November 17, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (12) passes the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the first quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Football: Iowa at Michigan — Senior Day — What Happened and What it Means


Posted at 5:30am — 11/19/2012

Michigan Football: Iowa at Michigan — Senior Day — What Happened and What it Means

Saturday, Michigan surprised its fans and Iowa by bringing out Denard Robinson as a running back. It is not that the idea of Denard running the ball is so foreign; it is instead that many of us had sold the idea of Denard being able to play more than a few token plays down the river. But play he did, and with good results.

Devin Gardner could then play action pass and hit enough big plays to cause damage, enough damage to overcome the short-lived Iowa threat.

Six touchdowns wow: a career day by Devin on Saturday. He threw well, only misfiring a couple of times and making probably two bad decisions the entire day. When an offense can move in the air and on the ground, and can pick and choose play selection, all of a sudden an offensive coordinator looks smart, as if he took genius pills.

Michigan used quite a bit of one-back looks on Saturday with some success. Denard could just take off and pick and choose and Rawls struggled to find holes and dipped outside for minimum gains.

The wideouts each were thrown some bones Saturday, but earned their keep with good play and a collective group effort of catching the ball, something missing until recently.

November 17, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Thomas Rawls (38) runs the ball against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The offensive line had solid pass pro, even though Iowa did not send the fort the effort was still noteworthy. The run blocking provided enough for Denard to wiggle or dip outside and for Devin to hit the edge when needed.

Again, Devin’s ability to keep his poise and float outside the pocket created several open, long pass plays.

So, what does this victory mean? Coach Hoke and teams 132 and 133 are now 14-0 at Michigan Stadium, not a bad way to end the home season. Michigan will probably play in a New Year’s bowl game; many sources are projecting Georgia, Florida, or South Carolina. Michigan is now at least somewhat two-dimensional and that can only help the offense against good competition.

The result of next week’s game against Ohio State will probably not keep Michigan out of a good bowl game if things go south. The defensive backs had a decent day; that will be needed next week. Michigan at times got beat bad on the front four, and that cannot happen next week. The use of the two-headed offense will present a lot of thinking this week for Coach Borges and the Ohio State defensive coaches. Michigan must move the ball and not let Ohio State dictate the game by default.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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