Can Michigan Prove it Belongs in Big Ten Elite?
The fans at Michigan Stadium will see a Big Ten matchup as the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Michigan Wolverines battle on Saturday afternoon. Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are trying to prove they are and elite team in the conference and to stave out criticism from the fan base.
TV: Noon ET, FOX. LINE: Michigan -4; O/U: 48
No. 14 Iowa looks for its first 5-0 start since 2014. The Hawkeyes have won their first four games by an average margin of 25 points. They had an easy time with a 48-3 rout of Middle Tennessee State in Week 5. They are continuing to climb up the College Football Polls. Today they look to pass their first test in conference play by knocking off the Wolverines for the third consecutive time.
“It’s always exciting to go up there and it’s always a tough challenge,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters. “We’ll have to play our best game of the season.”
Michigan bounced back from its disappointing 35-14 loss to ninth-ranked Wisconsin by blanking lowly Rutgers 52-0. The Wolverines moved offensive coordinator Josh Gattis down to the sideline after two games in the press box. The move paid instant dividends as they set season highs in total yards (476), touchdowns (seven) and points against the Scarlet Knights. They hope to ride the momentum and prove it was not the ineptness of the Scarlet Knights that allowed the offense to flourish. They are looking for their first victory against Iowa since Nov. 17, 2012. “It was a good move and I’m glad we did it,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. “It can still be better but I thought we took a big leap.”
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Iowa won its last outing, a 48-3 result against Blue Raiders on September 28. Iowa covered in that game as a -23.5-point favorite, while the 51 combined points took the game PUSH the total.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten. Nate Stanley completed 17-of-25 passes for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win against Middle Tennessee State. His performance allowed him to move within two TD passes of leapfrogging Drew Tate, who has 61, for second place on Iowa’s all-time list. Toren Young rushed for a career-high 131 yards while Brandon Smith caught six passes for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Hawkeyes racked up 644 yards of offense. That is the most in the Ferentz era which spans 20 years. All-Big Ten left tackle Alaric Jackson could return after missing the last three games with a bone bruise on his right knee. Defensive back Kaevon Merriweather is expected to play following a two-game absence due to a foot problem.
The Michigan Wolverines are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. Shea Patterson had his best game of the season last week. He completed 17-of-23 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for three scores in the win against Rutgers. Ronnie Bell caught six passes for a career-high 83 yards. Nico Collins finished with 59 yards and a touchdown. The Wolverines surpassed the 50-point plateau for just the the sixth time under Harbaugh. Linebacker Josh Ross (foot) and tight end Sean McKeon (knee) will miss their second consecutive game. Backup quarterback Dylan McCaffrey is questionable as he continues to recover from a concussion.
The Dart Throw: Iowa 34, Michigan 17
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Michigan Wolverines Trends
- Trend Over is 5-0 in Wolverines last 5 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 5|0 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-0 in Wolverines last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
- Over is 8-2 in Wolverines last 10 games as a home favorite. 80.00% (10) 8|2 0
- Under is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 games as a home favorite of 0.5-3.0. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
Iowa Hawkeyes Trends
- Trend Over is 12-3 in Hawkeyes last 15 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. Hit % 80.00% (15) O/U 0|4 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 19-7 in Hawkeyes last 26 games as a road underdog of 3.5-10.0. 73.10% (26) 7|19 0
- Over is 6-1 in Hawkeyes last 7 games as a road favorite. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
- Over is 4-1 in Hawkeyes last 5 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
Iowa vs Michigan Meeting Trends
- Trend Underdog is 9-3 ATS in their last 12 meetings. Hit % 75.00% (12) O/U Push 0 W/L 3|9
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Iowa home to Penn State Saturday, October 12
Michigan at Illinois Saturday, October 12
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