I thought it might be interesting to look at the general direction of the rushing offense and defense as well as the passing offense and defense of Michigan and Iowa through the last decade and see if the two were comparable.
One of the more interesting things that you can immediately see, I think, is the general downward trend in Iowa’s rushing productivity through the years, and whether this is attributable to AIRBHG or to a general shift towards a passing-oriented attack is an interesting debate, to be sure. Ours, on the other hand, spiked last year after an uptick in 2010, preceded by years of stable rushing production.
Michigan and Iowa have been relatively comparable in average passing offense throughout the past decade actually, often being within a few slots of each other when it came to conference standings and typically always a middle-of-the-pack team when it comes to conference totals.
The one thing about passing defense that you’ll note right away, of course, is the very dramatic drop in average yards allowed for Michigan when compared to Iowa’s over the last two years in particular. It is interesting that we actually were not that much worse than Iowa in this regard in 2010, but you can see what a difference Greg Mattison has made in this aspect of the game for us.
Rushing defense is an interesting one here – Iowa’s rushing defense has historically been better than our own actually, save for one season in these charts. Last year this year, the numbers are showing signs of becoming fairly equal for both teams, however, but we’ve faced some potent running attacks this season, so if the schedule were different, it would be interesting to see what these would look like without, say, two offenses that weren’t running the option on us all game.