Hawks Fight, But Fall at Michigan, 20-6

There are no columns in the standings for moral victories, and Iowa players and fans hate to lose. On Saturday in Ann Arbor, the Hawkeyes showed the fight they did not bring to Bloomington, IN one week ago and held Michigan to less than 300 yards of total offense. However, Michigan's defense, which is arguably the best in the nation, stymied Iowa all day long and kept them out of the endzone.

Iowa won the toss and elected to receive. Iowa has started on offense in 79 of its last 87 games. The Hawkeyes have started the game on offense in 81-of-93 games under Kirk Ferentz. Iowa has started on offense in seven of eight games in 2006.

Iowa and Michigan both failed to score on their opening possession. Iowa has not scored on its first drive in eight games. Three of Iowa's opponents (Syracuse, Iowa State and Ohio State) opened the game with touchdown drives.

Three Hawkeye players returned to action after missing at least one game, including OL Rafael Eubanks, DT Mitch King, and RB Albert Young. Key players who missed the Michigan game included DE Kenny Iwebema, RB Shonn Greene and OL Dace Richardson. CB Adam Shada left the game in the second period and did not return. Redshirt Freshman Chris Rowell saw his first action of the season.

Iowa failed to score in the first period after scoring a season-best 14 points in the first quarter in each of the last two weeks vs. Purdue and Indiana, respectively. Iowa, this season, also failed to score in the first period in road games at Syracuse and Illinois.

Iowa was held scoreless in the first half for the first time this season. The last time Iowa did not score in the first half was in a loss at Ohio State on Sept. 24, 2005. The last time Iowa did not score a touchdown in the first half was in a win at Wisconsin on Nov. 12, 2005. The last time Iowa was held an entire game without a touchdown was in that loss at Ohio State last season.

The three points scored by Michigan in the first half mark the fourth time this season Iowa has not allowed a touchdown in the first half. Montana and Illinois did not score any points in the first half, while Purdue scored three points.

Iowa converted a 34-yard field goal by Kyle Schlicher in the third period following an interception by LB Mike Humpal. The theft is Humpal's second of the season and first since the opening win over Montana. The turnover came just plays after DE Bryan Mattison had recorded a sack and forced fumble, recovered by Michigan. The forced fumble by Mattison is his fourth of the season. He leads the Big Ten in that category.

Schlicher added a 22-yard field goal later in the third period. He has converted two or more field goals in 15 games in his career and he has missed just three field goals of less than 39 yards (36-39). He has made 10-13 field goals on the season. Schlicher is 19-20 on PATs for 49 points this season. Schlicher has 238 career points and ranks fourth in career scoring.

Senior TE Scott Chandler had one reception for 10 yards in the first half. The catch was No. 100 for Chandler, who ranks 24th in career receiving yards. He later had a key reception in Iowa's second field goal drive of the third period. He had four catches for a team best 66 yards and his career totals are now 103 catches for 1,230 yards.

Freshman WR Dominique Douglas, a Detroit native, led Iowa in receptions, with six catches for 63 yards. He also had three punt returns for 27 yards. His receiving totals for the year are 29 catches for 436 yards.

FB Tom Busch, who has started all eight games, had a three yard carry in the first half, his first rushing attempt of the season. Busch does have two touchdown receptions this season.

Instant replay was used once in the first half. The call on the field was upheld on a Michigan pass into the endzone that was ruled out of bounds. Instant replay was used twice in the second half. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz used his coach's challenge, but the call on the field was upheld. The call in question was an Iowa pass that was ruled incomplete. Later in the fourth period, instant replay was used on a Michigan fumble that was recovered by Iowa's Marcus Paschal. The call on the field was changed and Michigan kept possession and was granted a first down.

Three Hawkeye players led the defense with nine tackles each, including LB Ed Miles, DB Miguel Merrick and DB Charles Godfrey. DE Bryan Mattison had five tackles (four solo), including two tackles for minus 26 yards and a forced fumble. With Florida having a bye week, Bryan's dad, Greg, Florida's defensive coordinator, was able to attend the game. DB Marcus Paschal had seven tackles, including five solo stops, in his return to fulltime duty.

QB Drew Tate completed 21-36 passes for 197 yards. Tate has now thrown for 7,347 career yards. He ranks second in career passing at Iowa. The senior signal caller also ranks second in career total offense with 7,422 yards and pass completions with 596.

The crowd of 110,923 is the third largest crowd to see an Iowa football game. The top two crowds to see the Hawkeyes play were Iowa games at Michigan in 2002 (111,496) and 2004 (111,428).

Iowa returns home next weekend to host Northern Illinois (11:05 a.m., ESPNU) in the first of three straight home games. Iowa hosts Northwestern (Nov. 4) and Wisconsin (Nov. 11) before closing the season at Minnesota.


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