Following the first loss of the season the heat was turned up on Michigan’s offense. All it did was score the most points it has scored all season, set the all-time Michigan record for total yards in a single game, and break several individual player yardage records en route to a 63-47 win over Indiana.
Devin Gardner broke Denard Robinson’s single-game yardage record with 584 total yards and John Navarre’s record for passing yards with 503. Senior receiver Jeremy Gallon shattered Roy Roundtree’s receiving record – and the Big Ten’s – with 369 yards on 14 catches.
Despite the gaudy numbers, the game wasn’t over until Fitzgerald Toussaint ran it in from 27 yards out with just over a minute remaining. Indiana answered nearly every Michigan score, utilizing a fast-paced offense to keep Michigan’s defense off balance.
|Record||6-1 (2-1)||3-4 (1-2)|
|Net Rushing Yards||248||162|
|Net Passing Yards||503||410|
|Time of Possession||38:34||21:26|
|Third Down Conversions||7-of-11||8-of-14|
|Fourth Down Conversions||1-of-1||0-of-1|
|Red Zone Scores-Chances||6-of-8||4-of-4|
|Full Box Score|
The teams traded punts to start the game, but that was about all of the defense this game would feature. Indiana got the scoring started on its second possession with a 59-yard touchdown pass from Nate Sudfeld to Cody Latimer. The Hoosiers used a quick snap to catch Michigan’s defense not set and Latimer ran right by Raymon Taylor for the long touchdown.
Michigan answered with a five-play, 56-yard scoring drive capped off by a 13-yard Gardner touchdown run. After forcing Indiana to punt, Gardner connected with Gallon for 70 yards to the IU 11-yard line. Four plays later, on 4th-and-1 from the two, Toussaint found the end zone to put Michigan ahead 14-7.
Michigan’s defense forced another Indiana punt and put together a 13-play, 60-yard drive. But it stalled when Gardner was sacked on 3rd-and-4, forcing Michigan to attempt a field goal. Brendan Gibbons’ 39-yard attempt was blocked.
Indiana still wasn’t able to get anything going, punting it back to Michigan and the Wolverines made the most of it, scoring in seven plays. Toussaint carried it in from seven yards out to give Michigan a 21-7 lead.
The Wolverines looked to be in full control of the game at this point, but Indiana responded. A 40-yard kickoff return gave IU good field position and then it took the Hoosiers just three plays to score, this time on a 33-yard pass from Sudfeld to Shane Wynn.
Michigan got the ball back with six minutes left in the half and put together a 12-play, 91-yard drive that ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Gardner to Gallon. It looked like Michigan would take a 28-14 lead into the locker room, but IU got a 50-yard field goal to end the half.
Michigan started the second half with the ball, but on the second play, a pitch from Gardner to Toussaing was fumbled and the Hoosiers recovered at the Michigan 5-yard line. Three plays later, the Hoosiers punched it in on a 2-yard run by Tevin Coleman to pull within four at 28-24.
On the fourth play of the ensuing possession, Gardner connected with Gallon for a 50-yard touchdown, but Indiana matched it once again, this time using an 8-play, 71-yard drive and a 5-yard pass from Sudfeld to Wynn.
When it got the ball back, Michigan was forced to punt for the first time since its second possession of the game. With a chance to take the lead, Indiana marched to the Michigan 6-yard line, but Michigan’s defense stiffened in the red zone, holding the Hoosiers to a 23-yard field goal. Michigan led at this point 35-34.
On the third play of Michigan’s ensuing possession, Gardner connected with Gallon for a 70-yard gain to the Indiana 2-yard line. Two plays later, Toussaint punched it in.
It took Indiana just four plays to answer, this time scoring on a 67-yard pass from Roberson to Kofi Hughes. IU attempted a two-point conversion to tie the game, but it fell incomplete and Michigan held a 42-40 lead.
Michigan opened the fourth quarter with a six-yard touchdown run by Gardner to cap off an 8-play, 75-yard drive to go ahead by two scores. But once again, Indiana responded. Plays of 17, 20, and and 15 yards put the Hoosiers in the red zone and Roberson scampered into the end zone from 15 yards out to pull IU within two.
Michigan marched right down the field again, getting to the Indiana 2-yard line, but on 1st-and-goal, a botched snap was recovered by Indiana. With 8:34 remaining, the Hoosiers got the ball back with yet another chance to take the lead. But Michigan’s defense had other plans. After two straight six yard runs, Thomas Gordon picked off Sudfeld’s pass at the 35 and returned it 30 yards to the IU five. Three plays later, Gardner found the end zone with his legs from six yards out.
Indiana got the ball back with six minutes left, trailing 56-47 and quickly moved the ball into Michigan territory. On 1st-and-10 from the Michigan 30, Roberson launched a pass downfield, but Gordon was there again to pick it off. Six plays later, Toussaint found a hole and raced 27 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game, this time to put the game away.
The 751 yards of offense set an all-time single-game Michigan record, surpassing the 727 yards the Wolverines put up against Delaware State in 2009. It was also the second-highest in Big Ten history. Gardner’s 584 total yards were just one shy of the Big Ten record for a single game which was set by Illinois’ Dave Wilson on November 8, 1980.
The win keeps Michigan in contention for the Big Ten Legends Division title. At 6-1, the Wolverines now have a bye week to get ready for a brutal five-game stretch that starts with rival Michigan State in East Lansing on Nov. 2. The main question facing Hoke and the rest of the coaching staff over the next two weeks will be how the offense will be utilized the rest of the way, especially with the toughest defense the team will play all year looming next.
Stay tuned for more coverage and analysis of the game and a look ahead at the rest of the season.