No. 23 Michigan tops Iowa with Gardner's TDs -
Published Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm / Updated at 11:16 pm
No. 23 Michigan tops Iowa with Gardner's TDs
Five things we learned
1. The Hawkeyes guaranteed themselves a losing record and no bowl eligibility for the first time since 2000. Many fans will call that good news after Saturday's uninspired performance.

2. Kirk Ferentz means it when he says he's sticking with struggling quarterback James Vandenberg. The senior stayed in until the final gun despite an entire second half of garbage time.

3. Michigan looked explosive and creative on offense. Just the opposite for Iowa's defense.

4. Where was the pressure? Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner had all day to operate against the Hawkeye pass rush.

5. Michigan senior Denard Robinson can still be effective even if everyone knows he won't — or can't — throw the ball.

— Evan Bland

They said it

“It was great to see Henry Krieger-Coble come up with that touchdown. We did a nice job on that. (James) Vandenberg did a nice job with us. We came back on the next one and ended up short with a field goal, but we drove the ball a couple of times there. I thought into the second half we had a couple of good drives, but we were playing from pretty far behind at that stage so it was tough to get back in there.”
— Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz on the Hawkeyes offensive start

“I think (Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges) and that staff did a great job of incorporating the skill sets that both guys (Denard Robinson and Devin Gardner) have at the same time. Some of those other guys who are a big part of it when you look at playmakers, they were involved.”
— Michigan coach Brady Hoke

“You think you have got him and he buys time. They have got very good skilled players and they have had that traditionally. It looks to me that they have got it again.”
— Ferentz on Michigan quarterback David Gardner

“I think they have three very good receivers not including if (Denard) Robinson goes out there. That quarterback has really done a nice job. I saw him play as a young player, but this year he has played really well. The last couple of games he has played basically the same way. We didn’t do a great job keeping up with those guys when we were in the right coverage, and then we dropped a couple of coverages, too, which made it real easy for them.”
— Ferentz

“We got too far behind. We had to try to put points up quickly and we just didn’t get it done.”
— Iowa running back Mark Weisman

“We have to play a lot better than we have been lately. That is all I can say. Definitely it would be good, we are excited for the final game.”
— Krieger-Coble on the upcoming game against Nebraska

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Hawkeyes are in danger of closing the season with their longest losing streak since Kirk Ferentz’s first season in Iowa City.

Devin Gardner had a lot to do with the latest setback, having a hand in six touchdowns the first six times No. 23 Michigan had the ball in a 42-17 rout against Iowa on Saturday.

“Defensively, we didn’t have any answers for anything they did,” Ferentz said.

Offensively, the Hawkeyes didn’t fare much better after kicking a field goal early in the second quarter to make it 14-10.

Iowa (4-7, 2-5) was officially eliminated from postseason contention by losing its fifth straight game for the first time since 2000.

“What we have to play for is pride,” safety Tanner Miller said.

If the Hawkeyes don’t upset Nebraska next week at home, the six-game skid will be their longest since losing the last eight games of 1999 in Ferentz’s first season as head coach.

“It’s not much fun,” he said. “After we’re done, we’ll address it and find solutions and get back to where we want to be.”

Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta has insisted the end is not near for Ferentz, publicly supporting a coach to whom he has given a contract through the 2020 season.

The Wolverines (8-3, 6-1) weren’t stopped on offense by the hapless Hawkeyes until Gardner threw an interception early in the fourth quarter.

Denard Robinson played after missing two-plus games with nerve damage in his right elbow, starting at running back and taking some snaps at QB without throwing a pass.

Iowa got a key player back on the field at the Big House.

Running Mark Weisman, who had been out with a groin injury, ran for 63 yards on 16 carries and caught a touchdown pass from James Vandenberg late in the game.

That didn’t make the score look much more respectable.

“We’re getting what we deserve,” receiver Keenan Davis said. “We’re not playing well enough to win games.”

Vandenberg was 19 of 26 for 181 yards and threw two TDs for the first time this season.

He made a 16-yard pass to Henry Krieger-Coble that made it 7-7 late in the first quarter in a game that the Wolverines led 28-10 at halftime. Vandenberg tossed a 13-yard pass to Weisman for the final score with 2:12 left in the rout.

The senior quarterback said he didn’t want to think about his college career being over next week, ending a season that started with high hopes.

“Obviously, it hasn’t turned out as we wanted,” he said. “We always talk about building something for the next game, for the future.

“We’re building for next year now.”

Vandenberg, though, won’t be around to help the Hawkeyes in 2013.

Iowa had beaten Michigan three straight times for the first time in series history and five times in the previous eight matchups.

“They didn’t write us off this time,” Vandenberg said. “They came out ready to play. They beat us in every phase of the game.”

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