Ouimet On The Iowa Game

"Anytime you can get five turnovers, you should win." So says former Michigan staffer Mark Ouimet in summing up the Iowa game. Here's how Ouimet breaks the game down.


"Why did Michigan beat Iowa? Because of Michigan's defense. They were able to control the line of scrimmage against the Iowa offensive line. Michigan has improved up front ... Pat Massey played good game, and Pierre Woods when he was in there. Gabe Watson. And Lamarr Woodley had maybe his best game so far.

"Michigan was able to capitalize on the defense's turnovers, control the time of possession, and hold Iowa to 3 of 13 on third down.

"Michigan was more agressive on defense ... David Harris got the majority of snaps at inside linebacker which added more speed. Scott McClintock, who had an ankle injury from the San Diego State game, came in a lot on third downs.

"Michigan put lot of pressure on Drew Tate. They got to him some and rattled him ... when Woodley pulled his helmet off that shook him some. Tate had good day completion-wise, 24 of 32, but he threw two interceptions and Michigan had four sacks. It's a key for Michigan getting pressure on the quarterback in the sense of making him make quick decisions ... then Michigan's DB's are good enough to come off cuts and make interceptions. And if they get beat in man coverage, the DBs are good enough and fast enough to catch up to the receivers after they get beat.

"Marcus Curry by the way was hurt -- Leon Hall wouldn've gotten the start anyway, but Curry didn't play on special teams either.

"One question I had was why did Iowa get away from the pass? That's how to have the most success against Michigan, and Iowa came out passing in the first series of each half ... but they want to run ball just like Michigan does.

"Michigan did have some problems defensively ... Iowa gained 4.5 yards per play. That's an alarming number. That needs to improve ... down the road that could cause a serious problem. So Michigan is not close to where they want to be yet defensively. Their weaknesses: the middle linebacker on pass coverage; and Shazor and Mundy overpursuing on run plays when they come up into the box. Plus the safeties are the leading tacklers on the team ... on great defenses the safeties are not the leading tacklers.

"But they are improving up front, learning what they need to do. And playing well overall."

The Michigan Offense.

"The run. I didn't expect Michigan to get 100 yards against Iowa's strong front seven ... and even though Iowa's cornerbacks are weak, Michigan didn't go after them enough.

"People are right about the Michigan run game ... it's not where it should be yet ... although it could get better next week against a weak Indiana rush defense. But Michigan needs a good second back who can pound it ... I still say that has to be David Underwood. Jerome Jackson's style is more like Mike Hart's. The good news is that they gained close to 100 yards on the ground against a good front seven. But Michigan needs a #2 back, and they haven't developed that yet.

"Right now, without Braylon Edwards there would be a major problem ... Jason Avant is a good receiver, but not a game breaker like Braylon. And Breaston is not very strong physically. If you look at Michigan's great wideouts: Braylon, Terrell, Toomer -- all are strong -- they could all go up against a DB and fight and take the ball away. But -- even though Breaston is not strong, and is not 100% healthy, having him in the lineup is essential because he is still a threat to the defense.

"Michigan did a good job in having less turnovers. Chad Henne threw no interceptions. Henne is developing more of the offense every weak. Quarterback coach Scott Loeffler is doing a great job with Henne. And Michigan has found their offensive line. Jake Long has a ways to go but improving. David Baas at center is a good move -- it gives them an opportunity to get Leo Henige in there to run block.

"One other area Michigan has to improve - the red zone. Hart fumbling on the goal line last week ... in a close game that would've been costly."

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