Thoughts on Michigan

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I'm finally getting the chance to sit down a write about my experience at the homecoming game. (I've got some family stuff, not a death or anything but I am writing this from the hospital. Anyway I'm busy never-the-less with my fatherly duties this week and the upcoming couple of weeks). I had an amazing time on Saturday. I sat directly behind the uprights in the north endzone in row 0, so I was right behind the alumni marching band. The seats were awesome for the 2 Moeaki touchdowns, and not so great for all the plays on the south end of the field. I thought the crowd was very good too. It was very loud, at least from where I was, when Iowa was on defense, and I think the noise had something to do with the timeout that Michigan had to burn early in the 4th quarter (one that they really could have used at the end of the game). Anyway, I haven't had a chance to rewatch the game yet, so I don't have any great analysis.

First off, though, it is absolutely great to have Moeaki back and healthy. He won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award for his 6 catches for 105 yards and 2 big touchdowns. His 2 touchdowns were beautiful. I know on the first, Stanzi checked to the play when he saw an all-out blitz coming. Great decision by Stanzi. For the most part I thought he had a good game. Sure that first pass was terrible, but he led the team to its 10th straight victory. I was particularly happy with his long ball again, which he seemed to find last week for the first time this year. I think that 47 yard pass to DJK on 3rd and 24 was a real momentum changer and the Wegher touchdown that followed put Iowa up for good. Also, Stanzi did a lot without much support from the run game. Iowa only had 8 rushing yards in the first half, but still put up 20 points. In the second half the run game got going a little and that helped burn some time off the clock.

Defensively, I thought the team played really well again. They only gave up 21 points (7 were from the Stanzi pick six) and really made Michigan work for its points. The 5 turnovers were really the key though defensively. It seemed whenever the Wolverienes got a little momentum the defense (or special teams on that fumbled punt) would come up with a big play. I'll admit, if I were a UM fan I'd probably say that UM gave the game away with a couple of those turnovers. Forcier basically handed the ball to the Hawks on that fumble on what looked like a pump fake, and that interception to end the game was an atrocious pass. But, Iowa's defense deserves quite a bit of the credit. Even that long drive at the end of the game when Robinson ran all over, the defense at least bent and bent and bent before it broke, chewing up valuable time.

In all, it was just another Iowa victory...I may not be pretty but they are getting the job done. The team moves to 6-0 and has now won 10 straight (2nd in the country) for the first time since the early 1920s. The victory also moved Iowa up in the polls, going to 11 in the AP and 12 in the coaches (even moved ahead of Penn State!). Next up is Wisconsin and Michigan State on the road. If Iowa gets throse too tough away games, then they're sitting pretty with 3 of the final 4 games at home with Indiana, Northwestern, and Minnesota (and OSU on the road).
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