Saturday, November 5, 2011

Iowa Hawkeyes open at home at Kinnick with Michigan, as back half of the B1G race begins

It has been a difficult road for Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 B1G Legends) in 2011. The Hawkeyes are 0-3, with losses at Iowa State (45-42, 3 OT), at Penn State (13-3) and last week with a disappointing 22-21 loss at Minnesota.

Home has been a better place for the Hawkeyes in 2011. Heading into the final two games for 2011, Iowa is 5-0 at Kinnick Stadium, thus far. Of course, the next two weeks will be the biggest challenges at Kinnick in 2011, with the two schools from the State of Michigan.

First up, Iowa hosts Michigan (7-1, 3-1 B1G Legends), who features the most explosive QB in the B1G, with junior Denard Robinson. Robinson and his teammates have lost two straight to Iowa. A win today by Iowa would be a first in the Iowa-Michigan series, with Iowa winning three in a row.

Iowa has four games left in the B1G in November and control their own destiny, despite the 0-3 road record and two losses in the B1G, since they face the Legends division teams tied presently for first place the rest of the way. The final crossover game, with a Leaders team will be very important too, as well.

  • vs. Michigan (7-1, 3-1 Legends)

  • vs. Michigan State (6-2, 3-1 Legends)

  • @ Purdue (4-4, 2-2 Leaders)

  • @ Nebraska (7-1, 3-1 Legends)
Michigan may be the most difficult of the next four games for Iowa, due to Iowa's defense and how it will match up against Robinson at QB for the Wolverines. All four games will be difficult, based on the inconsistency of the Iowa offense, defense and special teams.

Playing at Kinnick Stadium should be a factor for Iowa?

After three games on the road in 2011, if this Iowa-Michigan game was on the road, Michigan would be a heavy favorite. But, as most teams have found in the Big Ten on the road, any given Saturday. All three tri-leaders in the Legends Division have a loss and all three came on the road.

Iowa features on offense three of the top play makers in the conference, with junior QB James Vandenberg, sophomore RB Marcus Coker and senior WR Marvin McNutt. Iowa will likely have to score plenty of points on Saturday, if they are successful to pull off their third win in a row over Michigan. It would be a huge upset for some Iowa fans, but some media talking heads do have Michigan on upset alert heading to Kinnick. Michigan is 1-1 this season on the road.

Iowa better bring A Game in all four phases of the game. Yes, four phases, since coaching and the intangibles may be as huge in getting Iowa back on track, after the disappointing 22-21 loss last week. Iowa's offense, defense and special teams will have to play strong, balance, balance for Iowa, in this big home game.

Prediction: IOWA 37, Michigan 35

DEFEND Kinnick Stadium

57Th meeting in the Iowa-Michigan series

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