U-M Offense Ignites in Homecoming Win Over Indiana

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The No. 18-ranked Michigan football team turned in a dominating all-around performance during a 58-0 Homecoming rout over Indiana Saturday (Oct. 14) in front of 110,909 fans at the "Big House."

After both teams failed to score on their opening possessions, Michigan's offense went ballistic, scoring on its next seven drives -- six of those for touchdowns. The Wolverines scored 35 points in the second quarter, tying a school record that was set twice before, against Northwestern in 1982 and against Houston in 1992.

On its second possession of the game, Michigan took over at the Hoosier 42-yard line and utilized a ball-control attack in scoring its first points of the game. A short completion from Drew Henson (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) to David Terrell (Richmond, Va./Huegenot HS) and an 11-yard reception by tight end Eric Rosel (Liberal, Kan./Liberal HS) moved the ball upfield for the Wolverines. The drive was capped off by senior placekicker Jeff Del Verne's (Sylvania, Ohio/St. John's HS) 40-yard field goal to put the Wolverines on top 3-0.

On Indiana's second possession, a pass intended for fullback Jeremi Johnson from quarterback Antwaan Randle El tipped off Johnson's hands and was intercepted by cornerback Todd Howard (Bollingbrook, Ill./Bollingbrook HS) at the Michigan 29-yard line.

Michigan marched down the field on its next drive under Henson's guidance. The junior quarterback completed three passes for 30 yards, then scrambled for 15 yards to move the ball inside the red zone. A defensive holding penalty on Indiana moved the ball to the Hoosier 7-yard line. On the next play, Anthony Thomas (Winnfield, La./Winnfield HS) took the handoff and ran hard left, breaking tackles before crossing the goal line from seven yards out for the score.

In the second quarter, Indiana's offense ran into a stiff Michigan defense. First, linebacker Eric Brackins (Pigeon Forge, Tenn./Gatlinburg-Pittman HS) sacked Randle El on first down at the Wolverine 30-yard line. Three plays later, on fourth down, Michigan's Marquise Walker (Syracuse, N.Y./Henniger HS) blocked an Indiana punt, then proceeded to gain control of the ball and rumble 41 yards into the end zone for the touchdown. The key special teams play increased U-M's lead to 17-0.

On the Hoosier's ensuing possession, Randle El's fumble was recovered by Michigan's Gary Rose (Quinnesec, Mich./Kingsford HS) at the IU 27. On the next play, Henson launched a strike to Terrell, who hauled in the ball near the goal line before crossing the plane for a 27-yard scoring play, pushing the Wolverines' lead to 24-0.

Michigan began its next possession on its own 19-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Henson looked downfield for Walker, who caught the ball near midfield on the right sideline, then cut back to the middle of the field for a 75-yard gain, the longest of his career. On the next play, Thomas plowed right through the defense for a six-yard touchdown run and widened the margin to 31-0 with 8:01 remaining in the half.

The U-M defense continued its strong efforts, shutting down Indiana once again. The Wolverines took possession at their own 20-yard line. The Michigan offense then put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive to once again increase its lead. The key plays were four pass completions by Henson and two strong runs by Thomas to keep the first-down markers moving for the Wolverines. The drive was capped off with freshman tailback Chris Perry (Advance, N.C./Fork Union Military, Va.) scoring on a 22-yard run to make the score 38-0.

On its eighth possession of the half, Michigan scored a touchdown for the fifth consecutive drive. With the ball on the Indiana 43, the Wolverines went to the air attack once again, when Henson found Terrell on a post pattern down the middle of the field for the score. The touchdown closed the first-half scoring and extended the Wolverine advantage to 45-0.

In the second half, Michigan picked up right where it left off in the first. After shutting down Indiana to start the half, the Maize and Blue went on the offensive attack again, embarking on a nine-play, 64-yard drive. The drive culminated in Thomas' third touchdown run of the game, a six-yard jaunt to boost the lead to 52-0. Thomas carried six times for 60 yards on the drive, and scored his 47th career rushing touchdown, tying Tyrone Wheatley (1991-94) for first place on Michigan's career rushing touchdown list.

The Hoosiers threatened to score in the third quarter, driving deep into Michigan territory, but on fourth-and-goal from the Wolverine nine-yard line, Randle El's pass intended for Kris Dielman was knocked down by Larry Foote (Detroit, Mich./Pershing HS). The Wolverines added two field goals from Hayden Epstein (Cardiff, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) midway through the fourth quarter to round out the scoring

Michigan was led by the play of three key players on offense. Henson finished the day completing 14 of 18 passes for 233 yards and two TDs. Thomas carried the ball 15 times for 95 yards and three touchdowns, while Terrell hauled in six receptions for 101 yards and two scores.

The Wolverines were led defensively by Howard, who finished with eight tackles and one interception. Safety DeWayne Patmon (San Diego, Calif./Patrick Henry HS) added seven tackles, while linebacker Eric Brackins finished with five tackles, including one sack.

Michigan (5-2, 3-1 Big Ten) plays its second straight home game next Saturday (Oct. 21) against intrastate rival Michigan State (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten). The annual battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy will be televised on ABC beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

Contact: David Ablauf, Jim Schneider (734) 763-4423

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