WEEK 6 PROJECTION vs. RESULTS
Final Score: 10-3, Michigan by 7 over Iowa
SP+ Projection: Michigan by 4.0 (+3)
CD Projection: Michigan by 7 (same)
WEEK 6 RECAP vs. Iowa
On a classic “Big Ten weather” October day (59º and gray), Michigan and Iowa played a throwback Big Ten style smashmouth game. The Wolverines were able to hold on and beat the Hawkeyes 10-3 thanks in large part to a swarming defense. Michigan’s offense still appears disjointed most of the time as Shea Patterson struggles to spread the ball around to multiple weapons.
The defensive staff deserves a ton of credit. Don Brown’s unit continues to tinker with multiple fronts and coverages in an attempt to confuse the offense. For today, it was a rousing success. Michigan was able to record 13 tackles for loss and 8 sacks against a Hawkeye squad that had not given up many negative plays through four games. Within both zone and man coverage schemes, Cam McGrone and Daxton Hill were called upon to handle more issues with crossing routes. Iowa did find minimal success in the short middle passing game, so the tinkering will continue. Also of concern was an apparent hamstring injury to Kwity Paye. When he left in the third quarter, he had already recorded 2.5 sacks.
On the other side of the ball, the offensive staff is still searching for rhythm and consistency. Michigan only managed 267 total yards and two first-half scores. Shea Patterson went 14-26 for 147 yards while rushing 7 times for 25 yards. The only Michigan touchdown came from Zach Charbonnet in the first quarter. Charbonnet was the leading rusher on the day with 42 yards. Michigan accumulated 120 yards total rushing. Going forward, Josh Gattis still needs to identify the core plays that he can script to get the passing game into rhythm. It was encouraging to see the QB read option and arc play return to the arsenal.
This game was important to show that this team can play a tough physical game and hold up. After getting decimated by Wisconsin, the Wolverines welcomed senior Mike Dwumfour back to the defensive line for today. Also, it appears that Cam McGrone may be a budding star in the middle of the defense. When the dust settled, Michigan won because they were able to avoid making big mistakes. Iowa was saddled with penalties and turnovers, especially in the second half.
Finally, it will be absolutely critical to correct the kicking game. Both kickers missed field goal attempts. We saw more poor punts than good ones from Will Hart. Also, this team and program still need to prove they can come up with a good performance on the road. Jim Harbaugh has a big challenge in front of him to get all three phases working smoothly away from the Big House for the next two weeks. Onward!
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