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No. 2 Wolverines, No. 15 Hawkeyes play for Big Ten title

·3-min read

No. 2 Michigan (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) vs. No. 15 Iowa (10-2, 7-2, No. 13), Saturday at 8 p.m. EST (Fox) in Indianapolis.

Line: Michigan by 10 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Michigan leads 42-15-4

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Iowa returns to the title game for the first time since 2015 and the second time in the 11-year history of the event. The Hawkeyes have won three of four trophy games this season and a fourth would give them their first conference crown since 2004. Michigan, meanwhile, makes its first Lucas Oil Stadium appearance. Everyone wants to see how the Wolverines react after an emotional victory over Ohio State.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan's running game vs. Iowa's run defense. This matchup may rekindle images of a long-ago Big Ten era. The Wolverines have the league's most productive ground game (224.9 yards per game, ninth in the FBS) and a pair of dominant backs. Hassan Haskins is second among conference runners with 1,232 yards and his five TD runs last week gave him a share of the league lead (18). Blake Corum is eighth in the conference despite missing two games and needs 135 yards to reach 1,000. The Hawkeyes allow 103.8 yards rushing (14th nationally).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Michigan: DE Aidan Hutchinson. He had three sacks in the win over Ohio State, which hadn’t given up more than two sacks in a game, to set a single-season record at the school with 13. Pro Football Focus ranks him the No. 1 NFL prospect

Iowa: QB Spencer Petras. After making 17 consecutive starts, a shoulder injury forced the junior out Nov. 6. Alex Padilla started the next three games before Petras returned for the second half last week. All Petras did was rally Iowa from a 21-6 deficit, capping what turned out to be a West Division-clinching victory with the decisive 2-yard scoring run with 2:58 to play.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan has won four straight and will play its first game in Indianapolis in more than a century. The Wolverines two previous games in Indy were an 18-0 victory over DePauw 18-0 in 1892 and a 22-0 victory over Wabash in 1907. ... The Hawkeyes have beaten three ranked teams this season and six in a row overall, the second-longest active streak in the FBS (Alabama, 10). ... The Wolverines won the last meeting between these schools (10-3 in October 2019) but have lost five of the last seven. ... Iowa needs two interceptions to break the school's single-season school record (23), which was done previously in 1986, 1987 and 2008. ... Hawkeyes RB Tyler Goodson went over the 1,000-yard mark by rushing for 156 yards in last week's victory. ... Haskins needs one TD run to tie Ron Johnson's single-season school record (19), which has stood since 1968. ... Iowa LB Jack Campbell ranks second in the Big Ten with 124 tackles.

___

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