ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- After making freshman mistakes, Chad
Henne came through for Michigan like a savvy senior.
Tyler Ecker caught a short pass from Henne over the middle,
eluded two tackles and lumbered down the sideline for a 31-yard
touchdown with 1:57 left to give the 14th-ranked Wolverines a 27-24
victory over No. 13 Minnesota on Saturday.
"Everybody sees you as a freshman, but you need to step up and
show them you're really not," Henne said.
Henne was 33-of-49 for 328 yards -- all records for a true
freshman at Michigan -- with two TDs and two interceptions, both
forced passes in the third quarter.
"To be able to perform at the level he is, I think it's
incredible," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
Minnesota led 24-17 early in the fourth quarter -- after scoring
17 straight points -- before losing another heartbreaker against
Garrett Rivas' 29-yard field goal with 9:36 left pulled Michigan
to 24-20 and started the comeback.
The Wolverines forced the Gophers to punt on their next two
possessions to set up the winning drive.
Henne directed a drive that started at Michigan's 13 with 3:04
After three passes for first downs, he found Ecker -- his third
option -- over the middle on a 5-yard pass and the tight end ran for
another 26 yards by breaking away from Brandon Owens and getting
past Mike Wojciechowski for his first career TD.
"We knew it was going to come down to a last drive," Ecker
said. "We were preparing all week for something like this to
It was the second straight year Michigan beat Minnesota with a
Last year in Minneapolis, Minnesota had a 21-point lead in the
fourth quarter before losing 38-35.
"Anybody that saw those two games saw two of the best football
games -- ever," Carr said. "We were fortunate to win both."
The defending Big Ten champion Wolverines (5-1, 3-0) have not
lost to the Gophers since 1986.
Michael Hart ran for 160 yards -- a record for a Michigan
freshman -- and a score on 35 carries and had six receptions for 53
Braylon Edwards caught 10 passes for 98 yards and a TD. And
after the final seconds went off the clock, he did a back flip.
If Minnesota (5-1, 2-1) could have held off Michigan, it
would've had a better opportunity to win its first conference
championship since 1967 because it doesn't play Purdue or Ohio
"Hey, I hurt right now," Gophers coach Glen Mason said. "I
Michigan entered the game No. 1 in the nation against the run
and Minnesota was the third-ranked rushing team.
The Gophers won the battle of strengths and the turnover margin
-- 3-0 -- but that's of little consolation for them.
Minnesota's Laurence Maroney ran for 145 yards -- extending his
school-record streak with 100 yards to seven games -- including an
80-yard TD. Marion Barber was held to 40 yards on 13 carries and a
Bryan Cupito was 8-of-22 for 156 yards and a TD. Cupito's
26-yard pass to Jared Ellerson, who beat Markus Curry badly, in the
third quarter put Minnesota ahead 21-17 for its first lead.
Henne threw his interceptions at midfield and in Minnesota's end
zone, but Michigan's defense forced the Gophers to punt after three
plays each time.
The Wolverines were stingy again after their next mistake -- Leon
Hall's fumble on a punt return inside Michigan's 10 -- but Minnesota
didn't need to gain a yard to take a 24-17 lead.
"We knew we'd be hanging on for our life and that's what we
were doing," Mason said. "But we got the turnovers and some field
position and we squandered it."
Both teams were ranked for a game in Ann Arbor for the first
time since 1949.
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