Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t overlooking an unranked Iowa team this weekend.
He knows better.
“As they say, that’s (where) top-five teams go to die,” Harbaugh said this week as the No. 4 Wolverines prepared for Saturday’s game against at the Hawkeyes.
Hey, you can watch that game on Big Noon Kickoff, too!
“They just get so good at what they’re doing, they beat you with the execution,” Harbaugh added. “They just out-fundamental you. They out-technique you.”
Iowa (3-1) has won two in a row after a stunningly bad start to the season. The Hawkeyes barely beat FCS team San Diego State, 7-3, to open the season before losing a 10-7 snoozer to rival Iowa State.
The program has seemingly steadied the ship in recent weeks, crushing Nevada and Rutgers.
Iowa football has surprisingly good record against top-five teams
Harbaugh and Michigan are certainly the better team on paper, but the veteran coach has good reason to be cautious.
After all, the Hawkeyes have won five of their last six games at home against top-five teams – including Michigan.
In 2016, Iowa took down a Harbaugh-led Michigan team, ranked No. 2 at the time, in a 14-13 thriller.
“I think the challenge our players need to understand is each and every play, it’s like an NFL playoff game,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Each and every play, something can happen.”
Overall, Michigan leads the series 43-15-4, but Iowa has won five of the last eight meetings. The last two games between the two programs have been lopsided in Michigan’s favor, including a 42-3 blowout in last year’s Big Ten title game.
Don’t tell that to Jim Harbaugh, though. Not with this Iowa defense!
“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 of the Hawkeyes. “If you’re not as sound as you can possibly be, you’re in for a rough one. The scheme is flawless.”