The Michigan Wolverines and Iowa Hawkeyes are at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship. Michigan is playing in their first Big Ten Championship Game, while Iowa is in their second.
They’ve won the Big Ten before, but they didn’t play a conference championship game before 2011. It’s been a rough decade for Michigan football.
There was the Rich Rodriguez that ended in 2011, and then Brady Hoke was hired and fired. Hoke won a Sugar Bowl in his first season and it was all downhill from that point.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) December 1, 2021
Bo Schembechler’s quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, was tabbed as the savior of Michigan football. Winning The Game against Ohio State and going on to win a Big Ten Championship is what Harbaugh was hired to do.
He came inches away in 2016 from beating Ohio State, and then after five straight losses, Harbaugh finally did it last weekend. It wasn’t a win by an inch either.
The Wolverines were much better in a 42-27 win. Aidan Hutchinson, who has to be considered as the No. 1 pick in the draft, completely dominated the Ohio State offensive line.
C.J. Stroud had to be concerned with Hutchinson every time he dropped back, and it was getting to him as Stroud heard footsteps all game.
Hutchinson has another big opportunity to show why he should be the first player off the board in the 2022 draft at Lucas Oil Stadium. Iowa might want to use more than an offensive tackle to block him.
David Ojabo is capable of rushing the quarterback as well, so this isn’t just a matter of slowing Hutchinson down. Others can make plays on the Michigan defense, unfortunately for Iowa.
IOWA ? MICHIGAN
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 28, 2021
Iowa has a defense, but they’ve been unable to move the ball on some mediocre defenses. The Hawkeyes have struggled to pass and run the ball, so if Michigan is as geared in as they were last week, good luck to Spencer Petras. They are only here because Wisconsin lost to Minnesota, and came back to beat Nebraska on the road, 28-21.
Head below for our free Michigan vs. Iowa Big Ten Championship prediction on December 4, 2021.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Michigan Wolverines||-11 (-110)||-450||Over 43.5 (-110)|
|Iowa Hawkeyes||+11 (-110)||+350||Under 43.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||Michigan Wolverines||Iowa Hawkeyes|
|Points Per Game||37.3||25.7|
|Points Against Per Game||17.2||17.3|
|Passing Yards Per Game||226.3||177.9|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||224.9||121.3|
Michigan vs. Iowa Prediction:
Iowa better have done their homework on the Michigan defense. Even if they did, and I’m sure the Hawkeyes are prepared, stopping the Wolverines’ pass rush is not simple regardless.
Aidan Hutchinson goes into the Big Ten Championship with 32 tackles and 13 sacks. He spearheads a Michigan defense that is 14th in the country with 318.8 yards allowed per game.
They have conceded 17.2 points per game for eighth in college football. Ohio State scored 27 points, but the Buckeyes were frustrated all game. Stroud just couldn’t come up with the big play that Ohio State needed.
There's a new #1 prospect in the #NFL Draft…
Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan DL pic.twitter.com/yibyu12QoY
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) November 29, 2021
Hutchinson and the Michigan pass rush didn’t allow Stroud to get comfortable. What’s going to happen against Spencer Petras? Petras has passed for 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on 58.1% completions.
He can’t run like Stroud either, with Petras going for -99 yards and -2.2 yards per attempt. It’s likely going to get even worse for him tonight. Iowa is 110th in the FBS with 177.9 passing yards per game.
Overall, the Hawkeyes are 123rd with 299.3 yards per game. They can’t run the ball effectively either. Tyler Goodson can be tough, so Michigan can’t relax completely, though. Goodson has gained 1,101 yards and 4 touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Betting Trends:
- 7-1 ATS in their previous eight games
- 6-1 ATS in their previous seven games after a win
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games as a favorite
- 4-0 ATS in their previous four games versus the Big Ten
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games at a neutral site
- 12-6 ATS in their previous 18 games
- 5-1-1 ATS in their previous seven games as an underdog
- 4-0-1 ATS in their previous five games in December
- UNDER is 4-0 in their previous five games versus Michigan
- UNDER is 4-1 in their previous five games as an underdog
If Michigan can contain Goodson, this game should unravel fast on the Hawkeyes. Michigan has the defense to do it, as they’ve allowed 122.5 yards per game against the run. That’s good for 21st in the FBS.
Then the game will have to turn the game over to Petras, who isn’t going to be reliable versus a Michigan secondary that has given up 196.3 yards per game through the air in 23rd.
Iowa has a solid defense, too, but Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum will likely wear on them when the Hawkeyes aren’t sustaining long drives. It’s going to get to Iowa in the second-half if Petras can’t move the ball.
I don’t have confidence in Petras picking on the Michigan secondary. The one angle for Iowa is that the Wolverines might be overconfident after beating Ohio State. That’s their biggest win in the Harbaugh era.
It’s just hard to see how Iowa will move the ball. That said, no one has scored more than 27 points on their defense. They have held 33 of their last 34 opponents to less than 25 points.
The point spread looks sharp at 11 or 10.5 points. Instead of sweating the spread out, the UNDER should be easier. There should be more points than the 10-3 final the last time they met, but 24-13 or 23-13 still gets the UNDER home at Lucas Oil Stadium in an old fashioned Big Ten slug fest.