The Iowa Hawkeyes return to Big Ten action this weekend with a visit to Michigan. The Hawkeye defense will need to find a way to slow down Michigan quarterback Dennard Robinson, who leads the Big Ten in rushing and tiotal offense.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says Robinson is very dynamic and explosive and he gives them an extra man on the field because he can run or throw the ball. He says the Hawks will need to be assignment sound to limit big plays. He says if everyone takes care of their responsibilities, then you have some chance to try and contain him a little bit.
Ferentz says if a defense commits too many players to stop the run Robinson can make big plays with his arm. He says you may think he is going to run and he can pull up and throw. The Hawkeyes will turn up the noise in practice this week in an attempt to get used to the noise 113,000 Michigan fans will make on Saturday. He says they usually do that on Wednesday, although he says they played in some loud places last year and it won’t be a lot different.
While the Michigan defense ghave up some big plays in a loss to Michigan State Ferentz says that unit has made strides from last year. He says last year’s game the Wolverines made it tough to run the football and he says philosophically they are the same this year. Michigan State was the first team to hold Robinson under 100 yards of rushing this season.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez says they knew there were going to be moments against a good team when they wouldn’t play well and would get stopped. He says Iowa has a tough defense and says he’s anxious to see how the Wolverines bounce back from a loss. He says the young guys get invaluable experience playing in the tough Big Ten games and he says there will be growing pains, but they have to try and minimize the growing pains.
This will be a contrast of styles in this game as the Michigan offense goes up against Iowa’s more traditional attack. Rodriguez says the Big Ten is like the Big East, in that they have some teams that spread you out, a few that run a power based offense and some that are in between.
Michigan is 5-1. Iowa is 4-1.