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Dawg Preview: The B1G Championship game #16 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #2 Michigan Wolverines

Updated: Dec 2, 2023



The Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines head to Indianapolis to face off at Lucas Oil Stadium for the Big 10 Championship. Iowa riding a 4-game winning streak, in those 4 games the Hawkeyes have held their opponents to an average of 7.5 points per game. Michigan is a perfect 12-0 this season and is coming off their biggest win after beating OSU 30-24. Michigan heads into the game as a 22.5 favorite with the over/under set at 35.5



Broadcast information:

Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, 8:17 p.m. EST

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Ind.

Television: FOX, Gus Johnson(play-by-play) Joel Klatt(color) Jenny Taft(sideline)

Radio: Michigan WWJ-AM 950, 104.3 WOMC Iowa KROS 105.9 FM 1340 AM



What's at stake?


Michigan heads to Indy looking for the third straight Big 10 championship. This will be the second meeting in 3 years between the two teams in the championship game, Michigan defeated Iowa in 2021 42-3. The Wolverines come in ranked #2 in the CFP rankings, if the Wolverines can win it would guarantee them one of the top two spots in the college football playoffs.


Iowa is going to Indy looking to upset the Wolverines and win their first Big 10 title game. If they could pull the upset, Iowa would be the first Big 10 West team to win the title game. If the Hawkeyes win they will pull off the biggest upset this year on championship weekend considering their 22.5-point underdogs.


Key players (2 for each team)

Iowa: DB Sebastian Castro, LB Jay Higgins, DE Joe Evans

Michigan: QB J.J McCarthy, RB Blake Corum, RB Donovan Edwards



The Numbers

Michigan

Iowa

Record

12-0

10-2

Points per game

37.6

18

Total yards a game

394.5

247.3

Sacks against

14

24

Sacks by

28

22

Interceptions/TD

16/4

10/1

Field Goals

12/14

19/27

Pass YDS/G

224.8

123.4

Rush YDS/G

169.8

123.9

YDS/G Allowed

246.8

279.3


Key matchups

Michigan vs Turnovers

Michigan heads into the games as big favorites, mostly this is due to the fact they play an Iowa team that just doesn’t score many points. If the Wolverines can avoid turnovers and force the Hawkeyes to go the length of the field to score Michigan should win this game handily. Iowa's defense will need to put some points on the board, to have a chance in the game.



Michigan Offense vs Iowa Defense

This game will come down to one thing, can Iowa's defense hold the Michigan offense under 19 points, if they can’t and Michigan goes over Iowa's offense won’t be able to keep pace. The Hawkeyes in 12 games only averaged 18 points per game, they relied heavily on their defense all season. Iowa ranks 4th in the Big 10 in scoring defense, in 12 games this year they gave up a total of 146 points for an average of 12.2 points per game. Iowa’s opponents only managed 13 touchdowns and 18 field goals in the 12 games they played this year.



The problem the Hawkeyes are going to face, they are going up against the number 1 scoring offense in the Big 10. Michigan's offense comes into the game averaging 37.6 points a game led by quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum. Michigan has totaled 59 touchdowns and 12 field goals for 451 points in 12 games this year.


Prediction: Michigan Wolverines


Michigan gets head coach Jim Harbaugh back after serving a 3-game suspension and he will look to make his presence felt in this game. Michigan will be looking for their third win against a Top 25 team this season after beating Penn State and Ohio State. The best team Iowa played all season was Penn State, in that game they would lose 31-0, but it was early in the year. Michigan has rolled all year even with the cloud of controversy that's been hanging over the program for the last 5 weeks of the season. Michigan wins and covers both, point spread of 22.5, and over/under 35.5.


Michigan 34 Iowa 10





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