4:30 PM ET, October 7, 2006
Michigan Stadium, ANN ARBOR, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan beat rival Michigan State the way it likes to beat everybody -- by dominating the line of scrimmage.
The Michigan rush defense, which entered the game tops in the nation, allowed only 60 yards Saturday, while the Wolverines managed 211 on the ground in a 31-13 victory.
|9/23||vs. Notre Dame||37||388|
|9/9||vs. E. Michigan||52||586|
Big Ten rushing leader Mike Hart ran for 122 yards on 22 carries as the sixth-ranked Wolverines (6-0, 3-0 conference) kept their national championship aspirations flourishing and retained the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Michigan is 6-0 for the first time since 1997.
"We do have confidence that we can run the football," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "We feel like we can run it even when they have a lot of guys stacked up there."
Hart sat out the fourth quarter after rolling his ankle. Michigan's training staff had taped it up and Hart said he could have returned if he wanted to, "but there was no point," considering the score.
Michigan ran the ball 42 times and attempted only 17 passes, but Chad Henne threw for touchdowns on three of them. Two of those went to Mario Manningham, who has caught eight touchdown passes in his last four games.
"He has tremendous speed and when he cuts he creates separation from that corner or safety that's on him," Henne said. "He's a great player, and he did well today."
Michigan State (3-3, 0-2) dropped its third straight and did little to take the heat off embattled coach John L. Smith, who has been criticized by Spartans fans and the media following home losses to Notre Dame and Illinois the previous two weeks.
vs. Michigan State
"That's an awfully good football team, and we would have had to play a lot better than we did to win the game," Smith said. Michigan State played without leading rusher Javon Ringer, who sat out with a knee injury.
The Spartans now have to deal with No. 1 Ohio State at Spartan Stadium next Saturday.
"Our kids hung in there," Smith said. "They're banged up. They're bruised. They're hurting. But we have to get ready for next week."
Michigan had not allowed a rushing touchdown all season -- a total of 344 offensive plays -- until 260-pound Jehuu Caulcrick barreled into the end zone from the 1 near the end of the third quarter.
That score made it 24-7, but Michigan answered three minutes later on freshman Brandon Minor's first touchdown -- a 40-yard run.
The Wolverines led 24-0 following their first possession of the second half on a 27-yard TD pass from Henne to Manningham. Michigan State cornerback Demond Williams tipped the pass into the end zone, where it dropped into Manningham's arms.
Henne also directed scoring drives on three of the first four first-half possessions, including TD tosses of 41 yards to Manningham in the second quarter and 13 yards to Adrian Arrington in the first.
Garrett Rivas' 24-yard field goal gave Michigan a 17-0 halftime advantage.
"I think getting off to a fast start was the key. We knew they were going to stick around and play their hardest," said Henne, who finished 11-of-17 for 140 yards and no interceptions. "They have speed on defense and they definitely played well on defense, so we had to take advantage of field position when we had the ball."
Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton again was unable to lead the Spartans to a win against their rival, something he said during the week that he badly wanted to do.
"You can't do anything about it now. We've got six games left in our season and how we respond is the big thing," said Stanton, who was 20-of-35 for 252 yards and two interceptions.
Stanton, who scored on a 2-yard quarterback draw that made it 31-13 with 7 minutes remaining in the game, played the game with bruised ribs, but said they were not an issue.
Few current Spartans were associated with the program the last time they beat Michigan, a 26-24 win in East Lansing in 2001. Michigan State hasn't won in Ann Arbor since 1990.
Michigan heads to Penn State for a game next Saturday night.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Sparty collapsed on defense. Michigan scored four unanswered touchdowns before Michigan State was able to muster seven points in the third quarter.
Gameball goes to... Chad Henne. Michigan's QB connected on 11-for-17 passing for 139 yards and three TDs (no INTs). He found Mario Manningham twice for scores in the first half.
Stat of the game... 60: Michigan State put the ball on the ground just 26 times, gaining just 60 yards. The Wolverines gained 253 yards on 42 carries.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-15||3-10|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||0-1|
|TD||8:51||ADRIAN ARRINGTON 13 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||13:15||MARIO MANNINGHAM 41 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 54 yards.
|FG||3:35||GARRETT RIVAS 24 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 73 yards.
|TD||11:22||MARIO MANNINGHAM 27 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||3:47||JEHUU CAULCRICK 1 YD RUN (BRETT SWENSON KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||0:55||BRANDON MINOR 40 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 78 yards.
|TD||7:18||DREW STANTON 2 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 51 yards.