Josh Turel: Iowa Defense, Game Prediction

NFL draft analyst Josh Turel loves to get film on Michigan's opponents and break it down to see who the good players are. Here is what he has seen regarding the Iowa Defense – and Josh's game prediction (caution: he's getting tired of predicting victories and being wrong!)

Depth Chart

Defensive End
99 Bryan Mattison 6-3, 262, So.
49 Mike Follett 6-5, 255, Sr.
95 Ted Bentler 6-4, 276, Fr.

Defensive End
92 Kenny Iwebema 6-4, 255, So.
96 Alex Kanellis 6-4, 255, Fr.

Defensive Tackle
47 Mitch King 6-3, 250, Fr.
65 Alex Willcox 6-2, 280, So.

Defensive Tackle
53 Matt Kroul 6-3, 267, Fr.
66 Ryan Bain 6-2, 260, Fr.

Outside Linebacker
27 Ed Miles 6-1, 228, Jr.
17 Chris Kueh 6-2, 230, So.

Outside Linebacker
18 Chad Greenway 6-4, 244, Sr.
44 Mike Humpal 6-2, 225, So.

Middle Linebacker
52 Abdul Hodge 6-2, 234, Sr.
40 Mike Klinkenborg 6-2, 230, So.

Cornerback
26 Jovon Johnson 5-9, 177, Sr.
3 Ma'Quan Dawkins 5-9, 166, Jr.
19 Adam Shada 6-1, 180, So.

Cornerback
20 Antwan Allen 5-10, 180, Sr.
29 Bradley Fletcher 6-2, 195, Fr.

Strong Safety
15 Miguel Merrick 6-0, 203, Jr.
25 Marcus Paschal 6-0, 199, Jr.
14 Devan Moylan 5-10, 201, Jr.

Free Safety
25 Marcus Paschal 6-0, 199, Jr.
13 Charles Godfrey 6-1, 202, So.
32 Andrew Becker 6-1, 201, Jr.

Iowa Team stats – Big Ten Rankings (Big Ten Games Only) Iowa's scoring defense is second in the Big Ten, allowing 19.0 points per game
- Red Zone defense - Iowa 1st, 8-14 scores allowed, 57.1%
- Total defense: Iowa is 7th at 448.8 yards per game allowed
- Pass defense - Iowa 9th, 290.5 yards per game allowed
- Rush defense, Iowa 4th, 158.2 yards per game allowed
- 3rd down conversions allowed Iowa is 10th, 54.1%. Iowa Defense:

I think everyone pretty much knows the Iowa defense is a bit undersized and hasn't played all that well this year. They've played better over the past few weeks but the competition wasn't great. Which is also why their scoring and red zone defensive stats are so good, whereas their ‘yards allowed' and 3rd down conversions allowed stats are mediocre to poor.

I think Iowa's defensive problem is more on the interior defensive line. Mitch King and Matt Kroul can certainly make plays in the backfield, and King is having the better season but both can be pushed around somewhat. The Ohio State line manhandled this defensive line and they haven't had a great season all together. Michigan's draw play should be working well if Lentz, Henige and Kraus get the job done inside. The Iowa defensive ends aren't bad, I like what Kenny Iwebema brings to the table. Not a great run support guy but he's probably the best rusher up front. Bryan Mattison has chimed in with only three sacks thus far and he needs to be more productive up front. He's bigger and looks more physical than last year; I think he has some real potential but he's still developing in my opinion. The defense has experimented with some 3-4 looks, mainly to defend against the spread offenses they have faced so I don't think you will see much of it this week.

We know Iowa's linebackers are great. Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge have NFL futures ahead of them and can pretty much do it all. Hodge is a pursuit type who is excellent in pass drops and can play heads up. I really like his game. I think he's the best middle linebacker in the nation. Hodge has 80 tackles, seven for loss on the season. Chad Greenway is another great one too. He's an outstanding tackler and is always around the play. He has 93 tackles, seven for loss on the year. I think this is as fine a duo as you will find in the country. Adding to the mix is Edmond Miles. Miles is a hard hitter and in my opinion, a poor man's version of Abdul Hodge. He's a plus athlete who's filled in nicely with 40 tackles.

Cornerback Antwan Allen is questionable with an injury. Allen is a solid, not flashy player. He plays physical despite his size and is a good tackler. He doesn't make a whole lot of big plays but he's a reliable cover man. If he isn't able to go, Bradley Fletcher will get the nod. Fletcher has excellent size but lacks experience thus far. The other cornerback Jovon Johnson is in a similar mold to Allen, only Johnson makes a lot of plays. He has two interceptions this season and is closing in on the all time record at Iowa. He's physical yet has deep speed. His only downside would be lack of great size. Free safety Charles Godfrey is questionable with injury as well. Marcus Pascal will take his spot if need be; Pascal has experience and is a very solid player. Miguel Merrick starts at the other safety spot; Merrick plays the run decently for a strong safety and he's getting progressively better in coverage. The presence or absence of Godfrey and Allen will be huge because this unit will need to step up for this game.

Special Teams:

Kicker Kyle Schlicher has been solid all season hitting on 9 of 10 field goals. He's perfect inside 40 and has hit a 52 yarder. Punter Andy Fenstermaker has been good, averaging 41.7 yards a punt including 11 inside the 20. Punt return has been sparked by Jovon Johnson who taken a long of 90 yards and one touchdown. He's been dangerous thus far, averaging 27 yards a return off six returns. Albert Young hasn't done much returning kicks, and Damian Sims isn't much of a spark either.

Overall Thoughts and Prediction:

Well this is a game Michigan SHOULD win. I myself haven't been good at predicting Michigan this year. The only two I have guessed correctly were Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. I picked the Wolverines to show up the Irish at home...shoulda, woulda, coulda but didn't. I picked the Wolverines to open up the year with a win in Badger Stadium … defense loses the game at the end, wrong again. Minnesota at home should have been an easy one, see Wisconsin: defense loses game on last drive. On the flip side, the Wolverines beat the red hot Michigan State Spartan team in their house, and another red hot team in Penn State at the Big House. So, this Michigan team is extremely unpredictable -- I won't blame myself too much. I hope this last win over Penn State can lead to a string of wins down the stretch. I don't know about you but I'm a little tired of seeing a documentary of how guys with Gophers on their jerseys wondering why a wooden flag won't go into field turf. I mean, it has to end. I look into the crystal ball and I see a reflection of past situations. Hostile environments, Oregon at Autzen, Wisconsin at Camp Randall, Michigan at Ohio State. Wild crowds and momentum haven't treated Michigan well. By the way, this week includes a "black out" at Kinnick Stadium, not good. Even worse, Michigan's youngsters have to see the recently controversial and newly repainted pink visiting locker room. Now it doesn't bother me, it's their stadium but Mr. Ferentz, just be honest with us all. Hayden Fry painted it that color for one reason, and you repainted it to keep it alive: degrade the other team. That's fine, do as you wish but just be honest with the fans. Ferentz says the pink has a "calming" effect on the opponents. Oh really! Here's a suggestion, next time Drew Tate blows his lid on the field, make him wear a pink jersey! Ah well, to the prediction. Again, Michigan should win this game. That being said, that's exactly why I think they won't. I've just seen this too much to go against what my head says. On the road, the offense isn't aggressive and is very uptight playing with the lead. Drew Tate and the offense are better than most think and I think Albert Young could have a breakout game on a large stage. If Michigan holds Iowa under 21 points I think they've done their job. Michigan should be able to run the ball with Mike Hart who made four and five yard runs out of plays that shouldn't have gained anything last week. If the offense FINALLY opens up and goes for the jugular or if Mike Hart has a huge day, Michigan will most likely win … but again I see an unnecessarily close game with Iowa winning late.

Josh's Prediction: Iowa 24, Michigan 20

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