Michigan 21 - Iowa 24: A Cold Day In Hell

Matthew Holst

One step forward, ten yards lost.

Today's game started out giving us just a brief taste of something positive. Jake Ryan's pressure caused Iowa QB Jake Rudock to throw a Gardnerian pick-six to Brennen Beyer in the first moments of the game. On Iowa's next possession, Ryan then tackled Rudock before the quarterback could get to the first down marker. Iowa kicker Mike Meyer then missed a 36 yard field goal attempt. Things looked good, and then it was regression to what we've seen all season long.

Although Michigan went up 21-7 in the second quarter, you could tell that the lead was fragile. Poor punting, poor tackling, poor everything for Michigan.

As usual, the defense is what kept Michigan in this game...for a time. That 21-7 lead soon dwindled as the Iowa offense came out in the second half and scored 85 seconds in. The Hawkeyes subsequently outscored the Wolverines 17-0 in the second half. Iowa has a good defense, but to get shut out in the second half tells me that Al Borges just couldn't make the appropriate adjustments...AGAIN!

Michigan had just 158 yards of total offense today, while Iowa had 398. Derrick Green was the team's leading rusher with a grand total of 23 yards on 11 carries, for a 2.1 yards per carry average. Damn it! I don't even want to get into how many times Gardner decided it would be better to lose yards than even attempt to gain yards, even if it meant still taking the sack. How many drops did Funchess have? I think I counted three, and that's not even counting the time when Gardner threw the ball into his back.

Give Iowa credit, they were down and made the necessary adjustments to win. By adjustments I mean that they did what Nebraska did and just knew what Michigan was going to do...and they stopped it. Whatever it was, it worked, and they deserved to win the game. Rudock exploited what he could in the Michigan D and threw for 227 yards, while the ground game was dominated by Mark Weisman's 88 yards on a 5.2 ypc average, and Jordan Canzeri's 50 yards at a 4.2 ypc clip.

There has been some serious criticism of Al Borges all season long, but after a second half implosion like that, I want to hear something substantive come from Brady Hoke on how he feels about his team's offensive predictability. Someone needs to answer for today's performance.

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