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
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
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
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."