ANN ARBOR, Mich. – As the cliché saying goes, defense wins championships.
While that may be true in some sense, it can only take you so far.
And that was evident on Saturday night, with Michigan’s No. 1 ranked defense only giving up 230 total yards, yet, still lost to Iowa, 14-13, on a last second Keith Duncan's 33 yard field goal, as the Wolverines suffered their first defeat of 2016.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has his ideas why U-M fell short against the Hawkeyes.
“You got to win two out of the three phases in a football game to win a football game,” Harbaugh said at his weekly Monday press conference.
“I thought our defense won that phase. Offensively, special teams, we did not feel like we won those two phases. And when that usually happens in a ball if you don’t win the game.
To Harbaugh’s point, U-M’s offense totaled only 201 total yards, with 14 first downs, and never looked in rhythm throughout the night, and even gave up a safety. That’s the same offense that averages 467.8 total yards per game. Also, despite two Kenny Allen field goals, U-M struggled in its return game, specifically when Khalid Hill fumbled U-M’s opening kickoff to open the second half that led to an Iowa field goal.
Still, though, Harbaugh credited his defense for their effort.
“I feel the defense played winning football and really gave us a chance to win the game,” he said. “Our defensive line continues to be a strength.”