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Michigan looks to avoid No. 2 jinx vs. Iowa

Oct 17, 2006 - 7:10 PM Iowa (5-2) at No. 2 Michigan (7-0), 3:30 pm EDT

ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) - Four teams this year have been ranked second behind Ohio State in the media poll and lost. Michigan hopes to avoid becoming the fifth on Saturday.

The second-ranked Wolverines host Iowa, which is coming off a stunning defeat, in a Big Ten Conference matchup at the "Big House."

Michigan (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) jumped two spots to second in the media poll following a loss by No. 2 Florida at Auburn, another shaky performance by third-ranked Southern California and its own 17-10 triumph at Penn State. The Gators became the fourth team ranked second in the poll to lose, following Texas, Notre Dame and Auburn.

The Wolverines, who have their highest ranking in the media poll since winning the 1997 national championship, recorded seven sacks and knocked out Penn State's top two quarterbacks last Saturday in Happy Valley. Michigan, which possesses the nation's top rushing defense, limited the Nittany Lions to minus-14 yards on the ground - their lowest total in 41 seasons under legendary coach Joe Paterno.

Mike Hart ran for 112 yards and a touchdown and Chad Henne threw a 25-yard TD pass to Adrian Arrington for the Wolverines, who were playing without star receiver Mario Manningham. The sophomore, who has nine TD catches on the season, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on October 10 and also will sit out this one.

Were the Wolverines to win, they likely would go into their season-ending showdown with the Buckeyes unbeaten, as their new three games are against Northwestern, Ball State and Indiana.

One week after scoring 47 points against Purdue, then-No. 15 Iowa (5-2, 2-2) was shocked last Saturday at Indiana, 31-28.

Drew Tate was driving the Hawkeyes for a potential go-ahead score when he threw a pass that went off the hands of receiver Andy Brodell. Safety Will Meyers made a spectacular one-handed interception at the Indiana 15 with just under three minutes to play, and the Hoosiers ran out the clock.

Tate went 23-of-40 for 292 yards, a TD and an interception and Damian Sims ran for 94 yards and two TDs for Iowa, which was playing a second straight game without injured starting running back Albert Young (sprained PCL). Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is expecting Young to play this one.

Michigan has won eight of the last 10 in the series, including a 23-20 overtime triumph in Iowa City last year.

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