12:00 PM ET, November 12, 2005
Michigan Stadium, ANN ARBOR, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan Wolverines said all week they were concentrating on Indiana, not Ohio State.
They proved it.
Chad Henne had three touchdown passes in the first half as No. 21 Michigan built a huge lead and coasted to a 41-14 victory over the Hoosiers on Saturday without scoring after halftime.
"We were going to know as soon as this game was over, and everybody would know, whether we improved or not," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "It's not easy to stay focused.
"When you're favored and you have the game like the next one in front of you, it's easy to get distracted."
The Wolverines (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten) won their fourth straight, avoiding a letdown coming off a bye and heading into the regular-season finale at home against the Buckeyes.
"We tried to take care of business," said Steve Breaston, who had 201 all-purpose yards and a TD. "Now we can look forward to next week."
Indiana (4-6, 1-6) fell out of bowl contention with its fifth consecutive setback, and 14th in a row to Michigan.
"I feel bad for our seniors," Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner said. "They're not going to get what they want."
Indiana scored on the opening possession of the game, then Michigan took control.
While the Wolverines didn't let Indiana do much on the ground or through the air, they did whatever they wanted on offense.
Henne's passing, Kevin Grady's two TD runs and Breaston's do-it-all performance gave the Wolverines a 41-7 lead at halftime. It was Michigan's highest-scoring first half since scoring 45 against Indiana in 2000.
Henne was 17-of-24 for 174 yards and three TDs, then was relieved in the second half by Matt Gutierrez. Grady had a career-high 94 yards rushing and two TDs filling in for Mike Hart, who missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. Jason Avant had five receptions for 66 yards and a TD.
In the first half alone, Breaston had three receptions for 46 yards and a score; a 30-yard run; a 47-yard kickoff return; and three punt returns for 78 yards.
Teammate Dave Harris said teams would be wise to kick the ball away from Breaston.
"They press their luck and get burned," Harris said.
The Hoosiers opened the game with a 77-yard drive, capped by Powers' 42-yard TD pass to Jahkeen Gilmore.
"We were very upset," Michigan defensive tackle Gabe Watson said. "We gathered up on the sideline and said, 'We can't have this anymore. We have to go out, stop them and get three and outs."
After the impressive start, Indiana had three straight three-and-out drives while Michigan pulled away.
The Hoosiers' day began to unravel on special teams, a facet of the game that has hurt them this season.
"We're going to try and get people out there who can actually kick," Hoeppner said. "We can't get exposed in the kicking game like we did."
After their first kickoff went out of bounds, Michigan declined the penalty and that led to Breaston's return to the Hoosiers' 34. Henne's 5-yard pass to Tyler Ecker -- inches over safety Will Meyers -- started the scoring.
Indiana was called for penalties on its first two punts -- one a 15-yard penalty for hitting Breaston before the ball got to him -- and on its third, Breaston had a 53-yard return.
Grady's tackle-breaking, 32-yard run, Michigan's longest run for a score this season, gave the Wolverines a 27-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Henne's 11-yard pass to Breaston with 23 seconds left in the half put the Wolverines ahead 41-7.
Most of Michigan's starters on both sides of the ball joined Henne and Breaston on the sideline midway through the third quarter.
Gutierrez's fumble early in the fourth quarter led to Graeme McFarland's 7-yard pass to Brandon Walker-Roby to make it 41-14.
"It hurts," Indiana defensive tackle Greg Brown said. "We didn't come out to play in the first half. We wanted to play 12 games this season and that's not going to happen."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... After Indiana took a brief 7-0 lead, Michigan scored the next 41 points (all before halftime) to cruise to the win.
Gameball goes to... Steve Breaston. Breaston was all over the field, finishing with 201 all-purpose yards.
Stat of the game... 14: The Hoosiers' current losing streak to the Wolverines.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-14||11-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-3|
|TD||11:57||JAHKEEN GILMORE 42 YD PASS FROM BLAKE POWERS (JOE KLEINSMITH KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||8:40||TYLER ECKER 5 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||5:49||JASON AVANT 7 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 47 yards.
|TD||12:12||KEVIN GRADY 1 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 26 yards.
|TD||5:58||KEVIN GRADY 32 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||2:45||JEROME JACKSON 6 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 70 yards.
|TD||0:23||STEVE BREASTON 11 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 69 yards.
|TD||8:46||BRANDON WALKER-ROBY 7 YD PASS FROM GRAEME MCFARLAND (JOE KLEINSMITH KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yards.