Iowa’s focus on little things lead to big win over Michigan

Iowa owned the trenches-one essential element of the very specific blueprint needed to beat MI.

Michigan’s red-hot sophomore QB Wilton Speight should continue to lead the Wolverines’ mighty offense to an easy win over Iowa.

The Wolverines’ defense held up its end of the bargain and was exceptional, as it has been all season under coordinator Don Brown.

Saturday night brought opportunity.

On a college football Saturday full of stunning losses by the country’s highest-ranked teams, the Wolverines were not immune, buried by the Iowa Hawkeyes on a last-second field goal in Iowa City that sent third-ranked MI to its first loss of the season by a 14-13 score.

“It was an incredible feeling”, said Duncan, who was immediately mobbed by teammates and fans. It appeared MI would then salt away the win, but the Hawkeyes forced a three-and-out, and the Wolverines’ Grant Perry was called for a face mask during a Desmond King punt return, giving Iowa the ball at Michigan’s 36-yard line. Here’s where things get weird: pending a Penn State win, an OSU win over MI would send Penn State to the Big Ten championship, because OSU and PSU would be the only 1-loss teams in the East and PSU has the tiebreaker.

“He’s a really dynamic return guy”, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.

The dream of a flawless season ended Saturday night at Kinnick Stadium. That’s good enough, especially after the inconsistent, often lackluster play we’ve witnessed the last few months.

“We’re all going to do our jobs”, Harbaugh said. “Big things and every little thing isn’t going to go your way”. “To win, you’ve got to make it that way”.

The Hawkeyes’ kicking game is a collective effort this season and Keith Duncan continues to settle in with a successful start to his college career. That leaves Alabama as the sole remaining undefeated team in the Power 5, though MI is hardly out of the playoff picture.

This was just the second time all season MI has trailed in the second half.

Iowa’s defense set up the game-winning drive with a three-and-out with less than two minutes remaining. A routine play was anything but for Iowa, which was flagged for roughing long snapper Scott Sypnieski. However, kicker Miguel Recinos was unable to connect on a 46-yard field goal try, giving the ball back to the Wolverines. Then he wondered if it was OK for them to be on the field.

Defensive end Parker Hesse said the challenge Iowa faces this week may actually be a good thing coming off of last week’s blowout loss. One season removed from an unbeaten regular season campaign, the Iowa Hawkeyes and their faithful have experienced a nightmare of a season.

Iowa’s defense pinned back its ears and did what it did all day, forcing a three-and-out – its fifth of the game – with the game in the balance.

But when Duncan buried a 25-yard field goal to give the Hawkeyes an 11-10 lead with 9:55 left in the third quarter, it marked the latest MI had trailed in a game all season.

EJECTED: Michigan’s Devin Bush, a reserve freshman linebacker, was ejected with 7 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the first quarter after being called for targeting following a helmet-to-helmet hit on punter Ron Coluzzi. Speight, who began the day as the Big Ten’s top-rated passer, was inconsistent and overthrew three deep passes. He returned quarterbacking the nation’s No. 2 team in 1985 and lost a national title shot. Both games ended with a sellout crowd rushing the field.

NORMAN, Okla. – Baker Mayfield passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to help Oklahoma beat Baylor. The lowest rushing total among the Hawkeyes’ wins this season?

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