No.2 Wolverines win first Big Ten title since 2004, clinch playoff berth – .

No.2 Wolverines win first Big Ten title since 2004, clinch playoff berth – .

The Michigan No.2 won his first Big Ten title since 2004 and the 43rd in program history on Saturday, and with the victory he secured his place on the college football playoff field. The Wolverines beat Iowa’s No.13 42-3 in the Big Ten Championship game, leaving no doubt about the best team in conference this season.

After a three-and-out in their first possession, the Wolverines hit it quickly with a 67-yard touchdown on their next practice. They then hit a 75-yard touchdown pass on their third to take a 14-0 lead and never looked back. There wasn’t a single star on Michigan’s offense in the conference title win, but instead, the team used a group effort.

Cade McNamara threw for 169 yards and a touchdown, but the biggest pass of the game came from running back Donovan Edwards when he hit Roman Wilson for a 75-yard touchdown. Blake Corum led the rushing team with 74 yards, most of it coming from his 67-yard scoring, but Hassan Haskins had 17 carries for 56 yards and two touchdowns. Haskins’ two scores gave him 20 on the season, a new single-season record for the Wolverines.

Defensively, the Wolverines limited the Hawkeyes to just 279 offensive yards and 3.9 yards per game. Star passer Aidan Hutchinson – who became the first defensive player to earn the Big Ten Championship Game MVP honor – and David Ojabo combined for just six tackles and a sack, but helped keep the Hawkeyes out of the zone. goals.

The victory gives Michigan wins over the top 15 teams in consecutive games for the first time since the 2003 season, and its first conference title since 2004 when it divided the Big Ten with Iowa.

1. No emotional disappointment for the Wolverines

There had been a lot of concern about the Wolverines after a 42-27 victory over Ohio State last week. The thought process was that Michigan had built the entire season for the Ohio State game, and now that they had won it, the Wolverines could relax into thinking they had accomplished their mission.

This does not happen. While the Wolverines scored three goals in their first possession, they struck quickly with two important touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead and set the tone. You have to give Michigan coaching staff and players a lot of credit for not falling into the trap and realizing that there was still work to be done.

2. The 43rd Michigan Big Ten title in school history

That’s the most of any Big Ten school, and four more than the 39 in Ohio State. Of course, Ohio State fans will quickly point out that the Buckeyes have won 24 Big Ten titles, as this is only the 17th time the Wolverines have won the conference outright.

Fortunately, we have conference championship games these days and we don’t have to worry about the silly concept of co-champions anymore.

3. Michigan will likely face Georgia in CFP

There doesn’t seem to be much drama going into Sunday’s college football playoff draft show with this win. With Alabama beating Georgia in the SEC Championship game and Cincinnati going about business in the AAC Championship game, your four playoff teams will be Alabama, Georgia, Cincinnati and Michigan. The only question is where the teams will be classified. But based on what the committee has done this season and a presumed desire to avoid an immediate rematch, Alabama will likely be at No.1. Then Michigan and Georgia will take the next two spots, and it doesn’t matter who is ranked. or.

4. Wolverines so uneven dominant performance

It’s hard to say a win is anything but dominant when the final score is 42-3, but it was a 21-point fourth quarter that made the game much more out of hand than it was. really – not that you ever had a feeling the Hawkeyes were going to win the game. Still, aside from the two big touchdowns in the first half, the Michigan offense struggled to organize long runs against the Iowa defense. From the end of the first quarter to halftime, Michigan had five offensive possessions that lasted just 23 games, covered 85 yards, and ended with three punters and two interceptions (although the second interception was on a Hail Mary to end the half).

Things changed in the second half. Michigan’s best practice of the night was his 10-game, 82-yard practice to start the third quarter. This gave the Wolverines a 21-3 lead and sealed the game for good. The Wolverines would host another long fourth-quarter touchdown, but two of their three fourth-quarter touchdowns started at Iowa 36 following a blocked punt and interception.

Now that’s for sure, but the Wolverines are now in the playoffs. They can’t afford to fall asleep on offense for a full quarter and expect to win against the teams they face.

5. All of Iowa’s shortcomings were exposed

It was a terrible game for the Hawkeyes. They are a team that relies on defense and special teams to stay in the games and hope to profit from their opponent’s mistakes. If that fails, they try to be the most physical team. Michigan is built much the same way, but with offense and more talent.

The Iowa defense did just about everything they could ask of them tonight, but received no help. The Hawkeye offensive was appalling. He picked up just 270 yards of attack and his three most impressive commands resulted in three runs. Iowa had a 10-play, 59-yard drive to open the end of the game with a missed field goal, a 10-play 71-yard drive that led to a field-goal and a 14-play 60-yard drive that s’ ended with a turnover on the lows.

Iowa has gained less than 20 yards on nine of its 13 possessions.

A 10-3 regular season and an appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game is a successful season for the Hawkeyes no matter how you cut it, but this game was also a great reminder of the gap between that program and the conference elite. If Iowa is to take the next step, they need to find a more reliable quarterback.


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