IOWA CITY, Iowa – Stating the obvious: home field advantage matters in college football.
And that certainly was the case on Saturday night, with Iowa’s “crazy” home crowd noise causing “miscommunication” in Michigan’s huddle, as U-M’s offense looked confused and out-of-sync all game.
And ultimately, well, U-M would lose on a Iowa's place kicker Keith Duncan’s 33-yard field goal as time expired, with the Hawkeyes edging the Wolverines 14-13, and handing them their first defeat of 2016.
“Just a rowdy crowd, a little miscommunication in the huddle. Obviously that starts with me,” said a dejected Wilton Speight afterwards. “Guys got to hear their play calls and stuff, cause (the crowd) was going nuts.”
And the crowd clearly was affecting Speight, who came in to Iowa City red hot, but look anything like the Big Ten’s most efficient passer on Saturday night, completing 11-of his 16 passes for only 103 yards and one crucial interception late.
“It’s a tough one to swallow when you leave plays like that on the field,” Speight said of his inconsistent play. “Just got to get back to the film and figure out how to capitalize next week.”
But was there more to it? Was Speight simply out of rhythm? Was it the crazy atmosphere of Iowa’s home crowd that caused him to play his worst game as a starter?
“I think both played a factor into it,” Speight said. “That was a crazy atmosphere night game in Iowa. It’s a tough place to come in and play. But, yeah, I left a couple out there on the field, they’re going to hurt.”