Monday, October 29, 2007

Michigan 34 Minnesota 10

After a slow start which saw Michigan fall behind early, the Wolverines dominated, scoring 34 unanswered points to record their seventh win in a row 34-10. Minnesota jumped out to an early 10-0 lead behind a 29-yard field goal and a 46-yard return for a touchdown off a Ryan Mallet fumble. Michigan bounced back with two K.C. Lopata field goals and a 2-yard touchdown run by Brandon Minor to take a 13-10 lead going into halftime. Michigan scored the only points in the third quarter on a 5-yard Carlos Brown touchdown run that was set up by a 48-yard catch by Mario Manningham. The Michigan scoring continued in the fourth quarter on two long plays, a 40-yard touchdown pass from Mallet to Manningham and an 85-yard touchdown run for Carlos Brown.

Michigan Offense vs Minnesota Defense:

The Michigan offense started sluggishly, falling behind 10-0 before the balanced attack that everyone was expecting kicked in. After being held to just 79 rushing yards in the first half, the ground game exploded for 228 yards on the ground in the second half. Both Michigan running backs, Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown had big games, filling in for Mike Hart who missed his second straight game due to injury, as they each rushed for over 100 yards.

Ryan Mallet put together perhaps his best game of the season completing 11 of 20 passes for 233 yards. Most of that occurred in the first half as Mallet only threw the ball four times in the second half. Minnesota’s defense came in ranked dead last in the nation in pass defense and it showed on Saturday as Manningham was able to fly past his defender at will, catching five passes for a career high 162 yards and a touchdown. Adrian Arrington added four catches for 61 yards, all in the first half.

The Gopher defense actually outscored their offense as Dom Barber returned a Ryan Mallet fumble 46 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter to give Minnesota a 10-0 lead. That was really the only highlight defensively for the Gophers as that fumble recovery was the only turnover of the game.

Edge: Michigan

Michigan Defense vs Minnesota Offense:

Minnesota was able to move the ball throughout the first half, but that only lead to three points from the offense. Minnesota did put together a good running game as Duane Bennet carried the ball twenty times for 106 yards. Quarterback Adam Weber added 48 yards on 10 carries (not including sacks).

Michigan was able to contain a spread offense for the second week in a row, holding Weber to just 99 yards in the air and less than a 50% completion percentage. The Michigan defense has really improved from the first two games of the year, especially in the secondary. Shawn Crable led the way for the Wolverines with two sacks and seven tackles in the game. Brandon Graham also recorded a sack to go along with a fumble recovery.

Edge: Michigan

Special Teams:

This unit continues to improve for Michigan as K.C. Lopata remained perfect on the year, knocking in field goals from 26 and 42 yards out. Michigan also put together their best return effort of the season as Carlos Brown returned three kicks for an average of 22 yards and Greg Matthews averaged just under 10 yards per punt return. Joel Monroe was successful on his only field goal attempt from 26 yards for the Gophers

Edge: Michigan

WCBN Co-Players of the Game: Mario Manningham: 5 catches; 162 yards; TD and Brandon Minor: 21 carries; 157 yards; TD

Notable Stats:

  • Brandon Minor: 21 carries; 157 yards; TD; 7.5 ypc
  • Carlos Brown: 13 carries; 132 yards; 2 TD; 10.2 ypc
  • Mario Manningham: 5 catches; 162 yards; TD
  • David Cone: 1-1; 21 yards
  • K.C. Lopata: 2 FG (42, 26)
  • Shawn Crable: 7 tackles; 2 sacks; 2.5 TFL
  • Lloyd Carr recorded his 80th Big 10 win in 101 conference games
  • Mallet’s 48-yard completion to Manningham was his longest career pass
  • Carlos Brown’s 85-yard run was Michigan’s longest play from scrimmage this year and 7th longest in Michigan history
  • Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Ryan Mallet, Mario Manningham, and K.C. Lopata all set career highs in yardage (or longest field goal)
  • Terrance Taylor and Donovan Warren tied career highs with 7 tackles
  • This was Manningham’s fourth straight 100-yard
  • Michigan is now 65-22-2 all time in battles for the Little Brown Jug.
    • I wonder what they did when they tied for the Jug. Maybe they kept the Jug halfway between Ann Arbor and Minneapolis?

Press Conference Tidbits:

  • While Carr remained non-committal about the status of Mike Hart and Chad Henne for the Michigan State game, Jake Long seemed a bit more confident that they both would play, “I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll play.”
  • The players had some fun joking about the clock that Michigan State has had counting down the time until Saturday’s kickoff ever since the beginning of camp in the summer. Here are some of the responses when asked about their thoughts on MSU’s countdown clock:
    • Will Johnson: “Well, they can tell time I guess”
    • Morgan Trent: “We know when the game is [without a countdown clock]”
    • Jake Long: “At least they’ll be on time”
    • Lloyd Carr: “When I first heard about that clock, I checked my watch to make sure that’s really when the game is”
  • Game time and TV coverage has been announced for the rest of the season:
    • No more Big 10 Network!!
    • Michigan State: 3:30 ABC
    • Wisconsin: 12:00 ESPN
    • Ohio State: 12:00 ABC

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