As we near the halfway point of the college football season, conference races are starting to become more clear. The Big Ten race is still wide open this season, and this game will go a long way towards deciding that. The Michigan Wolverines will host the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday in a must-win game for both teams.
No. 19 Michigan comes into this game with a 3-1 record, but things have not gone as it had hoped this season. The Wolverines suffered an embarrassing loss to Wisconsin just a few weeks ago but bounced back with a blowout win over Rutgers a week later.
No. 14 Iowa is a perfect 4-0 so far this season, and it has been extremely impressive. The Hawkeyes have not had a difficult schedule up to this point, but that will change on Saturday. Michigan is a 3.5-point favorite in this Big Ten showdown.
Iowa Defense Has Been Solid in 2019
There are several terrific defensive teams around college football this season, but the Iowa Hawkeyes might be the best of them all. Iowa is allowing just 8.5 points per game so far this season and has given up less than three points on two different occasions. The Hawkeyes are still looking to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, after registering just five total sacks through their first four games.
Iowa has been solid on offense this season as well, but their defense has made life pretty easy at times. Quarterback Nate Stanley has thrown for 965 yards and eight touchdowns already this season and has yet to throw an interception. The Hawkeyes have plenty of balance on offense as well and have rushed for more than 217 yards per game. Iowa will need to score some points to upset the Wolverines.
Wolverines Need to Make Some Big Plays
There is plenty of hype surrounding the Michigan offense, but they have yet to prove that they can score with any consistency. Quarterback Shea Patterson has completed less than 60 percent of his passes this season and has not delivered like Michigan fans had hoped. The Wolverines have rushed for just 130 yards per game this season, but teams are loading up the box and daring Patterson to beat them. There are several players with big-play ability, but it’s time for them to deliver.
Michigan lost a number of defensive starters from a season ago, and their defense has taken a step back. The Wolverines have given up just 19 points per game this season, but they were gashed in giving up 35 points to Wisconsin. Michigan has seven total sacks so far this season, and they will need to disrupt Stanley in this game.
Michigan Gets Much-Needed Home Win
Iowa has been the much more impressive team this season, but playing at the Big House is never an easy task. The Hawkeyes will put together a terrific defensive performance in this game, but their offense has struggled at times. Michigan has several future NFL players on its roster, and it’s time for them to step up and make some plays. Look for the Wolverines to get just enough offense to win this one. Bet the Michigan Wolverines -3.5 over the Iowa Hawkeyes in this game.
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