By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
Even though the University of Michigan football redecorated the pink visiting locker room before Saturday’s game, they couldn’t find a way to get past the Kinnick Stadium magic.
The Wolverines suffered their first loss of the season Saturday night to the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes 14-13 on a last second 33-yard field goal.
Michigan (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) couldn’t dominate the Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3) like they’ve done to most opponents this season. And struggled to get the offense going.
“We didn’t make enough plays to extend drives and convert first downs we missed on some deep throws, close but just give Iowa credit they tackled, they blocked, they played a very good football game and congratulate them and we move on,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Senior running back Ty Isaac scored Michigan’s lone touchdown midway through the second quarter on a seven-yard run to put the Wolverines up 10-0.
But on Michigan’s next possession which began at their own two-yard line, De’Veon Smith was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Iowa and the ruckus crowd life.
After a Hawkeye touchdown and field goal, senior kicker Kenny Allen hit a 51-yard field goal which set a career high for him and gave the Wolverines the lead once again 13-11.
On 3rd-and-8 from their own 18 with the clock reading 1:36 Harbaugh decided to try and throw for a first down rather than run the ball and make Iowa use their final timeout. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Wilton Speight threw to senior wide receiver Amara Darboh on the sideline but Darboh dropped the pass forcing Michigan to punt.
Iowa gained 21 yards before hitting the last second field goal to win.
“I thought (Iowa) really played well most of the ball game, it was a low scoring hard fought football and they came out on top,” Harbaugh said.
Coming off one of the best games of his career Speight failed to step up in the tough environment. He completed just 11-of-26 passes for 103 yards with no touchdowns and one interception that came late in the fourth quarter.
Even the rushing attack was sporadic for Michigan as they rushed for 98-yards on 35 carries averaging 2.8 yards per rush.
The lone bright spot for Michigan was their pass defense that allowed 66 yards and sacked Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard three times.
Harbaugh said the message to his team after the game was that sometimes not everything is going to go their way.
“Big things and every little thing isn’t going to go our team’s way or anybody’s way, every little thing doesn’t go your way, to win you have to make it that way and we didn’t do enough things to make it that way tonight,” Harbaugh said.
Even with the loss Michigan still controls its own destiny in the Big Ten. If Michigan wins out they will go to the Big Ten championship game.
Next week the Wolverines play their final home game of the season when Indiana visits the Big House.