I'm going back home from University tomorrow and will be busy for the next few days, so I'll do this week's prediction now. For the record, I was pretty close on the Purdue score last Saturday! Anyway, on to Iowa...
The Hawkeyes obviously had a terrible result last week losing to Minnesota, but that doesn't mean we are going to walk over them this week, especially not in their home stadium. Iowa is undefeated at home this year, and on paper has a talented enough team to cause Michigan some serious problems on Saturday.
Firstly, on offense they have a running back that went over 250 yards last week in Marcus Coker, and then they have a QB with a passing rating of 178.3 at home. Lets also not forget the schools all time TD receptions leader, Marvin McNutt. I haven't seen much of Iowa's O-Line, but from a skill position perspective, they look good on offense. Michigan defended the run quite well last week, but struggled against MSU in run D, so that is a concern.
For Michigan's offense, the key is getting Fitzgerald Tousiannt into the game early to take some of the pressure off Denard. The health of our OL is a concern here. If Michigan can establish the run early and not turn the ball over through passing, then I think they can put up a fair amount of points against this average Hawkeyes D who have conceded 27, 31 and 24 points to Pitt, NW and Indiana respectively at home.
Despite the success of our defense this year, I am worried about Iowa's offense this week, but if Michigan can force a couple of turnovers it should be enough to pull out the win. For this, having Jordan Kovacs back would be huge, but I guess we don't want to rush him back. In the end I think Michigan just does enough on offense to pull out a close win.
Prediction: Iowa 27 ; Michigan 30
Sidenote: Unfortunately I won't be watching the game this Saturday, as I've somehow got myself into the Directors box at Arsenal Football Club for their match against West Brom! Still, I'll probably be following the game on ESPN's scorecenter!