Before every football game this season, two of the Daily football writers will take the weekend’s matchup to the PlayStation 2.
For this week’s matchup, coach Jeff Phillips led the Hawkeyes and J. Brady McCollough took the helm for the Wolverines.
Play of the game – With the Hawkeyes’ leading 21-14, Michigan was driving with less than two minutes to play. After a bruising run by RB No. 23, coach McCollough rolled the dice and called a deep route intended for WR No. 9. QB No. 16 greatly underthrew the fly pattern, and Iowa FS No. 25 picked the ball off to seal the deal for Iowa.
Most unrealistic play of the game – With Michigan driving at the end of the first half down 14-7, the Hawkeyes’ defense forced a field goal attempt for the Wolverines with just seconds left in the half. Michigan K No. 34 yanked the kick wide left into 30 mph winds.
Player of the game – Iowa QB No. 7 – The option absolutely decimated the Michigan defense. QB No. 7 weaved in and out of the Wolverines all day long, and when they stacked the line, he hit them hard over the top.
Michigan key stats
Passing: QB No. 16 – 8-20, 188 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: RB No. 23 – 13 carries, 87 yards; RB No. 41 – 1 carry, 6 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: TE No. 83 – 2 receptions, 69 yards; WR No. 9 – 2 receptions, 75 yards; RB No. 23 – 1 reception, 17 yards, 1 TD
Defense: LB No. 37 – 7 tackles, 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss
Iowa key stats
Passing: QB No. 7 – 6-10, 140 yards, 2 TD
Rushing: RB No. 34 – 15 carries, 77 yards, 1 TD; QB No. 7 – 21 carries, 141 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: TE No. 44 – 4 receptions, 96 yards, 2 TDs; WR No. 9 – 2 receptions, 44 yards
Defense: DT No. 94 – 3 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, 1 sack; FS NO. 25 – 1 interception; CB No. 36 – 1 interception
Press conference quotes:
Michigan head coach J. Brady McCollough: I’m tired of these neutral sites for crying out loud. Coach Smith, my usual opponent, needs to get his ass in gear and buy me a PlayStation2 since he took that spot outside Schembechler Hall for the second straight season.
On a football note, Iowa QB No. 7 made my defense his !@#$%. The guy was absolutely unstoppable, except for when he came in contact with LB No. 37, who played his best game since he’s been at Michigan. QB No. 7 is a Heisman Trophy candidate, at least with coach Phillips in control.
Speaking of coach Phillips, he called a good game. He forced me to go to a goal line defense to shut down his option, and like any coach with some sense, he hit my defense over the top time and time again. Phillips also avoided my wrath in our rematch by kneeling the ball with a few seconds left and a chance to really embarrass me in front of the home crowd. I shouldn’t want his pity, but I definitely begged for it. That’s just the kind of day it was.
RB No. 23 played a tremendous game for us. He played his best game since he has been at Michigan. Everyone played their best game since they’ve been at Michigan except for QB No. 16, who really let us down in the final two minutes. That’s all I have to say about that.
Iowa head coach Jeff Phillips: This was David vs. Goliath – except this time, Goliath won! Coach McCollough called me out and I responded as expected, by winning.
The transition to the PlayStation2 was tricky at first, with QB No. 7 running down the sideline then inexplicably gunning the ball into the Michigan bench. RB No. 34 tried pitching the ball back to QB No. 7 and refused to juke right. In the end, playing on a PlayStation2 was like riding a big wheel in a bike with training wheels world.
I was warned by Coach McCollough not to punch it in, because if I did, the next time we played “could get ugly.” To that I say, “Meh.” If I wanted to fake spike it for the fans, I would’ve.
I knew if I just let Michigan QB No. 16 keep passing, it would pay off. My secondary was toying with him all day. A 50-yard pass here, a 10-yard run there – it doesn’t matter when you throw two picks with the game on the line.
Is there a more unstoppable force in the history of forces than QB No. 7? The answer is yes. But he moved the ball with ease and could run the option when there were 10 guys in the box. He didn’t fumble despite Coach McCollough’s pleading. I was a bit worried when QB No. 7 injured himself during a pregame scrimmage, but he came back with a vengeance during the game and showed no ill-effects.