No. 3 Michigan at Iowa
The Big House Report (TBHR) staff makes game predictions for Michigan at Iowa:
Derek Devine – @DerekWDevine
Michigan 48, Iowa 6
Once upon a time, I got nervous thinking about the Wolverines traveling to Iowa—a place they haven’t won in 11 years. A lot has changed since then. Michigan is MUCH better than I predicted and Iowa is MUCH LESS impressive than I thought they would be. I have full confidence that the Wolverines will add a semi-impressive road win to the CFP resume, and I look forward to watching Jim Harbaugh dominate on ABC under the lights.
I think Harbaugh lets Jabrill Peppers run wild. Peppers is well behind Lamar Jackson in the race for the Heisman, but he has a chance to turn a few more heads on Saturday night. This will also be a good opportunity for Wilton Speight to prove his worth as the Wolverines’ signal caller. Add in a great defensive performance, and I think the nation shuts of the TV on Saturday night realizing that Michigan is the real deal.
P.S. After nine wins, things are finally becoming real for me and I love it.
Von Lozon – @Von_Lozon
Michigan 35, Iowa 10
I don’t expect a huge blowout this weekend at Iowa, since Michigan has had some trouble in Iowa City in recent memory. They lost at Iowa in 2013 24-21 in a game that most thought the Wolverines would’ve won. They also lost 24-16 at Iowa in 2011 and 30-28 in 2009. The last time UM won in Iowa? All the way back in 2005.
Should this be a Michigan victory? Absolutely. But expect Iowa to show up on Saturday and be a fierce competitor. I could see this being very similar to the MSU game from a few weeks ago; Michigan builds a solid lead only to see Iowa come roaring back late in the game. However, just because I can see it being that way doesn’t mean I believe it’ll happen.
Michigan’s keys to a victory — the entire team. Everyone has to be prepared and eager for the 10th win of the season in order to get the job done on the road at night. The chemistry between Wilton Speight and his receivers the last few weeks has been simply stunning, so expect him and his receivers to have another solid game.
One request I have for Harbaugh — can Jabrill Peppers PLEASE throw a touchdown? That would be the coolest thing that’s happened all season. It would top his 2-point conversion return against MSU. Fans would love it, Peppers would love it and recruits would love it. Give it a shot, Jimmy.
Kullen Logsdon – @kullen_logsdon
Michigan 38, Iowa 10
The Wolverines have not fared well in recent memory over in Iowa City. I recall several games when Michigan was the favorite going in, only to have their hearts ripped out by the Hawkeyes. This year however, Michigan is the MUCH better team and should win easily to improve to 10-0. I expect the defense to keep doing its thing and for the offense to put up a lot of points again. The game might be close in the first quarter, but expect the Wolverines to pull away in the second quarter and to beat up on Iowa. Some think Michigan could be looking to far ahead to Ohio State, but Harbaugh is an elite coach for a reason and won’t let that happen.
Craig Compton – @CraigCompton_
Michigan 24, Iowa 13
I said in a podcast earlier this week, that I think this is a game Michigan struggles in, and I hope it’s a game Michigan struggles in. Not because I want to see them lose, but I want to see them tested. I want to see how they handle adversity, as a team.
At the beginning of the season I projected Michigan to go 11-1, with their only loss coming at the hands of Iowa. I don’t see this being a loss for Michigan now, but I do think they may struggle.
It’s easy to look at the two teams on paper and predict a blowout victory for Michigan. However, I know that Iowa has too many good players, and has too good of a coaching staff to not make this interesting. Especially in a night game at Kinnick Stadium. Harbaugh has been praising Wilton Speight lately, and I would not be surprised to see him really try to air it out this weekend, to showcase his quarterback in a prime time game.
If Speight can take care of the ball, it may be a blowout. If he cannot, it’ll be a lot closer than many think. I see Speight struggling a little in this one, mainly early on, before bouncing back and leading the Wolverines to a victory. Let’s call it a 24-13 win. Go Blue!
Chad Finley – @FinFive1
Michigan 38, Iowa 13
In my preseason prediction I had Michigan losing this one at Iowa. The Hawkeyes were set to be a contender in the Big Ten this season after going 10-2 last year and bringing back its senior quarterback. They have not played exactly the way we all thought by only being 3-3 in conference play. I am changing my prediction and now greatly feel Michigan will win a fairly easy game. Michigan’s WIlton Speight is playing tremendous football and will lead this offense on several touchdown drives. I see him throwing for 275 yards and two touchdowns. The Wolverines running back committee will eclipse the 200 mark as Iowa is giving up that amount on the ground this season. The only question week to week with this group is, which guy will have the best game with the biggest gains?
Iowa has a very run heavy offense so the Michigan front seven will need to be aggressive and make sure they fill all the gaps. Iowa has had problems with its offensive line and because of that, they give up a lot of sacks. Michigan’s D-line loves to hear that, as they are one of the top units in the nation in sacking the quarterbacks. If Michigan can stop the run and put pressure on Iowa’s QB, they will show the country on primetime national television why they have the top rated defense and why they are a playoff team. The only way the Wolverines lose this one is if they get in their own way. Michigan moves on to 10-0 for the first time in ten years!
Patrick Connors – @TheRealPConnors
Michigan 24, Iowa 20
Well everyone, this is the week I had a lot of fear going into. I called this one of the toughest games Michigan would have to play. Primetime kick off at Kinnick is no joke. I hate when we go out there any way because Iowa has some sort of voodoo magic out there and the play really well against ranked teams, no matter how the Hawkeyes themselves are doing. This team went to the Rose Bowl and was one defensive stop from being in the college football playoff last year. This is a team that can do damage and can ruin a magical season. They return Desmond King on defense and the dude is a straight playmaker. They return experienced and seasoned vet CJ Beathard at the helm of the Hawkeye offense. They have a solid backfield that, if they can mimic Michgan States opening drive all game, could give us a world of hurt…
With that all being said, Iowa is on a 3 game HOME losing streak. They lost to North Dakota State, barely scraped by RUTGER, were beaten soundly by Northwestern, barely beat Minnesota (a very skewed 7-2 team), lost to a good Wisconsin team, and then this past weekend were put on blast by Penn State. This is NOT the same Iowa team as last year.
Michigan, well, we know the story. It doesn’t need to be repeated. A win Saturday will start to give me hope and confidence that this can in fact be a special season. I know Michigan will not take this game lightly. I know they will be ready to battle a fired up Iowa team. This has the potential to be a very good Saturday night football game.
I know we all want the blow out win, but I just do not see it Saturday. Simply going to Iowa at night alone will be a challenge. This Hawkeye team knows they have vastly underperformed to their lofty preseason goals. They can turn their season around Saturday night. I am in no sense picking an Iowa upset, but this very well could be a one score game.
Gut feeling is the defense will carry the offense in the first half, then the offense will find itself in the second half and assert itself. This will be a good game. And yes, Jabrill Peppers scores an offensive touchdown and makes a HUGE impactful play on defense.
David Mormino – @BookOfMormino
Michigan 45, Iowa 14
I find it funny that I actually pegged this game as a “Big win,” for Michigan in our preseason roundtable. Sure, it’s a Big Ten night game, on the road, but it doesn’t have that big game feel.
I predicted, albeit easily, Wilton Speight would air it out a lot last week. He did. More of the same this week, I’d expect. Although Desmond King is arguably the best defensive back in the conference, possibly in the country, he can’t stop eleven players at once. Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson need to make sure they dominate Iowa’s secondary, especially the wideouts opposite of King. He’s a force, and it needs to be known by every offensive football player for Michigan.
Iowa had a Cinderella season last year, earning a spot in the Big Ten Title game, but that was last season. This year, they’ve been woefully underwhelming, but equally surprising. Rutgers gave them a game throughout, but the Hawkeyes came out on top late. They’ve given their best effort of the year against Wisconsin in October, losing by just 8 to a team Michigan beat by 7. Perhaps they’re a team that plays up to competition? We’ll see on Saturday what the Hawkeyes are able to do against the Wolverine defense that’s been wreaking havoc against any and all foes. Methinks Michigan doesn’t allow themselves to play down to Iowa this week, and dominates. They take their traveling circus to Iowa City, and put on a show for the locals.