Nov 5, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Michigan Wolverines linebacker Michael Barrett (23) returns an interception for a touchdown during the second half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s potent rushing duo a challenge for Nebraska

Blake Corum remains in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy. With Donovan Edwards healthy, Michigan’s rushing attack is no longer a one-man show.

Nebraska will have to prepare for both dynamic running backs when the Cornhuskers travel to Ann Arbor to face the undefeated Wolverines on Saturday afternoon.

Michigan (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) moved up to No. 3 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. The Wolverines now trail only Georgia and arch-rival Ohio State.

Corum entered the week ranked fourth nationally with 1,187 rushing yards and tied for first with 17 total touchdowns. Corum and the Wolverines perked up after trailing 17-10 at halftime against Rutgers Saturday night, as Michigan pulled away to a 52-17 victory.

Corum finished with 109 rushing yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. Edwards compiled the same number of rushing yards on 15 carries and also led the team in receiving with three receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

“When Donovan is in the game, whether handing the ball off to him, he’s a very good blocker, runs really good routes, catches the ball really well, really good after the catch,” Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I think a defense is always going to have to mind that anything’s available when he’s out there.”

Edwards missed two games due to an injury but reestablished himself as a major threat when he rushed for 173 yards and scored two touchdowns against Penn State on Oct. 15.

Edwards’ production hasn’t hurt Corum, who has rushed for over 100 yards in all six Big Ten contests. He’s scored at least one touchdown in every game.

Harbaugh believes Corum should be at the top of the list for Heisman voters.

“He’s definitely having an MVP season for us here at Michigan,” he said. “Be hard to imagine that he wouldn’t be — the way he’s going, to win the Heisman trophy. Leading in touchdowns. Leading points scored, consistently really good every game and there’s been quite a few backs who’ve won the Heisman Trophy. And I would bet my truck that Blake Corum is on pace or ahead of many of those running backs that have won that Heisman Trophy.”

The Cornhuskers (3-6, 2-4) have lost three straight and will need to win their remaining three games to become bowl eligible.

Nebraska led Minnesota 10-0 at halftime on Saturday but the Golden Gophers rallied for a 20-13 victory.

Cornhuskers quarterbacks Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers combined for just 121 passing yards while completing 11 of 26 attempts.

Purdy got his first start in place of Casey Thompson, who injured a nerve in his right elbow the previous game against Illinois. Thompson is questionable to play against Michigan.

One bright spot for Nebraska has been Anthony Grant. He is the first Nebraska running back since 2018 to have five 100-yard rushing games in a season. He gained 115 yards on 21 carries against Minnesota.

Interim coach Mickey Joseph expects the team to give a full effort despite being nearly a 30-point underdog.

“We’re not going to back down. We’re not going to throw in the towel,” he said. “These kids won’t do that. These coaches won’t do that.”

Joseph acknowledges the Cornhuskers will have to play a near perfect game to keep it close.

“We know what we’re getting into,” he said. “We know the task at hand but it’s an opportunity.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy warms up before action against the Michigan State Spartans, Saturday, October 29, 2022.

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No. 4 Michigan stifles Michigan St., 29-7

Blake Corum scored rushing and receiving touchdowns, Jake Moody kicked five field goals and undefeated No. 4 Michigan downed Michigan State 29-7 on Saturday night.

Corum rushed for 177 yards on 33 carries, while quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for 167 yards and one score for Michigan (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten).

The Wolverines outgained the Spartans 276-37 on the ground.

Michigan State (3-5, 1-4) had won the last two meetings against its in-state rival.

Payton Thorne passed for 215 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. Keon Coleman caught five passes for 155 yards and scored the team’s lone touchdown.

The Wolverines led 13-7 at halftime.

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker gambled on a fourth-and-1 from his own 46 in the first quarter but Elijah Collins was stopped for no gain.

The Wolverines took advantage of the short field, as Moody kicked a 22-yard field goal. Donovan Edwards had a 28-yard reception during the drive.

Thorne got into a rhythm during the ensuing possession. He connected with Coleman on a 29-yard completion, then hooked up with him again on a 26-yard score with 23 seconds left in the quarter.

Michigan responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped off by McCarthy’s 2-yard pass to Corum, who caught the flip in motion.

The Spartans drove inside Michigan’s 10 on its next drive but once again failed to convert a fourth down, as Jalen Berger was stopped for a 2-yard loss.

The Wolverines had an 86-yard drive before halftime but had to settle for a 25-yard Moody field goal.

Michigan got the ball first in the second half and the possession once again ended in a Moody field goal, this time from 39 yards out.

Moody’s 33-yard field goal later in the quarter made it 19-7.

Moody nailed a career-best 54-yard field goal 15 seconds into the fourth quarter.

A special teams gaffe — a high snap that led to punter Bryce Baringer getting tackled inside his own 10 — led to Corum’s 4-yard touchdown run with 12:47 left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines running back Donovan Edwards (7) rushes in the first half against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Michigan makes statement over No. 10 Penn State

Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum combined for 339 rushing yards and four touchdowns as No. 5 Michigan overpowered No. 10 Penn State 41-17 in a Big Ten Conference showdown Saturday at Ann Arbor, Mich.

Edwards racked up a career-high 173 rushing yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns for Michigan (7-0, 4-0). Corum had 166 yards on 28 carries and two more scores as the Wolverines rushed for 418 yards. Michigan kicker Jake Moody made all four of his field-goal tries.

Sean Clifford completed just 7-of-19 passes for 120 yards and rushed for 74 yards on six carries for Penn State (5-1, 2-1).

The Wolverines led 16-14 at halftime.

Michigan outgained Penn State 126-9 in the first quarter but had to settle for two field goals. The Wolverines’ first drive lasted 11 plays and 64 yards. Moody kicked a 29-yard field goal for a 3-0 advantage.

The Wolverines’ next possession included 13 plays and 77 yards but they stalled inside Penn State’s 10. Moody converted a 24-yard attempt.

Michigan finished off another long drive with their first touchdown as 8:29 remained in the opening half. Corum plunged in from 1 yard out to complete a 13-play, 70-yard drive.

Clifford rushed for 62 yards after faking a handoff to give Penn State some momentum on its next possession. Kaytron Allen scored from 1 yard out on fourth down to answer Michigan’s touchdown.

The Nittany Lions’ defense then made its presence known. Demeioun Robinson batted a J.J. McCarthy pass attempt. Linebacker Curtis Jacobs intercepted it and raced 47 yards for a score and a 14-13 lead.

Moody kicked a 23-yard field goal for Michigan just before the half ended.

Jake Pinegar’s 27-yard field goal early in the third quarter gave Penn State a 17-16 edge. It didn’t last long. Edwards’ 67-yard scoring run and McCarthy’s 2-point conversion pass to Ronnie Bell gave Michigan a 24-17 lead.

Corum showed his burst on a 61-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter for a 31-17 Wolverines lead.

Moody’s 37-yard field goal with 11:03 left made it a 17-point game. Edwards tacked on a 3-yard touchdown run with five minutes left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) in action against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 Michigan hosts No. 10 Penn State in Big Ten showdown

Jim Harbaugh cannot downplay the excitement surrounding the Penn State-Michigan Top 10 showdown in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

“Big, big, big game,” the Wolverines coach said during his Monday press conference. “If anybody was watching football yesterday on television, the pro games, seems like every commercial break there was an advertisement for the Michigan-Penn State game.

“So if anybody wasn’t realizing that this was a big game, there were constant reminders yesterday.”

The game features Big Ten powerhouses, two of the 15 remaining undefeated FBS teams. It marks the first time since 1997 that both the fifth-ranked Wolverines and 10th-ranked Nittany Lions have been in the Top 10 at the time of the game.

Michigan (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is coming off a 31-10 road victory over Indiana. The game was tied at halftime but the Wolverines outscored the Hoosiers 21-0 in the second half.

“If you are going to reach the promised land, you need those unique games where the team has showed what it’s capable of doing,” Harbaugh said. “Defining moments in the second half of a ballgame.

“There’s a lot to keep us humble and things that we have to improve on. But it did also give us a glimpse of what we can do.”

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy had his best statistical outing since being named the starter after the second game of the season. He passed for a career-best 304 yards and three touchdowns, two to Cornelius Johnson.

“He’s shown no signs of going out there and being timid,” Harbaugh said in a radio interview. “He’s playing his game. Which is exactly what we want him to do. Keep being him and his preparation has been right on the mark.”

Blake Corum continues what has become a Heisman Trophy push with 124 rushing yards and his 11th touchdown of the season. The defense recorded seven sacks, increasing its season total to 22.

That pass rush becomes more fearsome when Michigan gets the lead.

“They’ve done a good job of making people one dimensional,” Penn State coach James Franklin said. “People have gotten away from the run game because they’ve gotten down by too many points.”

The Wolverines’ pass rushers will be chasing a familiar foe. Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford passed for 205 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 45 yards in last season’s meeting, when Michigan prevailed 21-17. This season, Clifford has completed 62 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and only two interceptions.

He passed for just 140 yards against Northwestern last Saturday as the defense carried the team to a 17-7 victory. The Nittany Lions (5-0, 2-0) held Northwestern to 31 rushing yards on 28 carries. Penn State has held four of its five opponents under 100 rushing yards, allowing 79.6 yards per game.

It will be tested by Corum on Saturday. Penn State will counter with a two-pronged rushing attack. Nicholas Singelton is averaging 7.3 yards a carry (with five TDs), while Kaytron Allen has averaged 5.3 yards and has three touchdowns. Clifford has four rushing touchdowns this season.

Michigan leads the all-time series between the schools 15-10. If the Wolverines can add to that win total, they have a good chance of being undefeated entering their last two games against Illinois (No. 24) and Ohio State (No. 2).

“It’s going to be a challenge.,” Franklin said. “This is why you come to a place like Penn State, to play in a game like this.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan running back coach Mike Hart watches warm ups ahead of the Maryland game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

Michigan RBs coach Mike Hart recovering in Ann Arbor

Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart is recovering in Ann Arbor following a scary sideline moment Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

Hart suffered what was reported as a seizure during the first quarter of the No. 5 Wolverines’ 31-10 victory against Indiana. He was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field before being hospitalized overnight.

Hart, 36, released a statement Monday to update his condition and thank the trainers, paramedics, doctors, nurses and coaches and staff from both teams for their assistance.

“Health-wise, I am back in Ann Arbor and things are trending in a positive direction,” Hart wrote. “I look forward to rejoining our team soon.”

Hart previously worked as the running backs coach for Indiana from 2017-20 prior to joining the staff at his alma mater.

Hart set the Wolverines’ career record with 5,040 rushing yards from 2004-07. He was a sixth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in 2008 and appeared in 21 games with the Colts from 2008-10.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Bloomington, Indiana, USA;  Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen wishes Michigan Wolverines RB coach Mike Hart well as he is pulled off the field on a stretcher with an injury during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan assistant coach leaves game on cart

Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart was taken off the field in a cart during the first quarter of Saturday’s game at Indiana.

FOX reported at halftime of its broadcast that Hart had a seizure.

Hart left the stadium in an ambulance for further evaluation with his wife by his side. He was alert on a stretcher and gave a thumbs-up gesture.

Michigan has not provided details about what happened to Hart, who used to be the running backs coach for Indiana from 2017-20 before joining the staff at his alma mater.

Hart, 36, set the Wolverines’ career record with 5,040 rushing yards from 2004-07. He was a sixth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in 2008 and appeared in 21 games with the Colts from 2008-10.

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) rushes in the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Michigan meets Indiana with showdown game ahead

Michigan’s Blake Corum leads the nation in rushing touchdowns, and the Wolverines’ defense has been stout.

Fourth-ranked Michigan could not have asked for a better start, and now on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind., the Wolverines will face an Indiana Hoosiers team that is coming off a surprising 14-point loss to Nebraska.

Entering Saturday’s Big Ten game off a 13-point victory at Iowa and with a home game against No. 10 Penn State looming, the Wolverines must avoid looking ahead to that showdown.

“Consider them a blue-collar team that always has a lot of talented guys and is really well-coached. So we’re going to have to play good. It’s always going to come down to that,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said when asked if Saturday was a trap game. “However, whatever tag you put on a game, it comes down to if you play good, coach good and make sure that we’re prepared.”

The Wolverines (5-0, 2-0) have done that so far, ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense and scoring defense.

Corum has played a big role in that success, rushing for 611 yards and 10 touchdowns. He carried 29 times for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes’ strong run defense in a 27-14 win Saturday, a week after rushing for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland.

“I think he’s checking every box he could check, as an every-down back, as a short yardage back, as a versatile back,” Harbaugh said. “And he can run all the assortment of the runs. He can make the inside runs, he can run the outside runs, he can protect, he can block, he can catch out of the backfield. He’s a five-tool running back, does it all.”

Michigan’s defense held Iowa scoreless until the fourth quarter, and the second Hawkeyes touchdown came with eight seconds remaining.

“We’re just coming out of the gate starting fast,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we definitely want to be about. And I thought we were in this game.”

The Hoosiers (3-2, 1-1) started strong this season, winning their first three games. Following a non-conference defeat at Cincinnati, Indiana was stunned by Nebraska 35-21 last weekend. The Cornhuskers entered the contest with a nine-game losing streak against FBS opponents.

The Hoosiers were outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter of a game that had 23 penalties.

“It’s been frustrating, and some of it has been younger guys, but at the same time, we’ve got to continue to teach,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “It’s technique. It’s execution. There’s no shortcut to doing that. It’s continuing to make it a point of emphasis in practice and focus on it, because we go into the fourth quarter tied 20-all and we’ve got to find a way to win the fourth quarter.”

Hoosiers quarterback Connor Bazelak has thrown for eight touchdowns this season but has completed just 52.5 percent of his attempts while getting picked off five times.

The team’s top receiving threats, Cam Camper and D.J. Matthews Jr., missed the Nebraska game for undisclosed reasons. They could return against the Wolverines.

“I think it’s always difficult when you lose two guys that have been your most productive playmakers, but at the same time other guys have to step up,” Allen said. “Other guys made some plays. I think we had five drops, which is something we can’t have.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan quarterbacks Alex Orji (10), J.J. McCarthy (9) and quarterback Alan Bowman warm up ahead of the Maryland game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.

No. 4 Michigan holds off Maryland in Big Ten opener

Blake Corum carried 30 times for 243 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4 Michigan withstood a challenge from Maryland, winning 34-27 Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

J.J. McCarthy completed 18 of 26 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns as the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) subdued the Terps (3-1, 0-1), who are 0-27 against ranked conference foes since joining the Big Ten in 2014.

With Maryland up 13-10 late in the second quarter, Corum put Michigan ahead for good with a 33-yard scoring run. Then, with 3:31 to play in the game, Corum secured the victory with a 47-yard touchdown sprint.

Corum’s clincher came after R.J. Moten had an interception to help extinguish the Terps’ hopes. D.J. Turner also picked off a pass, and linebacker Junior Colson added 13 tackles for Michigan.

Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa completed 20 of 30 passes for 207 yards but struggled after sustaining a blind-side hit from Michael Morris in the third quarter.

Tagovailoa was replaced in the fourth quarter by Billy Edwards Jr., who directed a late touchdown drive, which he capped with an 18-yard touchdown pass to CJ Dippre with 45 seconds to go.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Wolverines extended their lead to 24-13 with an 85-yard scoring drive which McCarthy finished with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson.

Maryland was down 7-0 just eight seconds into the game as the opening kickoff caromed off the helmet of Tai Felton, and Matthew Hibner recovered at the Terps’ 10. On the next play, McCarthy rolled right and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Luke Schoonmaker.

But Maryland fought back as Chad Ryland booted field goals of 53 and 52 yards sandwiched around a 2-yard touchdown run by Antwain Littleton II.

The kicks extended Ryland’s string of field goals to 23 as the Terps took their 13-10 lead.

– Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA;  Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) rushes for a touchdown in the first half against the Connecticut Huskies at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 Michigan set for next step in Big Ten opener vs. Maryland

A trio of victories over badly overmatched nonconference teams was not a complete indicator of how elite No. 4 Michigan truly is this season.

The start of the Big Ten season, which begins Saturday with a home matchup against Maryland, will begin to round out the complete picture.

The Wolverines have outscored their opponents 166-17, including a 59-0 victory over UConn last weekend. Blake Corum tied the school record with five rushing touchdowns and the defense had no trouble shutting down a true freshman quarterback.

“I just think guys are excited to attack the next challenge,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “They’re ready for it, they know it’s going to be a step up in competition – start of Big Ten play.”

Corum has solidified his status as the lead back. He gained 952 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on the ground last year and has cranked it up a couple of notches in the early going. Corum has 235 yards (6.9 per carry) in three games with seven TDs.

“No better example of selflessness in the program than Blake Corum. He is a tremendous worker and tremendous leader,” Harbaugh said. “He’s always been good. His approach has always been A-plus-plus. And his play speaks for itself.”

J.J. McCarthy, who was named the No. 1 quarterback after the second game, completed 15 of 18 passes for 214 yards against the Huskies. Backup and former starter Cade McNamara injured his leg during the game and will be out an indefinite amount of time.

Michigan now can turn its attention to a conference team that has also taken advantage of a ho-hum nonconference slate. The Terrapins also are 3-0, though it required a go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to put away SMU on Saturday 34-27.

Harbaugh praised the Terrapins’ offense.

“Really good playmakers. Their quarterback is playing outstanding,” Harbaugh said. “They’re doing a really good job protecting him. They’re making a lot of plays. He’s making a lot of plays – in the pocket, out of the pocket.”

Terrapins OB Taulia Tagovailoa has completed 77.3 percent of his passes this season after a 69.2 percent success rate a year ago. He has thrown for six touchdowns and rushed for one more in the early going.

Maryland coach Mike Locksley said his team should feel pressure-free entering the conference opener.

“We have nothing to lose,” Locksley said. “We’re going to face the reigning champ. We know we’ll get a really good team. … Keep the game really tight, get into the fourth quarter and you never know what can happen.”

Locksley knows what will happen if the Terrapins don’t play a lot cleaner than they did against SMU. They were penalized 15 times for 141 yards, yet still found a way to win. They won’t be so fortunate against a ranked opponent.

“I actually showed them a video of every penalty,” he said. “I showed the commentary of everything (the media) said. … They’re still kids. I’m a parent. I’ve got to get them to understand that the name on the front of the jersey represents us and we’ve got to continue to work to do better.”

Michigan leads the all-time series 9-1 and has won the last six meetings. The Wolverines have a 6-1 advantage since the Terrapins moved into the Big Ten.

Tagovailoa was held to 178 passing yards and one touchdown last season when the Wolverines romped to a 59-18 victory at Maryland.

–Field Level Media