Michigan's Harbaugh: Iowa's where 'top-5 teams go to die'
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh knows all too well what it’s like to take a top-five team into Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium.
“As they say, (where) top-five teams go to die,” Harbaugh said this week as the No. 4 Wolverines (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) prepared for Saturday’s game against the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (3-1, 1-0) has won five of its last six home games against top-five opponents. That includes a 14-13 victory over Harbaugh’s second-ranked Wolverines in 2016.
“They just get so good at what they’re doing, they beat you with the execution,” he said. “They just out-fundamental you. They out-technique you.”
The game is a sellout, and the fans will be loud as always. That helps, coach Kirk Ferentz said, but his team must be at its best to keep up with the Wolverines. Michigan is averaging 50 points per game, second only to Oklahoma State, and will be going against an Iowa defense allowing a nation-low 5.75 per game.
“If you are inaccurate with a throw — overthrow, underthrow, tipped ball — it’s highly likely it’s going to result in a turnover,” Harbaugh said. “If you’re not as sound as you can possibly be, you’re in for a rough one. The scheme is flawless.”
Michigan is allowing just 11 points per game, ranking seventh. Iowa’s offense remains worst in the Bowl Subdivision, though it made some progress last week against Rutgers.