It's game day at Kinnick Stadium
October, 10, 2009
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Greetings from Kinnick Stadium, site of Iowa's homecoming clash tonight against Michigan (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).
There were snow flurries this morning, but the sky is clear right now as clouds have moved out of the area. It should be clear for the rest of the night, but extremely cold with temperatures in the high 30s. The wind shouldn't be too big of a factor, unlike last year's Iowa-Penn State game.
As far as injuries, Michigan will be without leading rusher Carlos Brown, who didn't make the trip because of a concussion suffered this week in practice. Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki will try to play after missing the last three games with an ankle injury.
THREE KEYS FOR MICHIGAN
1. Get creative -- Rich Rodriguez needs to push the envelope on offense and try some new tricks against a stingy Iowa defense. Michigan can't simply expect Tate Forcier to bail out the team in the closing minutes. The Wolverines need to establish other weapons, whether it's Brandon Minor, Denard Robinson or someone else.
2. Rattle Ricky Stanzi -- Stanzi has kept Iowa's opponents in games with mistakes, and Michigan needs to disrupt his rhythm early in the game. The Wolverines are far from a finished product on defense, but they do have some playmakers in Brandon Graham and Obi Ezeh.
3. Win the field-position battle -- Punter Zoltan Mesko can be an extremely effective weapon for Michigan in tonight's game. If Michigan's offense can limit mistakes and play most of the game on Iowa's side of the field, the Wolverines should have a good shot.
THREE KEYS FOR IOWA
1. Handle Michigan's speed -- The Wolverines will be the fastest offense Iowa has faced this season, and the Hawkeyes need to be aware of all the playmakers on the field. Iowa is extremely assignment-sound on defense, but it will need to make good open-field tackles in this game.
2. Limit turnovers -- If Stanzi can get through the game without a turnover, Iowa shouldn't lose. Michigan's defense will give up yards and points, but Iowa has let teams hang around because of giveaways.
3. Pressure and contain Tate Forcier -- Without Forcier's late-game heroics, Michigan would be a 2-3 team right now. Iowa needs to pressure the freshmen with Adrian Clayborn and Christian Ballard but keep him in the pocket as much as possible.