Wolverines Retain Jug Behind 34-10 Win

The No. 19-ranked Wolverines battled back from an early 10-0 hole and running backs Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown both surpassed the 100-yard mark as the Maize and Blue amassed 561 yards of total offense in a 34-10 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.

ANN ARBOR -- No Henne? No Hart? No Problem.

Despite the absence of running back Mike Hart and quarterback Chad Henne, the No. 19-ranked Michigan football team (7-2, 5-0) rallied from a 10-point hole seconds into the second quarter to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-8, 0-5) by the score of 34-10 on Saturday afternoon at Michigan Stadium.

Stepping in for Hart, sophomore running backs Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown each ran for well over 100 yards and combined for three scores. Ryan Mallett started at quarterback for the Wolverines and completed 11-of-20 passes 233 yards and a 40-yard score to wide receiver Mario Manningham.

"I think they wore Minnesota down. We had some backs -- Carlos (Brown) and Brandon (Minor) -- who really did a good job," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.

"Ryan (Mallett) settled down and hit some passes. Mario (Manningham) made some good plays. It was a satisfying win from the standpoint that we didn't lose our poise when we made some mistakes and got down early."

Down 10-0 in the second quarter, Mallett connected with wide receiver Adrian Arrington for a 22-yard completion to set the stage for the Wolverines first points. Kicker K.C. Lopata remained perfect on the season with a 42-yard kick into a wind that swirled all game long.

On the Wolverines ensuing drive, Mallett connected again on a critical third down, this time finding Mario Manningham down the sideline to set up a second Lopata field goal.

Near the end of the second quarter, Brandon Minor gave the Wolverines their first lead, and the only one they would need on a two-yard score. Minor received the bulk of the carries in the second quarter following a poor quarterback-running back exchange with Mallett and Brown. Lopata's extra point made it 13-10 at the break.

"The difficult thing from the game standpoint was that in the first and second quarters we had the wind but made those mistakes," Carr said. "They're ahead 10-0, and we're going into the wind, which was significant. We did manage to get the lead toward the end of the half. I thought that was important for us. There's no question our defense was ready to play today."

Michigan pulled away with a 21-0 advantage in the second half. After exchanging punts through most of the quarter, Brown extended the lead and made it a 20-10 game with his first touchdown run of the game. Running through the left side of the offensive line untouched, Brown crossed the goal line from five-yards out.

Ryan Mallett threw his lone touchdown pass of the game, a 40-yard bomb down the right sideline to Manningham, two minutes into the fourth quarter to put it out of reach.

"I think this has been a very difficult week for Ryan. He didn't perform last week the way he would have liked. The way he started off this game, he could have easily have gone in the tank. He showed some toughness, and he's learned some things in terms of the big picture. I think a week ago he got a little frustrated, because he fumbled the ball and threw an interception. That's all about the evolution of a young quarterback. I think he hung in there. After you fumble the football and it goes for a touchdown, it's easy to pack it in and feel sorry for yourself. He fought back and did some great things. He made some great deep throws."

Carlos Brown capped the scoring with an 85-yard touchdown run near the middle of the quarter.

"Once I saw the crease then the receiver on the other side of the field blocking his guy, I knew that there were people coming from behind, but once I saw the end zone I knew I was on my way," Brown said.

Minnesota opened the scoring with 29-yard field goal to finish a scoring drive that covered 68 yards. The lead grew to 10-0 when Mallett and Brown fumbled a hand-off exchange and the Gophers Dominic Barber picked the ball up and carried it 46-yards to the end zone.

Michigan next returns to the football field in a critical Big 10 contest against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium. Kick-off time is yet to be determined.

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