Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines: Complete Game Preview
The Michigan Wolverines will celebrate senior day at the Big House when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in their final home game of the 2012 season.
The Hawkeyes have beaten the Wolverines the last three times the two have gotten together on the gridiron, which means Michigan will be out to end their skid against Kirk Ferentz's squad and pick up their sixth win in seven games.
Click ahead for all of the details for this weekend's Big Ten Conference Legends Division tilt between Michigan and Iowa.
Michigan's Depth Chart
Depth chart information obtained from TheWolverine.com.
QB: Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner, Russell Bellomy; RB: Fitzgerald Toussaint, Thomas Rawls, Vincent Smith, Justice Hayes; FB: Stephen Hopkins, Joe Kerridge, Paul Gyarmarti; WR: Roy Roundtree, Devin Gardner, Jerald Robinson, Amara Darboh; WR: Jeremy Gallon, Drew Dileo, Jeremy Jackson; TE: Mike Kwiatkowski, Devin Funchess, AJ Williams, Brandon Moore; LT: Taylor Lewan, Erik Magnuson; LG: Ricky Barnum, Joey Burzynski, Kyle Kalis; C: Elliot Mealer, Jack Miller; RG: Patrick Omameh, Burzynski; RT: Michael Schofield, Erik Gunderson, Ben Braden
DE: Frank Clark, Brennen Beyer, Mario Ojemudia; DE: Craig Roh, Keith Heitzman; NT: Quinton Washington, Ondre Pipkins, Richard Ash; DT: Will Campbell, Jibreel Black; SAM: Jake Ryan, Cam Gordon; WILL: Desmond Morgan, James Ross III, Brandin Hawthorne; MIKE: Kenny Demens, Joe Bolden, Mike Jones; CB: J.T. Floyd, Raymon Taylor, Delonte Hollowell; CB: Taylor, Courtney Avery, Terry Richardson; SS: Jordan Kovacs, Marvin Robinson, Floyd Simmons; FS: Thomas Gordon, Jarrod Wilson, Josh Furman
PK: Brendan Gibbons, Matt Wile; P: Will Hagerup, Wile; Kick Off: Wile, Seth Broekhuizen; LS: Jareth Glanda, Curt Graman; Holder: Drew Dileo, Jeremy Gallon; Kick Return: Dennis Norfleet, Vincent Smith, Josh Furman; Punt Return: Gallon, Norfleet
Iowa's Depth Chart
Depth chart obtained from HawkeyeReport.com.
QB: James Vandenberg, Jake Rudock; RB: Damon Bullock, Greg Garmon; FB: Johnathan Gimm, Jacob Reisen; WR: Kevonte Martin-Manley, Steven Staggs; WR: Keenan Davis, Tevaun Smith; TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Ray Hamilton; OT: Matt Tobin, Nolan MacMillan; OT: Brett Van Sloten, MacMillan; OG: Conor Boffeli, Jordan Walsh; OG: Austin Blythe, Drew Clark; C: James Ferentz, Boffeli
DE: Joe Gaglione, Drew Ott; DE: Dominic Alvis, Melvin Spears; DT: Steve Bigach, Carl Davis; DT: Louis Trinca-Pasat, Darian Cooper; LB: Christian Kirksey, Travis Perry; LB: Anthony Hitchens, Cole Fisher; LB: James Morris, Quinton Alston; CB: B.J. Lowery, Greg Castillo; CB: Micah Hyde, Sean Draper; S: Nico Law, Tommy Donatell; S: Tanner Miller, John Lowdermilk
K: Mike Meyer, Marshall Koehn; P: Connor Kornbrath, John Weinke; Long Snapper: Casey Kreiter, Steve Bigach; Holder: John Weinke; Kick Return: Jordan Cotton, Tevaun Smith; Punt Return: Micah Hyde
What Happened in Michigan's Last Game
The Michigan Wolverines needed a win last weekend to keep their Big Ten Conference Legends Division title hopes alive, and the Maize and Blue managed to outlast the Northwestern Wildcats in a 38-31 overtime victory at the Big House.
The Wolverines were down 24-14 late in the third quarter before junior quarterback Devin Gardner, who filled in for an injured Denard Robinson for the second straight game, led Michigan on back-to-back scoring drives to take a four-point lead with 8:45 to play.
Northwestern answered with a 66-yard touchdown drive of its own to retake the lead.
The Wildcats picked off Gardner on the ensuing Michigan drive and punted the ball back to the Wolverines with 18 seconds left in regulation.
Gardner went deep on the first play after the Wolverines took over from their own 38-yard line and found fifth-year senior Roy Roundtree, who caught the tipped pass at the Northwestern 8-yard line, which set up a 26-yard field-goal attempt for Brendan Gibbons to tie the game.
Gibbons split the uprights and Gardner finished off Michigan's first overtime possession with a one-yard touchdown run.
Michigan's defense turned the Wildcats over on downs on the first four plays of their potential game-tying drive.
Gardner finished the game 16-of-29 for 286 yards and two touchdowns through the air, in addition to 47 rushing yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Roundtree led all of Michigan's receivers with 139 yards on five catches.
What Happened in Iowa's Last Game
The Iowa Hawkeyes were in prime position to take the Purdue Boilermakers to overtime and potentially bring their losing streak to an end, but a 46-yard field goal from Paul Griggs as time expired dealt Kirk Ferentz's team a fourth straight loss.
Micah Hyde made the play of the game for the Hawkeyes late in the third quarter by stripping Robert Marve inside the 10-yard line and scooping up the fumble for an easy touchdown to cut Purdue's lead to 24-21.
James Vandenberg led the Hawkeyes on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that resulted in a 24-yard field goal from Mike Meyer that tied the game with 3:32 left to play at Kinnick Stadium.
After a solid defensive stand, the Hawkeyes got the ball back with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and had a chance to win the game with a 52-yard field goal.
Instead of trying the long kick, Ferentz opted to keep his offense on the field and Vandenberg completed a 1-yard pass to Zach Derby on 4th-and-3, which ended Iowa's last hurrah.
Marve went back to work for the Boilermakers and completed two straight passes for 37 yards to set up Griggs' game-winning field goal.
The Hawkeyes were stagnant for much of the game on offense as Vandenberg accounted for 221 of Iowa's 264 total yards.
What This Week's Game Means for Both Teams
The Michigan Wolverines can still win the Big Ten Conference Legends Division with a victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes and a loss by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, which makes this Saturday's tilt at the Big House that much more important.
Michigan may not control its own destiny, but the Wolverines will eliminate themselves from contention with a loss.
Additionally, with the logjam of SEC teams in the Top 15 of the BCS Standings, if the Wolverines can beat Iowa in convincing fashion and get a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend the Maize and Blue may be able to move up enough spots in the national rankings to earn an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes need a win to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time since the 2007 season. Iowa finished with a 6-6 record that year.
The Hawkeyes are completely out of the Legends Division race, but that does not mean Iowa will not be looking to play the role of the spoiler as they head to Ann Arbor looking to beat the Wolverines for a fourth straight time.
Key Player for Michigan: Fitzgerald Toussaint
Fitzgerald Toussaint's slight revival over the past two games has added an element of balance to the Michigan Wolverines' offense for the first time all season.
Toussaint rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and the junior running back followed that up with an 18-carry, 92-yard performance on the ground, along with a 28-yard touchdown reception against the Northwestern Wildcats.
With senior quarterback Denard Robinson's status up in the air once again entering this Saturday's matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Toussaint will need to continue running more north and south like he has the past two games and help take some pressure off of Devin Gardner.
If Toussaint can help the Wolverines establish a consistent rushing attack, Michigan's offense should have no problems moving the ball drive after drive against the Hawkeyes.
Key Player for Iowa: Keenan Davis
Aside from all of the injuries the Iowa Hawkeyes have suffered in their running back corps, the main reason their offense is not operating as well as it did a year ago is because none of the wide receivers have been able to get separation, which means senior wideout Keenan Davis will need to be a key factor in this game.
Davis leads Iowa in receiving yards, but has been held under 60 yards receiving in the Hawkeyes' last three games.
The Hawkeyes are going to struggle to run the ball against the Michigan Wolverines' defense, so if Iowa wants to pull the upset in Ann Arbor, James Vandenberg will have to turn in a big game, and he will need Davis to catch some big passes in order to do so.
Michigan's offense is going to put up plenty of points against the Hawkeyes, and it will be up to Vandenberg and Davis to get Iowa's struggling offense out of its current funk.
This weekend should be far less dramatic for the Maize and Blue faithful as the Michigan Wolverines clearly outmatch the Iowa Hawkeyes on paper and will roll to an easy victory on senior day at the Big House.
Expect Fitzgerald Toussaint and Thomas Rawls to continue grinding out tough yardage for Michigan, while Devin Gardner or Denard Robinson hit some intermediate passes before burning Iowa's defense with a couple of deep balls.
MIchigan's defense should not have any problems slowing down Iowa's offense, which ranks No. 96 in passing, No. 101 in rushing and No. 104 in scoring.
This one will be a two-score game at halftime and the Wolverines will pull away even further in the second half.
Prediction: Michigan 34, Iowa 10