UA-59049186-1 Iowa 14, Michigan 13 - Good if it Goes

Iowa 14, Michigan 13

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Box Score

Grading Primer

Early on, this looked like a game Michigan would handle. Not dominate, but be good enough to win. Then Kirk Ferentz cashed in his “one game a year where he’s not a moron” card, made correct game theory decisions, gave his best running back the amount of snaps he should have had for a while, and this, coupled with Michigan’s offense falling off a cliff, and John O’Neill and his band of idiots doing what they do in games that involve Michigan, was enough for the Hawkeyes to eke out a win. Afterward, there were many targets for blame, some justified, some less so. I’ll get into those after we take a look at the

Player Grades

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How’d they do has been absorbed into

Takeaways

Let’s start with the obvious: Wilton Speight was real bad. He graded out positively, but just barely, and just barely positive stinks for a QB. He started off okay – again, nothing spectacular, but good enough to get a win – then he started missing throws left and right. He missed Darboh on four sure TDs. He overthrew a couple, he underthrew a couple. It was like Goldilocks only without the part where she finds the porridge that’s just right. And now he may be hurt. Monday morning, rumors were swirling that Speight had a broken collarbone and would be out for the rest of the season. Monday afternoon, Brian Cook reported that, yep, Speight’s collarbone was broken and he’s out for at least the rest of the regular season. Brian is not given to wild speculation; if he’s saying something, he’s got something to back it up. However, Monday evening on his radio show, Jim Harbaugh said that Speight wasn’t out for the season and any report saying that he was is false. He declined to elaborate on the situation beyond that. Now, “season” and “regular season” aren’t necessarily the same thing and Harbaugh’s known for some gamesmanship with roster details. It could be that Speight is out for the regular season and Harbaugh just wants Indiana to have to prepare for two different QBs. It could also be that Speight really is questionable, Harbaugh just differentiate between “season” and “regular season,” and Brian got some bad intel. Wednesday, an MGoBlog message board poster posted this update. Both the poster and Doug Karsch are well-connected, so there’s good reason to believe this is legit. In that thread, the possibility of an AC joint sprain is discussed, and rumors of that being the case are picking up a little steam. I’m not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV); I have a little bit of a background on the topic, but that’s it. But given where the trainers were examining Speight on the the sidelines, I would bet a nickel on it being an AC joint sprain. It should be noted that if that is the case, that’s no guarantee that Speight will play again during the regular season. He could be ready to play Saturday, he could be out a couple weeks. The MGoBlog board post mentions that he wasn’t wearing a sling, thus suggesting a low-grade sprain (if it is indeed a sprain), but even so, the chance he wouldn’t be ready for The Game would remain. If John O’Korn is called into action, things should be at least fine. There may be a bit of a drop-off, but this wouldn’t be the Russell Bellomy Experience, part 2. A lot of the fanbase, myself included, thought O’Korn was going to be the starter going into the season. It’s very possible that Speight ended up getting the job because he was the steadier hand of the two; O’Korn’s a little more of a gunslinger. O’Korn has looked solid in mop-up duty this year and is a good bit more mobile than Speight.

On to the play calling. There are some legit criticisms to be made. They should have gone to Chris Evans more well before they actually did. Ty Isaac should have had a bigger role. The Pepper-cat stuff should be put away unless he’s actually going to throw, or unless he’s going to get more snaps as a decoy. Did they try to get too cute with the play calls? I mean, probably, but the regular stuff wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire, either, so I’d rather the coaches take a stab at something than just Borges their way through the game.

Outside of that, Ben Bredeson and Chris Evans were encouraging on offense. The defense turned in another overall good game. Akrum Wadley was able to get yards on them and he was pretty much the only one to do so. Missed tackles remain a thing. Ben Gedeon and Mike McCray both had their share.¬†McCray made some nice plays rushing the passer to offset those biffs in the grade chart. This time, though, Jabrill Peppers got in on the missed tackle act, too. He’s been excellent the rest of the season, do not worry about him. Also do not worry about Jourdan Lewis; his minuses came in run support. Taco Charlton had another big day, as did Maurice Hurst. Bryan Mone graded out negatively again. He caught a -2 for a personal foul, and while he still would’ve been in the negatives without that, he made a few plays that were encouraging.

So what does the loss mean for Michigan? Not much. Michigan still controls their own destiny. The only difference is now, the safety net for The Game is pretty much gone. If there’s enough chaos, a 2-loss Michigan team could get into the playoff, but I wouldn’t bank on that.

Helmet Stickers

Up to 3 may be awarded per player. Not necessarily the highest-graded players since different grades mean different things to different players (refer to the primer).

Offense

3: Ben Bredeson, Chris Evans

2: Jake Butt

1: Amara Darboh

Defense

3: Taco Charlton, Maurice Hurst, Jr.

2: Chris Wormley, Channing Stribling

1: Rashan Gary, Ryan Glasgow, Chase Winovich

Helmet Sticker Count

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Go Blue!

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312

E-mail: schroeder.giig@gmail.com

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