Following the Senior Day ceremonies, Michigan won the coin toss and chose to defer to halftime. But the Wolverine defense held strong on the first drive, forcing a quick three-and-out and getting the ball less than two minutes into the game.
On offense, junior quarterback Devin Gardner got the start over the ailing Denard Robinson, but Robinson started at tailback and did get some snaps from the shotgun later in the first drive. The tandem led a steady drive that ended with Gardner pushing in on a QB sneak from the half-yard line.
The drive was bittersweet, though, as redshirt junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint went down with an apparent leg injury after being tackled in the Iowa red zone. He looked to be in immense pain and needed to be carted off the field.
Iowa struck back on the next drive, as senior quarterback James Vandenberg led a meticulous drive that culminated in a 16-yard touchdown pass up the middle to tight end Henry Krieger-Coble to tie the score at seven apiece.
The Wolverines regained the lead within the first two minutes of the second quarter. Gardner rolled out, keeping his eyes downfield, and found a wide open Roy Roundtree in the end zone from 37 yards out.
On the next drive, the Iowa offense drove all the way down to the Michigan 11-yard line, but the Hawkeyes settled for a field goal, and the Wolverines retained a 14-10 lead.
Michigan extended its lead on the next drive. Gardner decided to air it out again, this time to Jeremy Gallon, good for 51 yards to the Iowa 10-yard line. Then on fourth-and-goal, Gardner rolled out and kept it, rushing for his second touchdown of the game, extending the lead to 21-10.
On the next, drive Iowa was forced to punt, and Michigan would score one more time before the half on a throw-back screen to senior running back Vincent Smith.
The score was 28-10 at the half.
The Michigan offense opened the second half in the same fashion with which it played in the first half: by scoring a touchdown.
The Wolverines marched right down the field after the second-half kickoff, culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Gardner on fourth down. It was the quarterback’s third rushing touchdown of the day and fifth score overall, accounting for all of his team’s points as Michigan took a 35-10 lead.
After a quick Iowa three-and-out, the Wolverines made it six-for-six on drives ending in touchdowns. This time, Gardner found freshman Devin Funchess wide open over the middle of the field for a 29-yard score. The drive was aided by a pass interference call on the Hawkeyes on the previous play.
The quarter ended with Michigan driving yet again, holding a 42-10 lead.
Fourth Quarter: Gardner opened the final frame by throwing an interception to Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde in the red zone — Gardner’s first hiccup of the day.
Vandenberg, relying heavily on his tight ends and short routes over the middle of the field, drove the Hawkeyes down to the Michigan seven-yard line, but a fourth-down completion came up just inches short of the first down.
Michigan took over and went three-and-out.
Iowa scored a late touchdown, and even recovered the subsequent onside kick, but by then the game was well out of reach and Michigan won, 42-17[View the story “Michigan takes on Iowa in its home finale” on Storify]