Iowa Football

Iowa vs. Michigan Game Report: Grades, numbers, notes and more

Hawkeyes manage 1 rushing yard in loss to Wolverines

Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins (4) pulls in a pass as Iowa defensive back D.J. Johnson (12) defends during the firs
Michigan wide receiver Nico Collins (4) pulls in a pass as Iowa defensive back D.J. Johnson (12) defends during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

No. 14 Iowa took its first loss of the season Saturday to No. 19 Michigan, 10-3.

Play of the Game

THE SETUP: You probably have already forgotten this play. Check that. You probably have already forgotten this game, but let’s play out the exercise.

Not a lot to go on in this one, so that makes it easy.

Michigan got right at it on its one TD drive. Check that. The Wolverines got at it on the game’s only touchdown drive on first down.

Wolverines wide receiver Nico Collins, all 6-4, 222 pounds of him, got body position on cornerback D.J. Johnson for a 51-yard gain to Iowa’s 19. Five plays later, running back Zach Charbonnet crashed in from the 2 and the Wolverines had a 10-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.

WHAT HAPPENED: You know that Johnson entered the season as the starter at cash safety, but was pressed into action after junior Matt Hankins suffered a hamstring injury in week 2. With backups Julius Brents and Riley Moss already out, Johnson was pressed into action.

Don’t be too hard on him for this one. He played the ball well and put himself in position to have a chance to make the play. He’s 5-11, 183 pounds. That turned out to be the factor.



THE RESULT: Michigan screamed to that 10-0 lead and made it stand. The Iowa defense did clamp down. The Wolverines only had one other pass play of plus-20, but that also was head coach Jim Harbaugh watching his defense make a 10-0 lead feel like 100-0.


Marc Morehouse: C

That 10-3 stood for more than three quarters. Felt like quicksand for the Hawkeyes.

Mike Hlas: C

This is a combination of what should be separate grades for the offense and defense. Guess which aced the test and which needed to stay after school.

By the Numbers

1 — Iowa had 1 rushing yard, its lowest total since it had minus-15 against Mississippi State in last season’s Outback Bowl.

4 — Iowa had four turnovers, quadrupling the total it had over its first four games.

8 — Michigan sacked Hawkeye quarterback Nate Stanley eight times. He had been sacked just five times over the first four games. It was the most sacks allowed by Iowa in a game since 2007 against Indiana.

8 — Iowa had eight penalties, including back-to-back holding calls on a late fourth-quarter possession after the Hawkeyes had driven to the Michigan 25.

10 — It was the fewest points allowed by the Hawkeyes in a loss since their 9-6 defeat to Iowa State in 2012.

19 — Iowa’s streak of 19 straight quarters with a score ended in the first quarter.

100 — This was Harbaugh’s 100th win as a college coach.


139 — Stanley had a streak of 139 straight passes without an interception snapped in the first quarter. He threw another pick in the second quarter. He threw another in the third quarter.

111,519 — The attendance, Michigan’s 290th-straight home game with at least 100,000 fans.


One could sarcastically suggest this game may have justified DISH Network’s decision to stop airing Fox in a battle over a new contract.

Those who did have access to the telecast saw an interesting contest, assuming you are a creature with a fondness for defense. Artistically, however? You’ll see many soccer games with far more scoring opportunities.

Aside from the Michigan touchdown set up by a 51-yard first-quarter pass from Patterson to Collins, there was just one more point (6) than turnovers (5) in the game. The Hawkeyes averaged just 3.5 yards per play in the first half. Take away the Michigan bomb, and the Wolverines averaged the same.

Iowa’s first play of the game was a Mekhi Sargent lost fumble, as much an omen as you’ll see in a game. Then Stanley had two interceptions before halftime. The Hawkeyes got in the red zone just once in the game, when they settled for a second-quarter field goal after getting as far as the Michigan 4.

Fifteen of Iowa’s 23 receptions were by freshmen, for 134 of the Hawkeyes’ 260 receiving yards. Wide receiver Nico Ragaini had six, running back Tyler Goodson had five, and receiver Tyrone Tracy had four. Goodson, a first-year freshman from Suwanee, Ga., had 77 total yards. He had more touches than any other Iowa running back with 11.

The listing of bowl scouts, ultimately, is just for giggles. There are many games to be played, and the invitations sort themselves out the first weekend of December without input from rich guys who flew from a bowl site to Michigan in early October just for the fun of it.


Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the honorary captain for the Wolverines. She was in Ann Arbor Friday night for a speaking engagement at Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

A B-52H Stratofortress flew over the stadium at the end of the national anthem. That’s an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. Iowa could have used it somewhere on offense this day.

Injury report

It looked like a second-consecutive game without any notable injuries for Iowa.

The Hawkeyes welcomed back starting offensive tackle Alaric Jackson, who started. He played for the first time since the season’s first game after recovering from a knee injury.

Safety Julius Brents played sparingly, but did see his first game action of the season. Safety Kaevon Merriweather didn’t play, nor did defensive tackle Brady Reiff, offensive guard Kyler Schott, and defensive backs Matt Hankins and Riley Moss. Brents warmed up with the team before the game with a brace on his right knee.

Up next

Iowa plays No. 12 Penn State (5-0, 2-0) Saturday in a 6:30 p.m. game at Kinnick Stadium (TV to be announced). The Nittany Lions are coming off a 35-7 home win over Purdue. ESPN’s College GameDay will not be part of the day’s events.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.