The Michigan Wolverines turned a tight game into a strong victory and Brady Hoke is still undefeated at home in The Big House after 18 tries thanks to Blue’s 42-13 win today over Minnesota at Homecoming.
Devin Gardner had a nice, solid, turnover free performance as he completed a modest 13 of 17 passes for 235 yards and one touchdown passing. Gardner also scored again on the ground with a nice bootleg to the right side for a two-yard score late in the forth quarter.
The Wolverine running game collectively posted a 117-yard day and with four scores, two coming on the legs of Fitzgerald Toussaint. That is the senior’s second consecutive two touchdown performance. The freshman Derrick Green also posted his second TD scamper of the year early in the third quarter when the game was close. That score pushed the Wolverine lead to 21-7.
The Michigan Wolverine defense though struggled to contain Minnesota’s offense most of the game allowing the Gophers to win the time of possession battle 34 minutes to 26 for the Wolverines. Minnesota converted 8 of 15 third down attempts and played a spirited game until Michigan’s skills took over.
Junior defensive back Blake Countess had a pick-six on a 72-yard TD return of a Mitch Leidner pass late in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. That was Countess’ fourth interception this year.
Overall it was a solid win to begin Big Ten play. Next up for Michigan is a road game to State College to face the Nittany Lions of Penn State.
5-0 and every goal Brady Hoke and his program may have set before the season started is still in reach. There are a few things to work on, but considering the alternative, it’s still an undefeated season.
ON A SIDE NOTE: Unfortunately prior to kickoff of the Michigan Wolverine and Minnesota Golden Gopher game played in Ann Arbor, the Gophers’ head coach Jerry Kill suffered another unfortunate seizer and was unable to lead his team on the field. This is the fifth such time that the Minnesota program had to play a football game when their minds were obviously elsewhere. This is though the first time that coach Kill’s seizer prevented him from starting the game on the sideline with his team.
In his absence Minnesota defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys assumed the coaching responsibilities for the game. Coach Kill spent the time away recovering at home and is once again expected to get back to lead the Minnesota program soon.