Wolverines Pounce on Purdue

Wide receiver Mario Manningham had a career high day with eight catches for 147 yards and a pair of scores on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium as the Michigan Wolverines improved to 5-2 on the season with a 48-21 win over Purdue. Mike Hart rushed for 102 yards and two scores before leaving the game with an injured ankle.

ANN ARBOR -- It took seven weeks, but the Michigan offense finally exploded. Behind a pair of scores from Mario Manningham and Mike Hart, the Wolverines (5-2, 3-0) blasted the visiting Purdue Boilermakers (5-2, 1-2) 48-21 in a dominating win that leaves the Wolverines bid for a Big 10 Championship and a Rose Bowl birth alive as the Maize and Blue continue through the heart of their Big 10 schedule.

Manningham, who was held out of last weeks contest "with Eastern Michigan as a result of an undisclosed team rules violation, got back on track quickly with touchdown catches of 24 and 21-yards in the first two quarters of play. He also finished with a career high 147 yards.

On the ground, the Wolverines were led by Mike Hart's 102-yard, two touchdown performance, despite Hart leaving just before the half with an ankle injury that left the Wolverines Heisman hopeful in street clothes for the final 30 minutes.

"I think it is the first time in three weeks at least that we played a full game," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "We had an excellent second half at Northwestern. A week ago (against EMU) we played half the game in terms of all out intensity. So we talked all week about getting out to a fast start because Purdue is the type of team that if they get ahead of you it makes it hard. We came out ready to play and I think it showed." It didn't take long for Michigan to jump on top. On their second possession of the game, following a recovered fumble by the Purdue punt return team, Chad Henne connected with Manningham on the second play for the Wolverines first score of the game.

Shortly after, however, the Wolverines would give the points back on their first turnover of the game. After getting the ball back following a Purdue punt, quarterback Chad Henne was stripped of the ball while trying to step up in the pocket. Purdue jumped on the ball at the Michigan five yard line and Boilermaker quarterback Curtis Painter ran the ball into the end zone on the ensuing play.

At that point it became all Michigan.

Getting his first action of the game, Purdue running back Kory Sheets broke into the Michigan secondary before being tracked down by defensive end Tim Jamison. Jamison ripped the ball out setting up Mike Hart's first touchdown run, a highlight reel run from 11-yards out to give the Wolverines a 17-7 advantage after the first quarter.

Hart and Manningham each added one more score before the half to put the game out of reach for the Boilermakers.

"Offensively, we were very successful throwing the ball on first down. Then, of course, we did hit some big plays, which make a big difference. I thought Adrian (Arrington) did a good job. I thought Greg Matthews did a good job. So, to be able to have all those guys healthy and playing well they can stretch the field. It makes the running game effective as well."

K.C. Lopata added his second field goal of the season in the third quarter to extend it to a 27 point lead.

Carlos Brown added his first two career touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Wolverines. Purdue answered with the final two scores of regulation after falling behind 48-7.

Michigan next returns to the field next Saturday night in a road contest with the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories