Below is an analysis of historical data on penalties in the Michigan-Iowa game dating back to 2003. (FYI - The "Against" row lists penalties called against Michigan and the total yardage lost and the "For" row lists penalties called against Iowa and the total yardage gained due to these penalties.)
|Win/Loss||Loss||Win||Win||Win||DNP||DNP||Loss||Record - 3-2|
Based on the data, Michigan has averaged 4.2 penalties per game as compared to Iowa's average of 6.4 penalties per game. Not nearly as big of a disparity as the 4 penalty-per-game difference between Michigan and Michigan State, but a slight advantage nonethelss. Interestingly, Michigan has been very consistent historically at around 4 penalties per game for about 40 yards lost per game in most rivalries that I have researched. And Michigan appears to be on that same track this year (with the one abberation coming against Notre Dame in Week 2).
|2010||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Totals||Averages|
What it means for Saturday: In a game where Michigan's offense is facing a strong defense and gaining yards may be more difficult than usual, penalties (like turnovers) can play a large role. If you see 4 penalties from Michigan for 40 yards then do not fret. However, if you see a flood of penalties from Michigan it might have a real impact on the game. That's probably an obvious statement, but still something to consider nonetheless.