Michigan vs. Iowa: TV, Live Stream Info, Preview for Big Ten Championship 2021December 3, 2021
The Michigan Wolverines have to refocus after earning the biggest win in the Jim Harbaugh era to secure their first College Football Playoff berth.
Michigan got into the Big Ten Championship Game with its first win over the Ohio State Buckeyes during Harbaugh's tenure. The Wolverines shot up to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday. A win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday would place them into one of the four playoff positions.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are cast in the spoiler role in Indianapolis. Kirk Ferentz's squad is playing for a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Iowa's offensive limitations may cost it a trip to California on New Year's Day. Instead, the Hawkeyes might have to settle for a trip to Florida for the Citrus Bowl or Outback Bowl with a loss.
Michigan vs. Iowa Information
Date: Saturday, December 4
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports app and FoxSports.com.
Michigan carries a distinct advantage on offense.
The Wolverines average 451.2 total yards and 37.3 points per game. Both totals are significantly higher than Iowa's 299.1 total yards and 25.7 points per contest.
Michigan's offense hit its stride in the past two games, as it put up 59 points on the Maryland Terrapins and scored 42 points in the rivalry clash with Ohio State. The Wolverines controlled the victory over the Buckeyes through their dominant ground game. Hassan Haskins was responsible for five touchdowns. Haskins ran for at least 150 yards in three of the past four games.
Michigan has a near-perfect balance in its offense. It averages 226.3 passing yards and 224.9 rushing yards per game.
Quarterback Cade McNamara has done enough in the passing game for the Wolverines to have balance, completing at least 65 percent of his passes in his past three contests. He also has only one interception in the past month.
If McNamara remains efficient, Michigan should move the ball with ease against the Iowa defense.
The Wolverines hold the edge at quarterback because McNamara has been in the fold all season. Iowa has switched between Spencer Petras and Alex Padilla. Petras took over for Padilla in the second half of the Week 13 win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, leading the Hawkeyes on a comeback. But he has not been effective enough all season.
Petras has nine touchdown passes and six interceptions. Four of his picks came in a loss to the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue and the Wisconsin Badgers combined to sack Petras on nine occasions. Michigan has the potential to put up similar numbers through Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo.
Hutchinson and Ojabo wreaked havoc on the Ohio State offensive line Saturday, and they could pave a similar path to success versus Iowa. The heavy push from Michigan's defensive line could also take Tyler Goodson out of the equation. Goodson is a 1,000-yard rusher, but he recorded two of his lowest rushing-yard totals against Purdue and Wisconsin.
If Michigan produces a strong defensive showing, like it had against Ohio State, it should beat Iowa and land in the playoff as the Big Ten champion.