FIVE SENTENCES ON MICHIGAN RESULT
1) You know athleticism when you see it and when you don’t see it.
2) Is it 2000 or ’98 or ’07, it’s a losing season that looks like a turtle stuck on its back.
3) Way too many defensive backs talked about miscommunications and “seeing it everyday in practice” in the postgame.
4) Did any personnel doors open or close yesterday?
5) I don’t expect Ferentz to make any changes on his staff, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any changes.
THREE PLAYERS WHO PLAYED
1) TE C.J. Fiedorowicz – The 6-7, 265-pound junior had a career game before halftime. He ended up with eight catches for 99 yards and lots of run after the catch. I know everyone involved said TEs weren’t emphasized, but TE coach David Raih spent a lot of time in pregame coaching up his players.
2) RBs Mark Weisman/Greg Garmon — I don’t want to say this is a preview of next year’s RB spot because 1) we’re talking Iowa RB and 2) I want to see how Jordan Canzeri mixes in, but these two meshed nicely. Weisman showed toughness coming back seemingly full bore after ankle and groin injuries. He’s an RB now. Is he one you can build a rushing attack around? With 10 carries for 30 yards, Garmon had his best day. He tried reversing field once that ended badly. His redshirt is gone, the coaches need to put him in competitive situations to see what they have for next season.
3) TE Henry Kreiger-Coble — The redshirt freshman caught three passes for 24 yards, including a 16-yard pass on a seam route. These are the first numbers of the Mount Pleasant native’s career. I talked to CJF afterward. He said everything the TEs did yesterday were things they’ve been doing all season, including the seam route that HKC scored on.
1) Speed — The play were Devin Gardner ran right and the entire Iowa defense took a second to react right. And then left. And then right. That was telling. Hard to make plays if you can’t keep up. Every recruit who can run will be in the lineup next season, I’m thinking Derrick Mitchell and Andre Harris for sure.
2) Tackles for loss — I could’ve sworn LB Quinton Alston had one, but the official stats said no tackles for loss for the Hawkeyes, something that hasn’t happened in at least five seasons. It could change and Alston could get credit for one, but still, that’s one.
3) Distribution — Until about 10 minutes left in the game, QB James Vandenberg, TEs Fiedorowicz and Krieger-Coble and Weisman were the only ones to touch the ball. WRs had two catches and five targets. Iowa went with slug positions while Michigan zipped down the field with athletes. Product of roster, product of what Iowa is capable of right now.
1) 13.7 seconds — It was third down at Iowa’s 1. Michigan QB Devin Gardner took a shotgun snap and just kind of held the ball, waiting for one of his three receivers to break open in Iowa’s zone coverage. No one ever came open. So, Gardner ran right, kind of hung in the middle and then took off left only after linebacker James Morris broke out of coverage and went after him. Gardner got to the 1 where linebacker Christian Kirksey made the stop. The play lasted 13.7 seconds. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quarterback have more time in the pocket,” ESPN analyst Brian Griese said. “That last play must’ve lasted 10, 11 seconds, but nobody open.” Michigan called a timeout and scored to make it 21-10.
2) Third-and-17 — The Wolverines faced a third-and-17 from Iowa’s 37. Iowa was in a zone, with strong safety Nico Law having deep responsibility. Cornerback Micah Hyde released WR Roy Roundtree as QB Gardner rolled to his left. Law found himself outnumbered after Hyde released Roundtree into his zone, where Law was occupied with WR Drew Dileo. If a cover 6 is called, the free safety Tanner Miller jumps the shorter route. This should’ve been a read on Hyde’s part. He released Roundtree with no one around him. He picked up no one. It’s easy to say now, but if he stays with Roundtree, Law isn’t late getting over. Still, he almost recovered to break up a poorly thrown pass. Miscommunication in week 11 costs them a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.
NEXT — NEBRASKA (9-2, 6-1)
– The Huskers said goodbye to Tom Osborne, the school’s legendary coach and the AD who guided UN to the Big Ten, before their 38-14 victory over Minnesota last week. Osborne led the team out of the tunnel. The Omaha World-Herald’s Tom Shatel brought a lot of life to the moment in his column.
– Former Iowa D-line coach Rick Kaczenski will make his first appearance in Kinnick as Nebraska’s defensive line coach.
– The Vegas line on this game appears to be minus-14.5 for Nebraska. The last time Iowa was a double-digit home dog was vs. No. 12 Northwestern in 2000 when it was plus-12. Iowa also was a 41-point underdog at No. 1 Nebraska that season.
– In a groin pull of a juxtaposition, while Iowa WRs caught two passes for 7 yards and were targeted single digits, the Huskers WRs caught 22 passes for 311 yards and two TDs against Minnesota. That’s a strikeforce of a WR corps.
– Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez has logged three of his four 300-yard passing performances this season. Iowa QB James Vandenberg has one career 300-yard performance (399 yards last season against Pitt). In the last five seasons, Iowa QBs have produced four 300-yard games.
– Your StubHub.com update: 75 tickets sold today in the $65 to $300 price range. Tickets are going for approximately $75 in the end zone and $90-100 on the sidelines. I’m thinking 8,000 to 10,000 and probably closer to the latter Nebraska fans in Kinnick on Friday.
IOWA SEASON STATS
IOWA POSTGAME NOTES
CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS
Closing the deal (Red zone TDs/possessions)
Michigan defined “closing the deal” Saturday. Iowa’s 17 red zone TDs are tied for No. 105 in the nation. The nine RZ TDs Iowa has allowed in November is No. 92 in the nation.
Setting the tone (defensive three-and-outs)
Iowa 1 — It came in the fourth quarter when the issue had been decided. Michigan scored TDs on its first six possessions. That was that.
Michigan 5 — Four of these were strung together in the second and third quarter. That helped the Wolverines separate.
After adjustments (second-half yards and avg. yards per play)
The Wolverines scored on its first two possessions of the second half and then pulled up stakes.
Game-changers (offensive plays of 20-plus yards)
Iowa 2 — Both came on a drive in the fourth quarter — a 37-yard reception to CJF and a 20-yard pass to Greg Garmon — but it ended on a 5-yard completion to WR Kevonte Martin-Manley on a fourth-and-6 play from Michigan’s 12.
Michigan 7 — Athletes on parade.
Two-minute magic (points, final two minutes of half)
Iowa 0 — Iowa got a junk TD with 2:12 left in the game.
Michigan 7 — On third-and-10 with 40 seconds left in the first half, Gardner completed a slick throwback screen pass to running back Vincent Smith for an 18-yard TD and a 28-10 lead.