INDIANAPOLIS – No. 2 Michigan allowed only a first-quarter field goal in a 42-3 victory over the 14th-ranked University of Iowa football team in the 2021 Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Wolverines took a 14-3 lead in the first quarter and led 21-3 through three quarters before scoring 21 points over the final 15 minutes to claim their first league title.
Michigan had a 461-279 advantage in total offense in the game, piling up 250 yards through the air and 211 yards on the ground. The Wolverines scored four rushing touchdowns and had two scores through the air.
Junior Spencer Petras finished 9-of-22 for 137 yards before being relieved by sophomore Alex Padilla because of injury. Padilla went 10-of-15 for 38 yards in the second half. Juniors Sam LaPorta and Tyler Goodson each had six receptions for 62 and 28 yards, respectively, to lead the team.
Redshirt freshman Gavin Williams had a team-high 56 yards on 12 carries, while Goodson had 50 yards on 18 attempts.
Defensively, senior Jack Koerner finished with eight tackles (five solo) and junior Seth Benson had six tackles, including a sack. Junior Jack Campbell had five tackles and an interception, while redshirt freshman Jermari Harris had a pick for a second straight game.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“Congratulations to Michigan. They have a great team and have had an outstanding season. They have a talented football team, have been consistent and performed all season long. Hats off to them.
“We knew this would be a big challenge coming into it, we had a lot of respect for what they did this season. We knew we’d have to play our best and make some things go our way, and certainly they didn’t materialize.
“It’s disappointing tonight. It hurts, everyone in the locker room is disappointed, but the one thing I’ll say about this football team is this team this season has found a way to win 10 football games. They should be proud of that and we still have another game to go.
“I told the guys how proud on behalf of our entire staff how proud we are for what they have done since January. Tonight isn’t what we intended it to be and didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to, but we’ll put this behind us after a couple of days and go back to work at the end of the week and try to be smart about the month.
“We have an opportunity to play one more time as the 2021 team.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After forcing a three-and-out on the first possession, the Hawkeye offense drove 59 yards over 10 plays on their first drive. On first-and-10 from the 17, Iowa attempted a running back pass, but Williams overshot fullback Monte Pottebaum in the end zone. The Hawkeyes settled on a field goal attempt, but senior Caleb Shudak missed it from 33 yards out.
- The Wolverines grabbed the lead on the next series, going 80 yards on just four plays. On first-and-10 from the 33, Blake Corum hit the second level and went 67 yards for a touchdown, making the score 7-0 with 6:38 left in the quarter.
- After a three-and-out by the Iowa offense, the Wolverines struck again. Cade McNamara threw a swing pass to Donovan Edwards out of the backfield and Edwards hit Roman Wilson in stride for a 75-yard touchdown strike to push the Michigan lead to 14-0.
- The Hawkeyes sustained a second drive on the ensuing series, driving 71 yards on 10 plays. Petras hit Luke Lachey for 22 yards on first down and converted a third-and-7 with a 10-yard pass to LaPorta. Two plays later, Petras connected with Charlie Jones for 28 yards to the 9. The Hawkeyes rushed twice to the 4 before Petras’ third down attempt was incomplete. Shudak hit from 22 yards out to make the score 14-3 with 1:26 left in the quarter.
- Michigan pushed its lead to 21-3 on its first drive of the second half, going 82 yards over 10 plays. After a steady dose of the run moved the Wolverines into Iowa territory, McNamara connected with Luke Schoonmaker for 27 yards to the 4. Hassan Haskins scored on the ground on the next play.
- Iowa inserted Padilla in at quarterback on the ensuing possession and he drove the offense 60 yards over 14 plays into the red zone. Padilla had a 17-yard pass to Goodson and a 10-yarder to Arland Bruce IV to the Michigan 25 and the Hawkeyes had a first-and-10 from the 15. Iowa turned it over on downs on fourth-and-3 from the 8 after a Padilla-to-Goodson pass was stopped for a 7-yard loss.
- The Wolverines’ special teams set up their first score of the fourth quarter when Cornelius Johnson blocked a Tory Taylor punt, giving Michigan possession at the Iowa 36. McNamara hit Schoonmaker for 22 yards to the 1 before Haskins scored from 1-yard out to push the lead to 28-3.
- Michigan scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. McNamara hit Erick All for a 5-yard touchdown pass to make the score 35-3 and after Caden Kolesar intercepted Padilla at the Iowa 37, the Wolverines pushed the lead to 42-3 with a 1-yard touchdown from Edwards.
- Michigan snapped Iowa’s streak of six straight wins against ranked opponents.
- Campbell intercepted Michigan in the first quarter and Harris intercepted Michigan on the final play of the second quarter. Campbell’s interception tied the Iowa single season school record (23). Harris’s interception set a new single-season school record (24).
- Goodson had a career-best six receptions (28 yards).
- Williams tied his career high with 56 yards rushing on a career-best 12 carries. Williams was Iowa’s leading rusher, snapping Goodson’s streak of 15 straight games as Iowa’s leading rusher.
- Iowa had two interceptions Saturday to raise its season total to a school-record 24. Iowa leads the country in interceptions (24). The Hawkeyes have 88 interception since 2017, more than any team in the country. Eleven different Hawkeyes have at least one interception this season. Four Hawkeyes have at least three interceptions this season (Belton 5, Moss 4, Hankins 3, Harris 3). The last time Iowa had four players with at least three interceptions in a single season was 2018 (Gervase 4, Hooker 4, Stone 4, Ojemudia 3).
- Iowa is plus-19 in turnover margin in its 10 wins and minus-five in its three losses.
- Attendance was 67,183, a Big Ten Championship Game record.
The CFP selection show begins Sunday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN. The semifinal participants are announced at 11:15 a.m. The New Year’s Six pairings (Rose, Sugar, Fiesta and Peach Bowls) are announced at 1:30 p.m. The complete Big Ten bowl lineup will be announced by the conference at 5:30 p.m.
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