The need to know
What: Iowa at Michigan
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
When: 2:30 PM
TV: ABC/ESPN (Coverage Map)
Iowa Injury report
Out: Jewel Hampton (torn ACL), Bruce Davis (torn ACL), Jason White (sprained knee)
Probable: Daniel Murray (hip flexor), Christian Kirksey (undisclosed), Jeff Tarpinian (multiple injuries), Jordan Bernstine (undisclosed)
Michigan Injury report
Out: Mike Jones (Leg), Martavious Odoms (Foot), Fitzgerald Toussaint (Shoulder), Slyke Van (Clavicle), Mike Williams (Head), Troy Woolfolk (Ankle)
Keys to the game
Robinson vs. Robinson: Whichever Robinson, Denard or Adam, has a better day rushing the ball will probably lead their team to victory. Iowa obviously has to contain Denard Robinson and that has been a hot topic the past two weeks. Look for Iowa to force the handoff on the zone read, try to keep Robinson in the pocket on passing plays, and stop Robinson from getting to the outside on designed QB runs. If Iowa can make Robinson try to win the game with his arm, I'm not sure that is something he can do.
Adam Robinson doesn't need to have a monster game, but needs to take advantage of Michigan's poor defense. If he can get 4-5 yards on first down, Iowa should have no problem moving the ball down the field.
Kicking: Both teams have struggled mightily on special teams. Michigan may not have had the complete breakdowns like Iowa, but has been consistently poor. Iowa has only attempted 3 field goals all year and has relied on true-freshman and walk-on Mike Meyer. Michigan's field goal situation is actually worse. They have tried 2 kickers, but neither has been good. Combined they are 2 of 7 on the year and haven't made a kick over 35 yards. Don't expect either team to settle for a field goal, unless it is like 4th and 15 from the 20 yard line. If a field goal is required though, it will be important to get those 3 points.
Kicking obviously means kick offs and punts. Field position as always will be important too. Most of Iowa's scoring drives this year have come on a shorter field. And, Iowa's defense is going to try to take away the big play, but as a result may give up a lot of the shorter stuff. So, making Michigan drive all the way done the field and requiring Denard Robinson to be patient will be advantage Iowa.
A fast start: Ricky Stanzi has seemingly corrected his major problems from last year: interceptions and slow starts. It'll be important for Stanzi to start well today and not fall behind Michigan's high scoring offense. Even better would be an early lead. Last weekend when Michigan State went up, Michigan almost completely abandoned its running game and had Robinson throwing the ball more than they would probably like him too. Establishing the run early is also important for Iowa. A strong showing by Adam Robinson will open up the play-action game that is the Hawkeye's bread and butter. It will also help by chewing time off the clock and keeping the ball out of Denard Robinson's hands.
Iowa's defense keeps Robinson in check for the most part, but he does have a big play or two. The real story, though, will be how Stanzi & Co. tear apart the Michigan defense putting up points early and often. The game ends up close as Michigan scores a late TD, but Iowa hangs on for the win.
Final score: Iowa 34 - Michigan 28