Wolverines Fall Three Yards Short at Iowa
Junior Hemingway

Nov. 5, 2011

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Site: Iowa City, Iowa (Kinnick Stadium)
Score: Iowa 24, #13 Michigan 16
Records: U-M (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten), Iowa (6-3, 3-2 Big Ten)
Attendance: 70,585
Next U-M Game: Saturday, Nov. 12 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), Time TBA

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- After driving 79 yards in the final two minutes, the University of Michigan football team (No. 13 AP/No. 13 USA Today) came up three yards short in its comeback at Iowa and fell, 24-16, on Saturday (Nov. 5) at Kinnick Stadium. U-M had four tries at the goal line from three yards out, but four passes went incomplete.

The Michigan defense held stout in the second half, only allowing seven points, but the 17-6 halftime deficit was too much to overcome for the offense, despite out-gaining Iowa 323 yards to 302 yards for the game.

The teams were almost identical throughout the first half with nine first downs apiece and Iowa owning only an eight-second advantage in time of possession, but the story of the first half for the Wolverines was turnovers. Michigan turned the ball over twice -- one fumble and one interception -- while the Hawkeyes surrendered zero.

After a Michigan three-and-out to start the game, the first opening drive in which the Wolverines did not score a touchdown since Sept. 17 against Eastern Michigan, Iowa drove down the field and scored on a Marcus Coker four-yard rush to give the Hawkeyes a 7-0 lead.

With 2:14 left in the first quarter, Michigan capped a 12-play, 61-yard drive with a touchdown for its first points of the game. Junior quarterback Denard Robinson (Deerfield Beach, Fla./Deerfield Beach) scrambled in the pocket before finding sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussaint (Youngstown, Ohio/Liberty) in the corner of the end zone. However, after a botched hold, the extra point was unsuccessful, leaving the Maize and Blue trailing, 7-6.

The contest remained a one-point margin until Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg added a touchdown pass to extend the lead to 14-6. Three minutes later, following a Michigan fumble, the Hawkeyes added a 42-yard field goal.

On the subsequent U-M drive, Robinson was intercepted in the end zone on a tipped pass with 1:04 left in the second quarter, sending the Wolverines into the locker room down, 17-6.

In the second half, U-M started off strong as fifth-year senior Will Heininger (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and junior Craig Roh (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) each garnered sacks on Iowa's opening drive to force a punt. The Wolverines responded by taking the ball down the field and converting on a 32-yard field goal by junior/sophomore Brendan Gibbons (West Palm Beach, Fla./Cardinal Newman) to bring Michigan within eight points.

With 10:47 left in the game, Coker added a second touchdown on an 11-yard run to expand the Hawkeye lead to 24-9. The Wolverines quickly took the ball 57 yards in 2:59, culminating with a seven-yard touchdown reception by senior tight end Kevin Koger (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer), cutting the Iowa lead back to eight.

Starting from its own 18 yard-line with 2:15 to go, the Michigan offense drove down the field but was stopped at the three-yard line after four shots at the end zone.

Robinson threw for 194 yards on 17-of-37 passing with two scores and added 55 yards on the ground. Fifth-year senior Junior Hemingway (Conway, S.C./Conway) led the receiving corps with 64 yards on five receptions. On the defensive side, junior linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day) tallied a team-high 11 tackles.

The Wolverines stay on the road next Saturday (Nov. 12) as they head to Champaign, Ill., to take on Illinois in their second conference crossover game with the Leaders division. Game time is still to be determined.

Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423

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