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Michigan 27, Iowa 14: Offensive Football

This Iowa team is who we thought it were

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 4 Michigan Wolverines out gained Iowa 174 yards on the ground to 34 en route to a 27-14 win in Kinnick stadium.

Michigan moved the ball at will its opening drive, facing just one third down on its 11 plays. JJ McCarthy connected on three of his four tosses and Ronnie Bell waltzed into the end zone on a reverse for 16 yards. Six first downs and 7 yards per rush was the drug of choice on that drive.

Iowa, predictably, followed up Michigan’s rhythmic opening offensive performance with the wettest fart you could imagine. Leshon Williams got 5 yards on his first play, Kaleb Johnson went for no gain on the second-most telegraphed play I’ve ever seen, and Spencer Petras missed a double-covered Sam LaPorta on the first-most telegraphed play I’ve ever seen.

Iowa got its best defensive play of the day the following drive when an offensive lineman stepped on McCarthy’s foot for a five-yard loss. It set up a 3rd & 12 at midfield where McCarthy was forced from the pocket leading to a punt.

Taking over at its 9, Leshon Williams squirted for three yards, then Brody Brecht got tackled to draw a holding call. Petras hit Luke Lachey over the middle for 25 yards before handing it off to Johnson for a 2 yard gain. He then dumped it to LaPorta off a nice play action for 9 yards and Iowa’s first field flip of the game.

Two consecutive high throws on open receivers brought out the boo birds. Petras answered the call on 3rd & 10 with a low percentage throw to a blanketed LaPorta.

I think I’ve written “blanketed LaPorta” at least seven times this year.

Tory Taylor notched a rare touchback to give Michigan favorable field position. The Wolverines marched down the field, converting a fourth-and-one at Iowa’s 33 by giving it to Blake Corum up the gut. A couple plays later, McCarthy missed a wide open Roman Wilson who zoomed past Sebastian Castro.

On a crucial third down, Jack Campbell sniffed out an option to the short side of the field and stopped the Michigan running back dead in his tracks. Jake Moody connected from 44 yards to give the bad guys a 10-0 lead with 8:28 to go in the half.

Iowa opened the drive with another nice play action to LaPorta for 8 yards. Leshon Williams got the first down on a dive before Kaleb Johnson fired 18 yards up the middle.

The play was called for a phantom hold and the chains got moved back. Petras then hit Brody Brecht for 17 yards and another dive to Johnson gave Iowa a fresh set of downs with 6 minutes to go on Iowa’s 46.

Another nice scamper from Johnson was negated by a clipping call that wasn’t clipping. Faced with first and 25, Petras hit Nico Ragaini for 11. Leshon Williams picked up just 2 on second down, and a screen for Gavin Williams went for a loss when Iowa needed 11 on third.

With 3:29 to go in the half, McCarthy hit Blake Corum in the flat for a gain of 8. Corum sprinted for 2 yards up the middle for the first. Two plays later, he scrummed up the middle for 9 yards and another first.

McCarthy hit an open Andrel Anthony for 29 on the next play. Michigan finally got nicked for holding the next one, and McCarthy was pressured into a bad throw on 1st and 17. Castro was dinged for pass interference for sneezing on the next play, and Michigan was back in business with 49 ticks on the clock.

On 3rd and 7 with 20 seconds to go, Iowa’s crowd forced a delay of game. Castro broke up a pass intended for Wilson in the end zone, and the Hawkeyes went into the half down just 13-0 after a Moody conversion.

Petras got sacked on the first play of the second half. He dumped it off down the middle for a moderate gain on second down and missed Brecht on third down. Ninety seconds later, Michigan got the ball back.

Another Corum third down conversion near midfield extended Michigan’s drive, and another option to Ronnie Bell moved the chains. An 18-yarder to Luke Schoonmaker put ‘em deep in Iowa territory.

A few plays later, third down on Iowa’s 11, Donovan Edwards squirted into the end zone on an extended play and caught a perfect pass from a scrambling McCarthy. 20-0 and this one is over with 23 minutes to play.

Blake Corum had as many rushes as Iowa had plays at that point.

Iowa got called for a blindside block on a run that went for no gain on the ensuing drive, so that’s how the rest of the day went. Michigan dropped a pick six on the next play, and Petras got sacked the play after that. Rinse fucking repeat.

Mercifully, McCarthy fumbled on second down the ensuing drive. Michigan recovered but the Wolverines punted it away after facing a third and 28. A bad punt gave Iowa the ball back in Michigan territory and hope? Is this hope?

It was?

Two short runs from Johnson preceded third and one, an instance where Brian dialed up a 17-yard fullback play action to Monte Pottebaum. Two plays later, after Petras pushed it to Nico Ragaini for 12 yards, Logan Jones was flagged for unnecessary roughness which is just so fucking rich. Like my God. This is football.

Third and 22. Petras nails Ragaini, who scampers upfield and is pushed out at the 2 yard line to end the third quarter.

Johnson scampered right to cross the plane and erase Iowa’s bagel.

Iowa stuffed Corum on third-and-one three plays later to give the ball back to its offense with over 12 minutes to play in the game.

A Johnson run went for one yard, and Petras hit Ragaini again for 10. A crazy seam to Lachey went for 35. Bruce in the flat went for 4, and Johnson was tackled for a loss.

On third and 7, Brian dialed up a draw to Leshon Williams that went for 9 yards, and LaPorta battled to gain 6 yards on a play that looked like it was going to lose 3.

Johnson ran it right for no gain, and on third and three Leshon Williams got the first up the middle again.

With the ball now on Michigan’s 14, Petras hit Ragaini in the flat for 6. LaPorta in the flat went for no gain, and on third and 4 Williams got just 2 yards up the middle. On fourth down, with a touchdown needed, Iowa got dinged on offensive pass interference. Petras looked at LaPorta who wasn’t even past the sticks, so it didn’t really matter but the call still sucked monkey butt. It’s also worth noting the exact same play suffered from the same result just... two plays earlier.

Another three-and-out for Michigan’s offense provided more hope.

Alas, a sack on first down and pressure on second down and then another sack on third down killed everything. Petras was hit again on 4th and 24. Michigan recovered the ball with 2:30 to go at Iowa’s 28 and toodle-oo.

(Blake Corum scored a garbage time TD and so did Luke Lachey.)

The rest

  • Love that this is the product Iowa trots out while Wisconsin is having its worst season in 15 years.
  • Iowa had just one sack to Michigan’s 4.
  • The officiating sucked, yes, but it didn’t change the outcome. Had Iowa made the game 20-14 when it had the chance I might be whistling another tune, however.
  • Tory Taylor had another good day, punting 5 times for 241 yards.
  • The coaches are still the coaches.