Iowa-Michigan Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 13, 2012
Devin Gardner has proved a capable replacement for star quarterback Denard Robinson, helping keep Michigan's Big Ten title hopes alive. With Robinson's status unclear, the 23rd-ranked Wolverines try to stay in the race by avoiding another upset to Iowa on Saturday in Ann Arbor. Robinson has missed the past two games with nerve damage in his elbow, and coach Brady Hoke would only say he's "day to day" regarding the senior's availability for this week's game. While Michigan has missed Robinson's dynamic running ability, Gardner has been a more prolific passer with 230-plus yards in back-to-back victories. Robinson hasn't topped 200 yards passing since a win over Massachusetts on Sept. 15 but has compiled 946 on the ground in his eight games. Gardner rushed for 47 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries last Saturday against Northwestern and threw for 286 and two TDs, but Michigan barely pulled out a 38-31 home victory. His 53-yard pass to Roy Roundtree set up the tying field goal with 2 seconds left in regulation, and Gardner ran for the go-ahead TD in overtime en route to being named co-Big Ten offensive player of the week. He's a big reason the Wolverines (7-3, 5-1) are tied atop the Big Ten's Legends Division, though co-leader Nebraska owns the tiebreaker due to its 23-9 win over Michigan on Oct. 27. That means the Wolverines can only reach the Big Ten title game if they win their final two contests while the Cornhuskers lose at least one of theirs. "I think they know we've got to take care of ourselves," Hoke said. "To achieve greatness, you've got to put yourself in position and take care of your business." The Michigan defense didn't do that last week as it allowed 431 yards, its most since a loss to then-No. 2 Alabama on Sept. 1. The Wolverines had given up an average of 250.0 yards over the previous seven games. Iowa (4-6, 2-4) has the conference's second-worst offense, averaging 321.6 yards, and has lost four straight. However, don't expect Michigan to take this game lightly. The Hawkeyes have taken the last three meetings - a first in this series - and won 24-16 at home last season over the then-No. 13 Wolverines. "I myself have not beaten Iowa yet and I know just for selfish reasons, it would be a huge motivation for me," senior defensive end Craig Roh said. "I never want to go not beating a team in my career, and that's something that we control." Robinson had a chance to tie last year's meeting but threw four straight incompletions from Iowa's 3-yard line in the final seconds. Hawkeyes senior James Vandenberg accounted for one of Iowa's three TDs, but the player who had the other two, Marcus Coker, is now at Stony Brook. "As far as year-to-year and week-to-week, we're not the same team we were a year ago and they're not, either," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. Ferentz's team has been competitive lately, losing back-to-back games by three points. The Hawkeyes fell 27-24 to Purdue on a 46-yard field goal as time expired last Saturday, a week after blowing an early 14-point lead in a 24-21 defeat at Indiana. Vandenberg has three TD passes and four interceptions over his last five games, getting sacked 13 times. The status of leading rusher Mark Weisman remains unknown because of a leg injury. Weisman, who has 661 yards and eight touchdowns, has missed the past two games. Michigan leads the series 40-13-4 and holds a 23-6-3 edge at home.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The Best Names in College Football for 2016
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Texas Tech using fake Twitter accounts to track players

Nike creates custom Air Jordan shoes in tribute to Craig Sager

Browns wanted ‘second-round pick and then some’ for Gordon

Report: Eric Berry to sign next week, be ready to play in Week 1

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker