College football's cardinal rule is "don't commit turnovers," but "don't allow third-and-long conversions" can't be far behind.
Iowa made far fewer mistakes and made the big plays when it counted, especially on third-and-long. The Hawkeyes received tremendous performances from quarterback Ricky Stanzi, running back Adam Robinson and wide receivers Marvin McNutt and Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Of all these, I'm most impressed with Robinson, who keeps taking a pounding as the team's only healthy proven back and keeps on producing. Iowa converted 7 of 13 third-down attempts.
I'm guessing the Hawkeyes won't be pleased at all with their defensive showing, despite forcing four Michigan turnovers.
Michigan had an outstanding offensive performance against one of the nation's elite defenses, racking up 522 total yards and 29 first downs. Despite losing Denard Robinson to an injury early in the second half, Michigan didn't miss a beat with Tate Forcier at the helm, as Forcier led three fourth-quarter scoring drives.
But good teams can't be great in one phase and horrible in the other two. And seven games into the season, the Wolverines are horrible on defense and special teams. Their inability to get stops and execute the basics in the kicking game is staggering for a program like Michigan.
Rich Rodriguez has a lot to work on during the bye week before a pivotal trip to Penn State. Iowa returns home to face Wisconsin next week.