Two big plays have Michigan out to early lead


The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines face the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes for the Big Ten title. For Michigan, there’s a lot more than conference glory on the line in Indianapolis.

The Wolverines are a win away from their first berth in the College Football Playoff. At 11-1, Michigan currently has an 85% chance of making the playoff, according to ESPN’s College Football Playoff Predictor. By beating Iowa, that percentage increases to 90%, per ESPN Stats & Information research. With a loss, Michigan’s chances drop to 13%.

Michigan has rebounded from a late-October loss to Michigan State to get to this point. The Wolverines’ run was capped by a win over the Ohio State Buckeyes a week ago. With Hassan Haskins‘ five rushing scores and Aidan Hutchinson‘s three sacks, the Wolverines routed their rivals.

Iowa arrives as the Big Ten’s king of grinding out wins this season. Of the Hawkeyes’ conference victories, only two came by more than 10 points. The Hawkeyes needed help last week to make the title game. They needed a win over Nebraska and a Minnesota upset of Wisconsin. They got both. A win Saturday would send Iowa to the Rose Bowl.

Neither school has won a Big Ten title since 2004, when they were co-champions.

Here are the best moments and biggest plays from the Big Ten title game:

Setting the tone

It’s only the first quarter, but the Wolverines aren’t short on splash plays. Roman Wilson‘s 75-yard touchdown was the result of a little trickery from Jim Harbaugh & Co.

Wolverines strike first — and fast

After the Hawkeyes missed a field goal on the game’s opening drive, Blake Corum didn’t waste any time finding the end zone as the Wolverines drove down the field in just four plays.

No time like showtime

Both squads arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium in style, but the Wolverines had a particularly fashionable fan cheering them on via Twitter.

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