3:30 PM ET, October 2, 2004
Memorial Stadium, BLOOMINGTON, IN
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Michigan's Chad Henne demonstrated in one quarter how much he'd learned this week.
"I still don't know a lot, we're still base," the freshman quarterback said. "But each week we try to add a couple of things."
Henne showed some new wrinkles in what was easily the best game of his brief career. He was accurate and proved he could consistently make opponents pay for man-to-man coverage if they dared to cover Michigan's receivers that way.
Henne finished 17-of-21 for 316 yards with three long touchdown passes and Michigan (4-1, 2-0) won its third straight to retain a share of the Big Ten lead.
It was the first time Henne played in a conference road game and whether it was first-half jitters or poor execution, he looked every bit the freshman by losing two first-half fumbles, including one that set up a Hoosiers' touchdown.
In the second half, Henne wasted little time in making amends by connecting with Braylon Edwards on touchdown passes of 69 and 38 yards to seal the outcome. He even got an early exit at the end of the third quarter.
"We've been working on the deep balls in practice and Chad throws the deep ball exceptionally well," Edwards said. "We just told Chad to throw it deep. It's up to me to make the play."
For Michigan, it was yet another chapter in its mastery of the Hoosiers. The Wolverines have won 13 straight over Indiana, dating to 1987. The Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2) lost their third straight game and are now 1-14 all-time against Michigan at Memorial Stadium.
Edwards finished with eight catches for a career-high 165 yards. Freshman Michael Hart rushed 20 times for 79 yards and one touchdown, while Michigan nearly doubled the Hoosiers' offensive output, 424-214.
And for the fourth straight week, the Hoosiers again struggled in the second half.
The game turned on Grant Mason's long kickoff return to open the second half, which set the tone for the rest of the game.
"The kickoff was really bad and I feel responsible for that," Indiana coach Gerry DiNardo said. "We did lose in the second half -- without question. But I don't think it would be fair to the team to say that this was the same."
Instead, the culprit was Henne who exploited the Hoosiers' holes.
Indiana stayed close through two quarters, trailing 14-7 at halftime, but it didn't take Michigan long to change that.
Mason caught the opening kickoff two yards deep in the end zone, sprinted up the middle of the field, down the right sideline, then back across the field before being dragged down at the Indiana 3. Four plays later, Hart crept in from the 1 to make it 21-7.
On Michigan's next series, Edwards beat freshman cornerback Tracy Porter for a 69-yard TD catch with 6:28 to go in the third quarter.
Four minutes later, Edwards again beat Porter and Henne found him for the 38-yard touchdown to make it 35-7.
"We wanted to pressure and we wanted to double team them," DiNardo said. "I thought Henne did a good job of finding the guy who wasn't doubled."
Michigan actually seemed to have control most of the game but struggled to take advantage in the first half because of its own miscues.
Kicker Garrett Rivas missed a 44-yard field goal wide left and after driving to the Indiana 2, Henne fumbled and Indiana recovered.
Michigan made up for that mistake when Leon Hall caught Tyson Beattie's 54-yard punt at the Michigan 24, made one man miss and sprinted 76 yards for a 14-0 lead.
"I think the kicking game made the difference in this ballgame," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "Without our two returns, this is a different game."
Matt LoVecchio finished 13-of-19 for 139 yards with one touchdown, and the Hoosiers' leading rusher was punter Tyson Beattie, who gained 32 yards on a fake punt in the first quarter.
Henne took care of the rest.
"When you have guys like Braylon who run extremely fast and blow by the corners, it's easy to just put it up for them and let them make the play," he said.
Instant replay, which was implemented on an experimental basis in the Big Ten this season, was used three times during the game. All three calls were reversed.
One member of the chain crew left on a golf cart after an Indiana player was pushed into him during a punt. Indiana officials, who did not release a name, said the man was dazed but not seriously injured.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||10-15||0-12|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||3-3|
|TD||5:52||JERMAINE GONZALES 40 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 83 yards.
|TD||4:37||LEON HALL 76 YD PUNT RETURN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)||14||0|
|TD||0:06||BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS 2 YD RUN (BRYAN ROBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 11 yards.
|TD||12:40||MIKE HART 1 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 3 yards.
|TD||6:28||BRAYLON EDWARDS 69 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 89 yards.
|TD||2:07||BRAYLON EDWARDS 38 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:17||COURTNEY ROBY 6 YD PASS FROM MATT LOVECCHIO (BRYAN ROBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yards.