The Michigan Wolverines (7-4) lost a close game played in the bitter cold 24-21 against the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4). The game saw Michigan take a 14 point lead into halftime, only for Iowa to outscore the Wolverines 17-0 in the second half to win the game. Let’s talk about the key players, plays and stats from this disappointing performance.
Frank Clark: Frank Clark had his biggest game of the season by far. He was consistently in the backfield making plays for the defense. He had several huge tackles for a loss. This was the kind of game that fans have been waiting for from the junior.
Jake Ryan: Much like Clark, Mr. Ryan had his best game of the season today as well. No play was bigger than the first defensive snap of the game for the Wolverines when Ryan hit Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock causing the pass to fly in the air and allowing Brennen Beyer to catch it and return it for the touchdown. It looks like Ryan is back to his old form.
Jeremy Gallon: I feel like I need an offensive player in here, and the only person that played even remotely close to well was Gallon. He had a team high six catches along with a touchdown. Unfortunately Jeremy didn’t have many chances for big plays against Iowa, but then again on offense made many plays.
3 Key plays
1. Jake Ryan smashed Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock on Iowa’s first drive of the game. The ball went in the air and Brennen Beyer came down with it and ran into the endzone for a touchdown. This set the tone for the half, a half in which the Wolverines led by 14.
2. On the first drive of the second half, Iowa faced a 2nd and 7 from their own 45. Jake Rudock threw a pass to Tevaun Smith who went on to race 55 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Wolverines’ lead to 7.
3. Down by 3 and driving into Iowa territory, Devin Gardner ran to the left side on 2nd down for about eight yards before fumbling. Iowa recovered and went on to seal the win from there.
The offense continues to regress. The frustrating thing about the offense earlier in the year was their inconsistency. Well, those days are in the past. This offense is definitely consistent now. Consistently bad. This offense produced 158 yards of offense against the Hawkeyes, with only 45 of those yards coming in the second half.
I’m officially no longer a believer in Toussaint. I’m sure some of you are probably wondering “How on earth did it take you this long to lose faith in him?” I had remained convinced that nobody could be productive behind this offensive line, but last week the two freshmen showed me that they could at least churn out some decent yardage, something that Fitz seemingly is incapable of.
Devin Gardner seemed to build on the success he had late in the game against Northwestern early on against Iowa, but the second half he regressed back to the Gardner none of us like to see.
I’d be surprised if Ohio State fans didn’t make up at least 40% of the crowd next week. I’m seeing students sell their tickets for extremely low prices on social media websites. I’m sure there are plenty of regular ticket holders doing the same thing right now.
Michigan has produced less than 200 yards of total offense in three of their last four games.
Jeremy Gallon has now caught at least one pass in 37 consecutive games.
Devin Gardner passed for just 98 yards, his lowest since the UCONN game. His quarterback rating (99.4) was also his lowest since the UCONN game.
Michigan was +3 in turnover margin against Iowa, a season high.
What it means
Michigan is not good. It’s as simple as that. There’s nothing more to say. I hope the Wolverines can keep it close next week. It’s a bad year for Michigan football.