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Wine Online: Lots of Stars in Ann Arbor
Too many options for 'Player of the Game' is a good thing
Running back Adam Robinson was one of several Hawkeyes who turned in a big game against Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor,  Mich.
Running back Adam Robinson was one of several Hawkeyes who turned in a big game against Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich.
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Oct. 17, 2010

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Who was your Player of the Game in Iowa's stirring 38-28 victory at Michigan?

Was it Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, with his three touchdown receptions? Check the list of visiting players who have scored three times in the Big House. You won't use all the fingers on one hand. To add an exclamation point to his performance, DJK became the Iowa's all-time leading pass receiver, based on yards gained.


Perhaps it was Ricky Stanzi, who tossed those passes to DJK. Ricky went into the game leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency, and he didn't hurt himself by throwing for 248 yards while completing 17 of 24 passes. For the season, he now has 13 touchdown passes and only two interceptions.

How about Adam Robinson? He threw his 205-pound body into the Michigan defense 31 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns. And he might have made the play of the game when he plucked a pass off his shoe tops, broke a tackle, and ran 26 yards on third-and-long. His effort set up a field goal which pretty much sealed the deal.

Maybe it was walk-on Mike Meyer, who kicked the field goal. A year ago at this time he was playing high school football in Dubuque, which has a population that would fill half of Michigan Stadium.

Tyler Sash might have grabbed your attention. He set up two Iowa touchdowns, first with an interception return, then with the return of a blocked field goal. They both came in the second quarter, giving Iowa a 21-7 lead.

Troy Johnson deserves consideration. He picked off the pass that triggered the crowd's exodus from the stadium, and had a hand in 13 tackles. Troy was filling in at middle linebacker for the injured Jeff Tarpinian, and his performance exemplifies the "next man in" philosophy of Coach Kirk Ferentz.

Yes, there were lots of stars in this game, which was billed as a contest between Iowa's defense and Michigan's offense, both ranked near the top nationally. Statistically Michigan gets the nod by piling up 522 total yards. Iowa had not given up a rushing touchdown all season, but Michigan got two.

But Iowa's defense intercepted three passes and recovered a fumble in the red zone. And Iowa's offense -- which had no turnovers -- scored touchdowns off two of those interceptions. And most important, the Hawkeyes had a 10-point advantage on the scoreboard.

If you were hoping that Michigan's dazzling quarterback Dennard Robinson would get knocked out of the game with a minor injury, you got your wish. But be careful of what you wish for. His fourth-quarter replacement, Tate Forcier, threw two touchdown passes and scored one himself, all in the space of six minutes and 15 seconds, leaving Iowa fans biting their nails.





Maybe it was walk-on Mike Meyer, who kicked the field goal. A year ago at this time he was playing high school football in Dubuque, which has a population that would fill half of Michigan Stadium.


This was a good win in many ways for the Hawkeyes. It keeps them unbeaten in the Big Ten. It keeps them ranked nationally. And it provides momentum for upcoming home games with Wisconsin and Michigan State.

The fourth-quarter rally by Michigan might also be a plus in the long run. Hayden Fry used to say a team needs a "gut check" now and then, and the Hawkeyes got one at the Big House.

The thunder you heard shortly after Iowa left Michigan with a victory came from Madison, where Wisconsin knocked Ohio State from its No. 1 perch. If you saw the upset on TV you know it was no fluke. The Badgers jumped on the Buckeyes early and often. And like Iowa, they made big plays in the fourth quarter to win the game.

If you like smash-mouth football, don't miss the game at Kinnick Stadium this Saturday. It looks like a typical Iowa-Wisconsin contest.




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