Michigan Football: 5 Things to Know About Iowa Hawkeyes

Syndication: HawkCentral
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Syndication: HawkCentral
Syndication: HawkCentral /

Iowa’s offensive line has struggled 

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of The Year this season. He will likely be a top 15 pick. However, outside of him, Iowa’s offensive line has struggled, which is uncharacteristic of a Kirk Ferentz team. That has carried over to the running game.

I believe running game Tyler Goodson is good enough to make an NFL roster and he has 1,101 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

However, the rest of the team has 353 rushing yards. Iowa is 108th in rushing yards per game and 111th in rushing play success rate. The Hawkeyes have allowed 31 sacks this season, which is 13th in the Big Ten and 92nd nationally. Iowa is also 113th in havoc allowed.

Michigan is not the team that you want to face if you have a bad offensive line. Michigan has the pass-rushing duo in the country in Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.

Hutchinson is fresh off a three-sack performance against Ohio State and has an outside shot to win the Heisman trophy. Another three-sack performance from Hutchinson combined with a convincing Michigan win will give him a shot. Ojabo has 11 sacks and five forced fumbles himself. Michigan’s stars will have a chance to dominate once again.

Iowa thrives on turnovers

Well, Iowa’s offense is nothing to write about home about this season, it has gotten by because of its defense is great at forcing turnovers. Iowa leads the nation with 22 interceptions and it is third nationally with 27 turnovers forced. The Hawkeyes are also third in turnover margin (+13) and have taken three interceptions back for touchdowns. Eleven different players have an interception this season.

Perhaps more than any other game, it is imperative that Michigan protects the football. I do not expect Iowa to generate much offense against this Michigan defense without the aid of turnovers either scoring directly or setting up short fields.

During Iowa’s two-game losing streak to Purdue and Wisconsin, it was -6 in turnover margin and outscored 51-14. Michigan has done well protecting the ball this season. The Wolverines have only committed nine turnovers, tied for sixth-fewest nationally, and are +6 in turnovers. However, the Wolverines have committed more turnovers against the better teams on its schedule.