With Michigan’s rushing attack looking for a spark the Wolverines turned to sophomore Drake Johnson who delivered a 16 carry, 122-yard performance to go with two touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Devin Gardner delivered his most consistent performance of the year completing 22-of-29 pass attempts for 220-yards and two touchdowns through the air, including one to sophomore wide out Amara Darboh who had a career day with nine catches for 107-yards.
Defensively, Michigan did allow Indiana’s Tevin Coleman to get over 100-yards on the ground but limited the Hoosiers to just 191 total yards of offense. With Willie Henry and Maurice Hurst Jr. in street clothes, Michigan’s defensive line stepped up, Bryan Mone and Ryan Glasgow each recovering Indiana fumbles.
Michigan jumped out to the early 10-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a Coleman fumble, Gardner completing a last second shovel pass to converted tight end Keith Heitzman for a six-yard touchdown, the first of Heitzman’s career.
The Wolverines then stretched their lead to 17-0 midway through the second quarter as Gardner found Darboh on a slant for 12-yards and a touchdown.
After Indiana nearly came up with two interceptions, Hoosiers’ safety Chase Dutra read Gardner the whole way and hung on for a pick, returning the football all the way down to the Michigan 12-yard line with just 2:52 left in the half.
The Hoosiers couldn’t cash in though as kicker Griffin Oakes clanged a chip shot off the right upright, Indiana trailing 17-0 through 30 minutes of play.
Oakes put Indiana on the board midway through the third quarter on a 38-yard field goal.
But the second half was consumed by Johnson.
With De’Veon Smith exiting the game due to injury, Johnson was pressed into duty and did not disappoint.
After Michigan recovered their second fumble deep inside Indiana territory, Johnson found the end zone, scampering to his left for 10-yards and the first touchdown run of his careers to make it 24-3 Wolverines late in the third quarter.
Indiana would try to make it a game again late in the fourth quarter.
Following a Matt Wile field goal, Indiana went right down the field on their next possession, a nine play, 75-yard drive capped off by a three-yard touchdown run for D’Angelo Roberts to make the score 27-10.
Johnson would provide the knockout punch though. Michigan took the ball over at the Indiana 48 after an illegal procedure penalty on an attempt onside kick and on the first play of the drive, Johnson rushed 32-yards to put him over 100-yards for the first time in his career.
The very next play, Johnson again took the handoff and sealed the deal, scoring his second touchdown of the day from 16-yards out to make it 34-10, Michigan.