Byron Hetzler-US PRESSWIRE
What a disappointing senior season it has been for James Vandenberg. After having a great touchdown-to-interception ratio of 25-to-7 last year, his numbers have taken a nosedive this year.
Vandenberg is completing only 56 percent of his passes, and he has only thrown five touchdowns this season! In fact, he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, as he has six picks.
Even though he's the clear leader of this offense, some fans called for his benching at midseason. Not surprisingly, it never happened.
Vandenberg does have two solid receivers to work with in Keenan Davis and Kevonte Martin-Manley. In fact, both guys have just under 50 catches and each of them have just over 540 receiving yards; both numbers are pretty impressive.
However, there's a big dropoff at receiver after those two. Jordan Cotton is probably the next best receiver, but he hasn't done much. Freshman Tevaun Smith is seeing more time as well.
The tight ends are a solid group, as C.J. Fiedorowicz leads the way. He stands 6'7" and has 31 catches for 278 yards on the year. Fiedorowicz is easily one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten. Zach Derby, Jake Duzey and Ray Hamilton all see time at tight end as well.
Even though this Michigan secondary got torched against Northwestern, expect it to bounce back in a big way. As long as Davis, Martin-Manley and Fiedorowicz are held in check, this group has nothing to worry about.
The depth at receiver for Iowa is so bad that there really isn't anyone who might step up and have a big day if one of the top two guys are contained.
Iowa throws the ball 33 times a game, exactly the same amount of rushing attempts it averages per game. It wouldn't be surprising if Iowa tried to beat Michigan through the air, especially if the rushing attack is shut down early.
Michigan has the advantage in this category, but not by a huge margin.