College Football Pick: Michigan at Iowa 10-16-2010

October 15, 2010

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Michigan Wolverines at Iowa Hawkeyes

Saturday October 16th, 2010 3:30 PM EST

Line: Iowa -3 1/2

Overview:

The 5-1 Michigan Wolverines will try to redeem themselves this week by knocking off the #15 Iowa Hawkeyes. Michigan was just embarrassed by their biggest rival, Michigan State. Michigan was 5-0 going into the outing, but the Spartans were their first real test. Michigan responded by being beaten from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. With all of the questions as to how Michigan would handle their first ranked opponent of the season they crumbled. If they could knock off the Hawkeyes at the Big House, Michigan could be considered a force once again. Iowa, on the other hand, dropped one game against the ranked Arizona Wildcats, but defeating Penn State dispelled some of the swirling doubts.

Keys to the Game:

  • If Michigan is going to come away with a win, they are going to do it with Denard Robinson. Robinson has eight touchdowns and a 164.11 QB rating. He is approaching a 70 percent completion rate. Oh ya, he’s also the nation’s leading rusher. Robinson has 991 yards and nine touchdowns. If you are the Hawkeyes, you aren’t going to be able to play man to man very much. Once the cornerbacks atart heading down field and turn their backs, Robinson is going to make a run for it. He is difficult to tackle in space and he isn’t afraid to put it on the ground if he sees a crease. Iowa is going to have to stay home defensively to prevent big plays. Last week, he was held to 86 yards on the ground. Fantastic for a quarterback, unless you are Denard Robinson. If Iowa can force Michigan to throw the ball, they have a great chance at winning the game. Allowing a few big time pass plays is the lesser of two evils. Robinson systematically picking apart your defense with his feet could spell defeat if you are Iowa.
  • Iowa’s defense is nearly perfect. The Arizona Wildcats posted 27 points in one game against Iowa. In all of their other four games combined they allowed 17 points. They shut down Penn State and gave up just three points. Michigan’s scores vary from week to week, but you can expect they will struggle this week. Iowa doesn’t generally allow teams to even penetrate the red zone. While Denard Robinson is an offense in himself, Michigan is likely to put up more points than the average Iowa opponent. That is saying much, as the average Iowa opponent scores 10.2 points a game.
  • Mike Martin is a mountain of a man that is hard to move out of the way. If Iowa’s Adam Robinson can make it to the second level, he is going to face a lesser challenge. If you watch Michigan’s games, their linebackers seem to breakdown and then reach for the ball carrier at times. If they try to arm tackle Robinson, he is going to make them pay. Using trap blocking schemes would be an ideal way for Iowa to eliminate an aggressive nose tackle, but I am not sure that will work in this case. Martin’s strength is that he is unmovable. Running the ball through a clogged hole is difficult. The Iowa offensive line is in for a rough afternoon.

Wrap Up:

While Michigan looked dominant in the first five games of the season, I can’t help but think it was all a facade. They will need to come away with a victory over Iowa to jump back into the rankings, but I just can’t see it happening. Iowa has the defense to hold Michigan to under 14 and the offense to score 30. This one could easily be a blowout. They are at the Big House, so Michigan might escape with their dignity, but they won’t escape with a victory.

Free College Football Pick: Iowa -3 1/2


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