ANN ARBOR - It probably wasn't the five times that Michigan sacked Iowa quarterback Drew Tate that broke his tempo. It was likely the dozen or so times Tate had to run for his life to avoid the Wolverines' rush that did the trick.
"He's a nice, scrambling quarterback and he kept to his game," Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable said about Tate, who went 21-of-36 passing for 197 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
"I don't feel like we dominated him, but I feel pretty good about the rush we put on. He was gonna scramble and make us miss, but as a group we're pretty confident we can get to the quarterback."
Michigan came into the game leading the Big Ten in sacks, and leading the nation in run defense, and did nothing to hurt its status in those categories. Iowa had just 41 yards rushing in 24 carries, with Michigan's five sacks accounting for a negative 26 yards for the Hawkeyes.
"They were pretty tough. They were without a doubt the best defense we've played all year," Tate said about the Wolverines. "How physical they are, their size, their speed - we haven't seen anything like that. It probably could have been a lot worse. They made it hard for us on a lot of things."
Michigan junior defensive tackle Alan Branch said Iowa did a good job of protecting Tate.
"The interior guys on Iowa's offensive line were very tough. It was probably one of the best offensive lines that we've played against so far," Branch said. "I didn't feel like I got that much pressure, but our defensive ends started feeling out the tackles and started knowing what moves they could use, and we started getting some heat on Tate."
HAPPY RETURNS: When Michigan needed a boost in yesterday's Big Ten battle with Iowa, senior kick returner Steve Breaston provided it with a 64-yard kickoff return in the third quarter that came right after Iowa had tied the score 3-3 with a field goal. Michigan drove 35 yards for its first touchdown after Breaston's return, taking the lead for good.
"He's having a great year," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said of Breaston, who also tied a career-high with seven receptions.
"He had a great day today as a receiver and as a return guy. He is a team guy. What he has done for this football team - the leadership that he provided - you can't put a value on him. He was simply outstanding. That play changed the field position, and we went in and scored a touchdown. The way that our defense was playing, that was certainly a big play."
HUNDRED GRAND: The crowd of 110,923 at Michigan Stadium for yesterday's game marks the 198th straight game at Michigan Stadium with a crowd of 100,000 or more.
BO ON THE MEND: Former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler remained hospitalized yesterday after he took ill on Friday at the taping of a weekly Big Ten football show.
A spokesman for the university said early yesterday that Schembechler was in good condition, and no additional information would be forthcoming last night. The spokesman also confirmed that Schembechler was watching the Iowa game from his room in the cardiac unit of the University of Michigan Health System.
The 77-year-old Schembechler had a heart attack in 1970 on the eve of his first Rose Bowl, and has undergone quadruple bypass surgery twice. Schembechler was 194-48-5 as head coach at Michigan from 1969-89.
IOWA'S ARRINGTON: As the lone Iowa native on the Michigan roster, Adrian Arrington had just a bit more riding on yesterday's game than the other Wolverines did. The Cedar Rapids product had a career-high eight receptions for 79 yards. His eight catches are the most by any Michigan player in a game this season.