“I’m In The Big House, I’m In The Big House”



Campus Clash

(14) Iowa Hawkeyes at (19) Michigan Wolverines

Iowa: Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to breakdown their battle with the Iowa State Cyclones. I watched that game in its entirety and there was a lot I took away. This is a very balanced offensive team. I’ve seen the tape of their offense and they’ve impressed me under the direction of quarterback Nate Stanley who’s completing 64 percent of his passes with eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions and he’s averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. As I said a few sentences up top, balance is key for any offense. These Hawkeyes have a trio of running backs in Toren Young, Mekhi Sargent and Tyler Goodson. As a trio, they are collectively averaging 6.2 yards per carry and have 752 rushing yards. When you’re able to move the football down the field in different ways, good things normally happen to you. In the Summer when I previewed the Big Ten West, I picked Iowa to win the division and I’m still sticking with it. Yes, I know Wisconsin has looked good, but if I had to choose between quarterbacks, I’m taking Nate over Jack Coan. As a defense, this is one of the best units in the Big Ten. They’re allowing 8.5 points per game and are led by a defensive end named A.J. Epenesa who will be a high pick in the NFL draft. This is a huge showdown in week six. They’ll travel to East Lansing.

Michigan: The Wisconsin game was the worst I’ve seen them look probably since their finale against Ohio State last November. They just struggled all around from the offensive line having a difficult time to protect Shea Patterson, the offense in general couldn’t find any type of rhythm at all. The strength of this team has been their defense for years and they’ve had some talent on that side of the ball from Chase Winovich to Rashan Gary to Jabrill Peppers to name a few. This year, they’ve done well, but something just seems different with them. Maybe it’s the youth movement and they’re still trying to find their place within this unit. Two guys who have stood out to me are linebacker Cam McGrone and safety Dax Hill. Both display great speed and athleticism. They may not have the experience as some of the others, but they showed upside and playing both has paid off. The world of college football had their eyes on them as they got set to play Rutgers. You were embarrassed the week before, how do you respond? They started quickly and never looked back as they scored touchdowns on their first two offensive drives to set the tone for the rest of the game. They were also able to open lanes up for the running game which was an encouraging sign. Shae Patterson also had a nice day at the office completing 74 percent of his passes. The pass protection was also improved, and Shea wasn’t running for his life. They were able to get back into the winning column. Let’s see if they can stay there with a tough opponent in town on Saturday.

Iowa Player to Watch: Chauncey Golston– He’s the other defensive end playing on the opposite side of Epensea. He’s a bull rusher with the speed to get off the edge and rush the passer. I look for Chauncey to be all in on stopping Shea Patterson.

Michigan Player to Watch: Nico Collins– I really enjoy watching this kid play. He’s the Wolverines big playmaker. He’s a fluid route runner with great speed to free himself from a cornerback. Nico is their chain mover and a threat in the red zone.

Final Analysis: Another week and this is a big game for both teams. A win for Iowa would put more people on notice. It’s tough to get a win at the big house! If I’m the Hawkeyes, I’m taking a page out of Wisconsin’s book and that’s establish the running game early and often, something Michigan struggles to defend it seems. Donovan Jeter and Carlo Kemp will be huge on the inside for Michigan’s defense. For Michigan, it comes down to slowing down A.J. Epenesa. I’d chip him each time the opportunity presents itself. On offense, I’m attacking the Iowa secondary as they’ve been hit with injuries. Michigan should be able to find some favorable matchups.

Prediction: Michigan 21 Iowa 17

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