IOWA CITY, Iowa >> Michigan failed its first major road test of the season.
It might not matter for the Wolverines and their playoff hopes — if they win out.
Freshman Keith Duncan kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired and Iowa stunned second-ranked Michigan 14-13 on Saturday night, damaging the Wolverines’ playoff hopes.
“We just have to look in the mirror and look at the film and become better because of this,” Michigan tight end Jake Butt said. “There’s really no excuse, there’s absolutely no excuse.”
But Michigan is still very much alive, in part because No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Washington lost earlier in the day — at home, no less.
Still, it’s the middle of November and the Wolverines have yet to beat a team with more than one league win on the road.
Wilton Speight threw for 103 yards with a pick for the Wolverines, who gained just 201 yards of offense.
“We didn’t make enough plays to extend drives, first downs. We missed on some deep throws,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Every little thing doesn’t always go your way, and to win, you’ve got to make it that way.”
Akrum Wadley had 115 yards rushing to help the Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) beat a top-five team for the first time in six years.
Michigan (9-1, 6-1, No. 3 CFP) appeared to have the game wrapped up when Channing Stribling intercepted C.J. Beathard’s pass with 1:54 left. But the Hawkeyes stuffed the Wolverines, and a facemask penalty put Iowa at Michigan’s 36 with 1:23 to go.
Duncan then drilled the ball through the uprights from nearly the exact same spot where Daniel Murray hit the winner eight years ago to knock Penn State out of the national title picture.
“It was an incredible feeling,” said Duncan, who was immediately mobbed by teammates and fans. “It’s definitely the biggest kick I’ve had.”
Michigan: The Wolverines offense struggled mightily on a cold and windy night in Iowa City — where they had lost in each of their last three trips. Michigan’s top-ranked defense made up for it for much of the night, but a bad final series by its offense and a crushing penalty put Iowa in position to pull off the massive upset.
Iowa: After three straight homes losses and a 41-14 loss at Penn State last week, the Hawkeyes redeemed themselves. The defense looked like the one that was expected to help the Hawkeyes compete for a second straight Big Ten title, and the offense did just enough to give the program a win it sorely needed after weeks of listless play.
POLL IMPLICATIONS: It’s hard to see Michigan falling further than fourth in the Top 25 . One-loss Louisville and Ohio State could jump past the Wolverines, but all that matters is being in the top four when the playoff committee makes its selections.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Duncan’s big kick was not only reminiscent to 2008, but 1985 — and Michigan was involved in that one. In what is remembered as perhaps the biggest game in the history of Kinnick Stadium, top-ranked Iowa beat No. 2 Michigan 12-10 on a field goal at the final whistle. The Hawkeyes were later knocked off by Ohio State — and if the same happens to Michigan on Nov. 26, it can likely forget about the playoffs.
Michigan ran for only 98 yards on 35 carries. …Wadley had his best game for the Hawkeyes, even if he’s put up bigger numbers in previous efforts. Wadley also caught a 3-yard TD pass on a fourth-down play to bring the Hawkeyes within 10-8. …Kenny Allen kicked a career-long 51-yard field goal with 9:35 left. …Iowa’s home season has certainly been interesting. Before beating Michigan, it lost to North Dakota State of the FCS — also on a kick at the final whistle.
HE SAID IT
“I’d rather throw for 60 yards and get a win than throw for 400 and get a loss,” Beathard said. He was just 8 of 19 passing for 66 yards.
Michigan closes out its home schedule against Indiana, its final tuneup for what should be yet another massive showdown with rival Ohio State.
Iowa travels to face Illinois in its last road game of 2016. The Hawkeyes are 3-1 on the road.
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