Half-Harted Wolverines Beat Purdue

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan ran, threw and defended so well it didn't hurt to be without Mike Hart after halftime.
Hart scored two touchdowns in the first half to help the Wolverines take a big lead before leaving the game with an injury, and they went on to beat Purdue 48-21 Saturday.
"It's the first time in three weeks at least that we played a full game," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
Hart ran for 102 yards, setting a school record with his seventh straight 100-yard game, but did not play in the second half after appearing to hurt his right ankle.
"Talk to coach Carr," he said repeatedly as he walked off the field.
Carr bristled during his news conference when asked about the extent of the injury and whether it would keep Hart out of the next game at No. 18 Illinois, but was a little more forthcoming during Michigan's radio broadcast.
"How much swelling and how he feels in these next couple of days will really be the determining factor on what it looks like in terms of him coming back," Carr said. "He's a tough guy, a quick healer."
Michigan's 31-7 halftime lead -- scoring three TDs off turnovers -- perhaps helped make the decision to rest him. Hart was not in uniform in the second half, but walked along the sideline without a limp as he laughed with teammates.
Quarterback Chad Henne said he "definitely" expected to be able to hand the ball off to Hart next week.
"He looked fine down on the sideline," Henne said.
Michigan (5-2, 3-0 Big Ten) has won five straight since opening with losses to Appalachian State and Oregon. The Wolverines and Ohio State are the only teams without a Big Ten loss.
"I'm impressed so far, but we have to do more by the end of the year," linebacker Chris Graham said.
The Boilermakers (5-2, 1-2) have lost in consecutive weeks after starting strong and rising to No. 23 in The Associated Press poll.
"I didn't think we competed the way that we're capable today and that disturbs me," coach Joe Tiller said.
Purdue hasn't won at Michigan Stadium since 1966 when Bob Griese was its quarterback.
The Boilermakers feasted on weak competition over their first five games, averaging 45 points and almost 500 yards, before being humbled in a 23-7 loss to Ohio State and embarrassed at Michigan.
"I don't think they were the same (defensive) line we faced a week ago, but they were still physically superior," Tiller said.
The Big Ten powers shut down Purdue's running game, making its spread offense predictable and easy to stop. Kory Sheets was held to 20 or fewer yards rushing by Michigan and Ohio State after running for at least 111 yards in the previous three games.
Purdue's Curtis Painter completed 17 of 28 passes for 113 yards, his lowest total since 2005, and two interceptions.
"Defensively, we took control of the game," Carr said. "We did a good job with run defense. We got after the quarterback. And, we had good coverage."
Painter ran for a 5-yard TD to tie the game midway through the first quarter, a play after Henne fumbled, then the Boilermakers were dominated on both sides of the ball.
"They did a great job of getting in there and kind of getting us off rhythm," Painter said.
The Boilermakers scored two TDs in the final minute.
Michigan was able to strike a balance on offense, even without its top two running backs.
Henne was 21-of-28 for 264 yards and two scores, both to Mario Manningham, who had eight receptions for a career-high 147 yards. Manningham missed the previous game for an unspecified reason.
Brandon Minor, Hart's backup, limped off the field in the third quarter after he appeared to hurt his left ankle.
Michigan's third-string running back, Carlos Brown, scored twice to put the Wolverines ahead 48-7 early in the fourth quarter.


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