn’t have nifty auto scorecards as they do now - we had to do it manually.  After walking 3 miles uphill to the bowling alley.

From time to time, we would be in a rut - a few frames of 5, 3, 4.  To combat this, we would draw a fence on the scorecard between the last bad frame and the next, empty one.  Sometimes this would actually work.  

And so, as the Hawkeyes have now gone a calendar month without a win, we get, a fence.

I___________________________________________________________________I

Week 12 Preview: Michigan

Michigan.  A team that we have topped 3 times in a row - a streak unequaled in the Iowa-Michigan history.  Three straight wins for us, that is.

Michigan, a team that probably thought they would cake walk their way to the B1G title game and beyond, even after they got thumped handily by Alabama to open the season.

And they probably still thought so after Notre Dame suffocated the Michigan offense in a 13-6 win in week 4. The Irish forced 6 Wolverine turnovers in that one.

Then two easy wins over Purdue and Illinois opened the Big Ten season, and set up a showdown with Little Brother, aka the Spartans, in the BIg House.  Michigan won it, 12-10, on a field goal with 5 seconds left.  That broke a four game losing streak to Michigan State.

But then, they had to travel to Lincoln, and as has happened often in the past, Denard did not survive the game, and Michigan only rushed for 97 yards in a 23-9 defeat.  That meant that the run to the Big Ten title game was no longer in Michigan’s hands - they need Nebraska to go down.

That was followed by an easy win over the Rodents, and then last week, Michigan had to kick a field goal as time expired to force OT with the Mildcats, and then they shut out Northwestern in the extra period to win 38-31.  What was noteworthy about both games - no Denard at all - a pinched nerve in his elbow had him on the bench.

In his place has played junior QB Gardener.  Only appearing in the last two games, he has 520 passing yards, 4 tds, and 2 picks.  And 68 rushing yards.  

Michigan is running the same offense under Gardner.  While he can run, he has not the speed or shifty threat that Robinson is.  So the Hawkeye defense is really hoping he plays.  

Then again - he is most certainly a better passer than Denard.  So, the Iowa defense has got to play much better on the back side than they have of late.

When they hand it off it goes primarily to junior Toussaint, who has racked up 483 yards on 127 carries.  Sophomore Rawls 44 carries for 218 yards.  Toussaint 5 rushing tds, Rawls 4.

Added up, the total offense is good for 383 yards per game.  That, 8th in the B1G, and 81st in the nation.  Better than ours, yes, but not exactly what Michigan fans expected with a senior QB like Denard.

But Michigan has lost 20 turnovers so far.  Iowa, 9.  If we have any chance, we must be something like +3 in this one.   And score on every turnover.  

When the Hawks have the ball, we must once again try to get the run game going.  Weisman is tbd, which is too bad, as this is the kind of game where his pounding could help a lot.  Michigan gives up 154 yards on the ground, one spot ahead of the Hawks in both the conference and nation.  

We have to run the ball - as the anemic Iowa passing attack can’t expect to blow up this week.  Michigan, 149 passing yards allowed per game.  Number 1 in the Big Ten, and #1 in the country.  Oh, and number two on both counts -  Nebraska.

As this is Senior Day in Michigan, the 4 year players will be all hell bent to hand the Hawks the only loss in their careers.  Iowa must withstand this early charge and do something early to shut up the 100k plus.  At some point in the 1st, things will settle down.  The Hawks had better be ahead.  

There is not much there in the special teams stats, (Michigan has an excellent kicker, and so do we) but if there was ever a game where the Iowa special teams needed to dominate, it would be this one.  Cotton, a kick return td.  And at least one special teams turnover forced by the Hawkeyes.  The Hawkeyes must get at least 14 points from somewhere other than the offense.  

Only with those points would we have a shot at winning something like a 34-31 game.  

Without them, the Hawks have no chance to make this a shoot out if Michigan starts fast.  

If we had the Iowa O line that started the Penn State game, and a healthy Weisman leading the rushing attack, the Hawks might be able to put together enough drives to keep the Big House quiet and the Wolverines frustrated.  But we don’t have those things, and as we have seen over the past month, we don’t have much else.  Don’t be surprised, I seem to recall saying last week that if we couldn’t beat Purdue we had no shot in the last two.  And so, it comes to this:

Hawks 20, Wolverines 38.

Yeah, I hope I’m wrong.

GO HAWKS!!!
SEDGE


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