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Michigan outlasts Iowa, however offense nonetheless wants one huge repair to win huge video games

No. 19 Michigan will transfer up the rankings after beating No. 14 Iowa at Michigan Stadium on Saturday. The temperature will cool on fifth-year coach Jim Harbaugh, no less than till the following huge sport, at Penn State on Oct. 19. If the Wolverines (4-1) need to take that subsequent step underneath offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, nonetheless, then Shea Patterson have to be higher on third down when the larger exams come.

That ‘s the cash down for quarterbacks. The Wolverines have been three of 13 on third down; Patterson was 5 of 9 passing for 29 yards and one third-down conversion by means of the air for your complete sport.

That is not Michigan’s solely drawback on offense, however it’s the largest one transferring ahead. The Wolverines’ protection set the desk for a victory right here by forcing 4 turnovers towards the beforehand unbeaten Hawkeyes (4-1). This could have been a extra comfy victory understanding Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley (23 of 42, 260 yards) threw three of these picks.

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Michigan, nonetheless, could not convert on third down all through the sport. The Wolverines confronted a median distance of 8.6 yards on that down within the sport, gaining a median of 4.9 yards on 13 tries. That is not adequate — not only for this sport, however in future matchups, as effectively.

It wasn’t all on Patterson. Nico Collins reduce a third-and-Four route brief within the first quarter. Patterson could not join on a third-and-7 with Ronnie Bell within the crimson zone, and Jake Moody missed a 34-yard discipline purpose. Michigan was zero of three on third downs within the fourth quarter, and that allowed Iowa a number of last-chance drives to tie the sport.

Stanley, in the meantime, was Eight of 15 for 104 yards and 6 third-down conversions by means of the air. However the Hawkeyes have been zero of 5 on third down within the fourth quarter, and Stanley took two sacks. Michigan’s protection was the story of this sport after limiting Iowa to 1 dashing yard on 30 makes an attempt. Most of that takes sack yardage into consideration.

Conversely, Michigan rushed 33 occasions for 120 yards, and Patterson did join with Collins for a 51-yard cross that arrange the sport’s solely landing. It is simply that the Wolverines have been stop-and-start the remainder of the way in which. Michigan can have 4 extra video games towards ranked groups, and people will imply much more than beating Iowa at house. That third-down offense cannot be that inefficient in these video games.

Not at Penn State, which routed Michigan 42-13 the final time the Wolverines visited for a “White Out.”

Not towards Notre Dame, which beat the Wolverines 24-17 final season and can deliver the identical bodily entrance to Michigan Stadium.

Not towards Michigan State, which may win a rock combat with the Wolverines when each groups aren’t transferring the ball.

And positively not towards Ohio State, the place one third-down conversion by means of the air will get you blown out towards Heisman Trophy contender Justin Fields.

MORE: Ugly reality bites Michigan, Jim Harbaugh in Wisconsin loss

That’s going to be on Patterson, Gattis and Harbaugh to determine by means of the remainder of October. Patterson didn’t lose the sport towards the Hawkeyes, however he should exit and win the massive video games sooner or later. The 35-14 loss to Wisconsin on Sept. 21 confirmed that, and this victory did not utterly erase that reminiscence.

The Wolverines nonetheless have time to iron these points out.

However it’s working just a little shorter with every week.

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