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Michigan is a big favorite in Big Ten championship game

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 30, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 30, 2023 04:01

No. 2 Michigan (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) vs. No. 18 Iowa (10-2, 7-2, No. 16), Saturday, 8 p.m. EST, in Indianapolis (Fox)

Line: Michigan by 22½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Michigan leads 44-15-4.

Key Matchup

Iowa's rushing offense vs. Michigan's rushing defense. The Hawkeyes will try to play the field-position game like they also do, but time of possession could loom large. Iowa leads the nation in three-and-outs, according to Sportradar, and will need its rotating crew of running backs to dent a defense allowing just 3.0 yards per carry. Leshon Williams regained his stride against Nebraska last week, finishing with 111 yards and breaking a long one to set up the winning field goal.

Players to Watch 

Michigan: RB Blake Corum. He has run for a single-season, school-record 22 touchdowns. A year ago, he watched the Wolverines play in the Big Ten championship game from a California hotel room after having knee surgery.

Iowa: QB Deacon Hill. He completed better than 60% of his passes in the three games before he went 11 for 28 in last week's win at Nebraska. That won't do if the Hawkeyes hope to be competitive.

Facts & Figures 

The East representative is 9-0 in the championship game since the Big Ten went to its current divisional alignment in 2014. There will be no divisions beginning next year when the league expands to 18 teams. ... Michigan is a victory away from a Big Ten-high 45th conference championship, and a third straight title for the first time since winning five straight from 1988 to 1992. ... Iowa is in the title game for the third time since 2015. ... The Wolverines are giving up a FBS-low 10.25 points per game and rank 13th with 37.6 points per game. ... QB J.J. McCarthy is 24-1 as a starter. ... Iowa's 216 points this season are fewest by a 10-win team since at least 2000, according to Sportradar.

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