12:00 PM ET, September 23, 2006
Michigan Stadium, ANN ARBOR, MI
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Mario Manningham turned his head nervously at the lectern a few times, hoping someone would step up and end his first news conference at Michigan.
He might have to get accustomed to the attention.
|2006||Ann Arbor||Michigan, 27-13|
|2002||Ann Arbor||Michigan, 21-14|
|2000||Ann Arbor||Michigan, 13-10|
Manningham's second touchdown catch -- and fifth in two games -- put the sixth-ranked Wolverines ahead late in the third quarter and helped them overcome a sluggish start to beat Wisconsin 27-13 Saturday.
"I can get used to this," Manningham said in a hallway, away from a sea of reporters and TV cameras. "I just hope we can keep this up as a team because we're trying to run the table."
Michigan (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) scored 17 straight points after it was 10-all to finish strong, a week after its dominating victory at Notre Dame.
"A lot of people felt like we were going to have a hangover after Notre Dame, but we didn't," defensive end LaMarr Woodley said.
After taking the lead twice in the first half, the Badgers (3-1, 0-1) struggled.
Wisconsin's P.J. Hill, who entered the game averaging a Big Ten-best 138.3 yards rushing, was held to 54 yards on 20 carries against the nation's top-ranked run defense. The Wolverines also had four sacks.
"Everybody kept asking me all week long about their front seven. I like their front 14," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. "They have a first string and a second string that is pretty impressive."
Chad Henne was 18-for-25 for 211 yards, two TDs and three interceptions for the Wolverines.
Manningham had seven receptions for 113 yards and two scores a week after catching three TDs in the 47-21 win over the Irish.
"If you watched our film a week ago, the one thing you're going to say is, 'Don't let Manningham behind you,' and yet he was able to do it," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
Henne's 38-yard pass to Manningham gave Michigan a 17-10 lead with 3:11 left in the third quarter and ended an 0-for-8 drought on third down.
"That's probably as fine a throw as he's made since he's been here," Carr said.
The Wolverines went ahead 24-10 early in the fourth on Mike Hart's 5-yard run and took a 17-point lead on Garrett Rivas' second field goal. Hart had 91 yards on 23 carries.
Steve Breaston, who has the Big Ten record for punt return yards, had three punt returns of 20-plus yards that led to 17 points and a career-high 116 yards on nine punt returns.
The Badgers went 77 yards on a drive late in the fourth quarter, but stalled at the 8 and settled for Taylor Mehlhaff's field goal to pull within two TDs with 2:19 left. The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, ending Bielema's chance of being just the second rookie coach to start 4-0 for Wisconsin since 1919.
"I was pretty sure I would lose a game eventually," he said. "I didn't want it to happen, but the biggest thing I've got to do as a head coach is that everybody plays off of what I lead."
John Stocco completed 22 of 42 passes for 236 yards and a TD for the Badgers, who gave him time to throw early before succumbing to Michigan's pressure. Hill caught five passes for 64 yards, including a 29-yard reception that gave the Badgers a 7-0 lead.
"I thought our defense was magnificent after the first drive," Carr said.
Wisconsin's Allen Langford had two interceptions. One was in the Badgers' end zone midway through the third quarter on an up-for-grabs pass intended for Manningham. The other came off Manningham's hands on the opening drive.
Henne's 24-yard pass to a leaping Manningham, who was draped by Langford, made it 7-all early in the second quarter. It was the first TD given up by Wisconsin's defense in 158-plus minutes, going back to the third quarter of its season opener against Bowling Green.
Mehlhaff put the Badgers ahead 10-7 midway through the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal. Michigan's offense was lackluster again on the ensuing possession, but got a break when punt returner Zach Hampton fumbled -- leading to Rivas' 31-yard kick that made it 10-all.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Mario Manningham caught a 38-yard TD bomb from QB Chad Henne in the third quarter to give the Wolverines a 17-10 lead.
Gameball goes to... The combo of Henne and Manningham. RB Mike Hart has carried Michigan this season, but Henne's 211 yards and Manninghan's two TDs were the difference.
Stat of the game... 10: The Wolverines team that demolished Notre Dame was MIA in the first half, scoring just 10 points and allowing the Badgers to score 10 as well.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-18||2-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-1|
|TD||9:08||P.J. HILL JR. 29 YD PASS FROM JOHN STOCCO (TAYLOR MEHLHAFF KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||13:19||MARIO MANNINGHAM 24 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 36 yards.
|FG||5:37||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 39 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 66 yards.
|FG||2:45||GARRETT RIVAS 31 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 4 yards.
|TD||3:11||MARIO MANNINGHAM 38 YD PASS FROM CHAD HENNE (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||11:33||MIKE HART 5 YD RUN (GARRETT RIVAS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 33 yards.
|FG||5:29||GARRETT RIVAS 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 26 yards.
|FG||2:19||TAYLOR MEHLHAFF 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 77 yards.