D-Minus — This has been like watching someone fall for the same knock-knock joke 513 times. Like, in a row.
F — I would say it was like Varsity vs. JV, but that would an insult to JV teams.
- Michael Bonner
D — Even opposing fans seem concerned and confused by how the Hawkeyes have fallen.
With 8:11 remaining in the game, Kevonte Martin-Manley hauled in a pass on a crossing route for five yards. It came on fourth down and six, but it signified more than just a turnover on downs. It was the first time all game an Iowa wide receiver touched the ball.
It also marked the first time a Hawkeye other than quarterback James Vandenberg, running back Mark Weisman, or tight ends C.J. Fiedorowicz and Henry Krieger-Coble, contributed to the offense.
For the first three quarters and a minute into the fourth quarter, those four were the only Hawkeyes to touch the ball offensively — unless you include center James Ferentz.
On the other side of side of the ball, through three quarters, 13 different Wolverines contributed offensively. Six Michigan running backs rushed the ball and seven players caught a pass.
At one point in the game, having surrendered 42 points and more than 500 yards through three quarters, the Iowa secondary still had more receptions than the Hawkeyes’ wideouts. Senior Micah Hyde recorded an interception on the drive preceding Martin-Manley’s reception.
For the first time in 25 starts, Keenan Davis did not catch a pass.
Third and short, third and long, it didn’t matter on Saturday. No matter the distance, Iowa might as well punted on third down. The Hawkeyes converted on six of 14 third downs. The numbers are actually less impressive than that. Iowa converted four of six third downs in the fourth quarter.
Prior to the final 15 minutes, when Michigan made mass substitutions, Iowa moved the chains twice on eight third down attempts.
During the same time period, Iowa went three-and-out on four of its seven possessions.That doesn’t include a three play set the Hawkeyes ran before time expired in the first half.
Michigan finished nine of 12. On two of the three times it failed to pick up a first down on third down, the Wolverines converted on fourth down.
For the second time in five games the Hawkeyes allowed 500 total yards in a game. In the first loss of its current five game losing streak, Iowa surrendered 512 to Penn State. Saturday the Wolverines accumulated 513. That’s with Michigan gaining just eight in the fourth quarter.
The last time Iowa held an opponent under 400 total yards came in its last win, more than a month ago, on Oct. 13 against Michigan State. The Hawkeyes held the Spartans to 328.
Since that time, teams average 470.8 total yards against Iowa.
C.J. Fiedorowicz finally showed the ability Saturday that had fans comparing him to NFL tight ends before the season. The junior hauled in a career high eight balls for a team high 99 yards. Fellow tight end Henry Krieger-Coble also had a career afternoon, with three catches for 24 yards including his first touchdown.
The problem came after the first quarter. Krieger-Coble caught two of his three passes in the first 15 minutes of the game. Five of Fedorowicz’s eight catches came during the same time period.
At the half, the two were the only Hawkeyes to have caught a ball for positive yards. Ten of quarterback James Vandenberg’s 11 completions went to either tight end.
After the first quarter the duo combined to catch four balls for 69 yards. More than half of that, 37 yards, came on a fourth quarter catch with the score 42-10.
Through 30 minutes of play the Wolverines had four possessions, the Hawkeyes had five. The clock cut the final one short. With each team having four full possessions, each of its quarterbacks completed 11 passes on 14 attempts. It led to very different outcomes.
Iowa’ James Vandenberg’s 11 completions led to 83 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 24 yards. The Hawkeyes scored 10 first half points.
Michigan’s Devin Gardner translated his 11 completions into 204 yards and two touchdowns. The junior scrambled for three yards but scored twice. His Wolverines scored 28 first half points.
In the end, Vandenberg finished with 181 yards on 19 of 26 passing with two scores. He also ran for 42 yards. Gardner went 18 of 23 for 314 yards along with three TDs, threw the game’s only interception and ran for 37 yards with three more scores.
Mark Weisman suited up for the first time since Northwestern on Oct. 27, when he carried the ball nine times for 21 yards.
With Damon Bullock sidelined with a lower back bruise, Weisman received the bulk of the carries against Michigan. The sophomore started strong with 43 yards on 11 carries in the first half.
With the score out of hand, he saw less opportunities in the second half. He carried the ball five times for 20 yards, sustaining his near four yards per carry average. He also caught three passes for 11 yards, including a 13 yard touchdown pass.
The loss to Michigan marks the first time since 2000 that Iowa is not bowl eligible. It marks the first time since 2007 the Hawkeyes won’t go to a bowl.
It means the season will end at Kinnick Stadium Friday against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers own a 27-12-3 advantage in the all-time series, have won eight of 14 in Iowa City, and four straight overall.