Michael Taylor's Keys to the Iowa Game

Former Michigan quarterback Michael Taylor is worried about the Hawkeyes (5-2, 3-1) at Iowa City: "This is the game Iowa is going to point at, especially since it's a home game for them." MT tells us the key things to watch for in the game.

MT: "Ohio State shut Iowa out in Columbus, but they play well at home ... and they will play Michigan well at home. This is the game they're going to point at, especially since it's a home game. You have to win your home field in The Big Ten."

Stats that back this up:
Iowa lost to Ohio State 35-6 in the Horseshoe, only managing two field goals.The Hawkeyes' other loss was also on the road, 23-3 to Iowa State. They are 4-0 at home.

MT: "Iowa is a little hard to read because, except for Ohio State, they have been playing bad teams that don't play goal line defense. But, even so, they have been great in the red zone and Michigan's defense hasn't been great in the red zone."

Stats that back this up:
Iowa has had a very easy schedule so far ... Ball St. (56-0), at Iowa St. (loss, 3-23), N. Iowa (45-21), at OSU (loss, 6-35), Illinois (35-7), at Purdue (34-17), Indiana (38-21) ... they have the meat of their Big Ten schedule ahead of them: U-M, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota ... they don't play Penn State.

Iowa's offense is right in middle of the Big Ten pack: scoring 5th (28.2 points per game), passing 6th (235.8 yards per game), rushing 7th (157.5), total offense 7th (393.2). and 3rd down conv. 9th (35.6%) ... while the Iowa (KEY STAT) Red Zone offense is #1 at 100%, 13-13. Michigan's red zone defense is 6th in the league, allowing points 16-19 times 84.2%.

MT: "Watch for this play: Iowa always likes to go to the tight end over the middle -- hard play action, then sneak the tight end behind the linebackers and in front of safeties ... that softens up the linebackers and gets them off the box a bit, opening up their running game. Michigan's pass defense has been pretty good so far this year -- we'll see how they do covering the tight end."

Stats that back this up:
Iowa tight end Scott Chandler has 21 receptions in seven games, averaging 12 yards per catch ... in other words, right in the area of the field MT is talking about. However, (KEY STAT) Michigan's pass defense is 3rd on the conference, allowing 201.8 yards per game.

MT: "Iowa has been playing bad teams so far, so their defense hasn't given up many points ... but Michigan has had trouble scoring."

Stats that back this up:
(KEY STAT) Iowa's scoring defense is second in the Big Ten, allowing 19.0 points per game; while in total defense Iowa is 7th at 448.8 yards per game allowed; in 3rd down conversions allowed Iowa is 10th, 54.1%.

MT: "It looks like another 25-25-type game to me."
MT's Key: "If Chad Henne can put a second half together, play with more consistency, Michigan will move up a notch. He plays well in spurts then loses it. As long as he throws to his right he's accurate, to his left he's been a tad off. How consistent or inconsistent will Henne be in this tough road game ..."

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