"Everybody knows where the breakdown was."

Former Michigan staffer Mark Ouimet gives us his 'breakdown' of the Iowa loss.


"This game is pretty simple. Everybody nows where the breakdown was. Punt coverage, kickoff coverage, and punt protection. Special Teams -- that was our title going into the game, wasn't it?"

"The Michigan offense and defense both had good games overall."

"As far as the offense goes, they scored 27 points -- and if you score 27 points in a big game you should win."

"Jason Avant and Braylon Edwards had 289 yards receiving between them -- Avant 175 and Braylon 114. They both made seven catches."

"And Chris Perry ran hard all day. 87 yards against a good Iowa run defense was a good day -- and he'd have had a lot more with that run at the end of the game that was called back ... my point being only that he ran hard."

"And John Navarre completed 50% of his passes so he did a decent job."

"So that's amazing -- to have two receivers with games like that, and a back who gets 87 yards against a good defense .... 27 points should have been enough to win."

"The Michigan defense was fine -- Iowa had to kick three field goals, even when they kept getting the ball over and over in good field position. "

"Iowa running back Fred Russell had good day, 110 yards. And their quaraterback Chandler did a decent job -- 50% like Navarre. "

"Pierre Woods had two sacks and Scott McClintock played good game, so did Ernest Shazor and Marlin Jackson. The defense generally played well, gave them different coverages, and didn't give up many big plays. They gave up one big running play of about 30 yards, and one big passing play also of about 30 yards. That's it."

"And the turnover game was even (other than blocks) -- both had an interception."

"So, this game came down to a field position game that cost Michigan. Five times Iowa started past their own 40 yard line, and twice inside the Michigan 30. Iowa's Ramon Achoa had two returns over thirty yards, and three more over forty. Michigan's coverage teams broke down, and so did their punt protection."

"On the flip side ... Iowa's special teams were great. The have a great punter, and the best field goal kicker in the USA. And their coverages good. Michigan has a good returner in Steve Breaston (who also returned kickoffs once LeSueur went out). But Breaston's best return of the day was 15 yards -- because Iowa's coverage was good."

"Of course even with all the things that happened on special teams Michigan still had a chance to win at end. So Michigan should've won. But special teams coverage and blocked punts bit them."

"So obviously, Michigan needs to improve its coverage teams, and protect the punter better."

"As far as special teams goes. Michigan chose to change the punt formation in the second half. Don't know why, and I'm not second guessing that. But the execution broke down (just like it did with the fake field goal attempt to McClintock against Oregon) . Whatever you use, you have to teach the kids to run it."

"Coach Carr mentioned injuries to the special teams unit. I'm not sure who they are exactly, but for sure to Jeremy Van Alstyne, Darnell Hood, maybe Brian Thompson."

"One more thing regarding injuries. Iowa did play well on the long drive for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. But Iowa was perceptive in that when Jeremy LeSueur went out Iowa attacked freshman Leon Hall's side. They decided to pick on his side of the field and it worked for them in that drive. As far as LeSueur goes -- when you take shoulder pads off at half like he did that's not a good sign. This week they may move Marlin back to corner, we'll see."

"Bottom line: Michigan must shore up special teams ... and you can bet they will focus on it -- hard. Knowing Coach Carr I know they'll be better. They'll win this week -- we'll talk about that later.

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