U-M Uses Fourth-Quarter Comeback to Defeat Spartans

Site: East Lansing, Mich. (Spartan Stadium)
Score: #15 Michigan 28, Michigan State 24
Records: U-M (8-2, 6-0 Big Ten), MSU (5-5, 1-5 Big Ten)
Attendance: 77,009
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Nov. 10 -- at Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), 11 a.m. CST

Boxscore | Player Participation | Postgame Notes

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Senior quarterback Chad Henne(Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson HS) and senior tailback Mike Hart(Syracuse, N.Y./Onondaga Central HS) returned to the lineup and helped lead the University of Michigan football team to a 28-24 victory over Michigan State University on Saturday (Nov. 3) at Spartan Stadium. The Wolverines (8-2, 6-0 Big Ten) rallied behind Henne's school-record-tying four touchdown passes after allowing 21 unanswered points by the Spartans (5-5, 1-5 Big Ten) in the second half. Michigan (No. 15 AP, No. 14 USA Today, No. 12 BCS) claimed victory in the 100th meeting between the two rivals.

Henne directed the comeback to retain the Paul Bunyan Trophy with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He completed 10-of-13 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns on the final two scoring drives. The first drive culminated with a 14-yard touchdown reception by Greg Mathews(Orlando, Fla./Edgewater HS) with 6:47 remaining in the game. The final scoring drive started on U-M's own 35-yard line and featured three first downs before Mario Manningham(Warren, Ohio/Warren G. Harding HS) caught a 31-yard pass that proved to be the game-winner with 2:28 on the clock.

Hart recorded his fourth career 100-yard rushing game against the Spartans, gaining 110 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, the Wolverines were led by senior safety Jamar Adams(Charlotte, N.C./Butler HS), who had a game- and career-high 14 tackles. He also recorded an interception on the first play of the second quarter, picking off a Brian Hoyer pass at Michigan's 39-yard line and returning it 19 yards to the MSU 42. The Wolverines converted that possession into a Henne-to-Carson Butler(Detroit, Mich./Renaissance HS) touchdown.

Michigan State took the opening kickoff and scored the game's first points on a 36-yard field goal by Brett Swenson. The Spartans scoring drive covered 56 yards in 10 plays, and MSU converted one third down on a 17-yard pass from Hoyer to tight end Kellen Davis.

Michigan grabbed the lead, 7-3, at 3:54 of the first quarter on an 11-yard fade pass from Henne to Manningham in the right corner of the end zone. The Wolverines' five-play, 62-yard scoring drive started with an 11-yard pass from Henne to Butler and ended with Manningham's 11-yard TD grab. Hart gained 40 yards on three carries, including a 37-yard scamper through the middle of the Spartan defense that took the ball to MSU's 11-yard line.

U-M took advantage of the game's first turnover -- Adams' second-quarter interception -- and scored on a five-yard touchdown pass from Henne to Butler on third-and-goal. Hart took the handoff on the initial play of the five-play, 42-yard scoring drive and followed his blockers for a 32-yard gain to the Spartans' 10-yard line. Hart ran on three straight plays prior to the third-down score at 12:46 of the second quarter.

Michigan attempted to increase its 14-3 lead prior to halftime, but Henne's fourth-down pass intended for Manningham was intercepted at the 30-yard line by safety Otis Wiley. Mathews set up the offense at Michigan State's 41-yard line with his 29-yard, career-long punt return with 2:03 remaining in the second quarter. Henne completed all three passes prior to the interception, but the Wolverines were unable to penetrate past the MSU 35-yard line.

After holding Michigan on its first possession of the third quarter, Michigan State ran the ball down the field and trimmed the deficit to 14-10 on a one-yard run by tailback Jehuu Caulcrick at 6:32. The 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive consumed 6:49, with 13 of the 14 plays coming on the ground. The only pass play was a 21-yard completion from Hoyer to Davis that moved the ball into Michigan territory.

The Spartans took the lead, 17-14, just five seconds into the fourth quarter, on a five-yard touchdown pass from Hoyer to Davis. The score came on the first play of the fourth quarter and capped a three-play, 83-yard drive that took 54 seconds. The key play on the drive was a 72-yard run by tailback Javon Ringer on which he cut across the field from the MSU 23 and carried it down to Michigan's five-yard line.

Michigan State extended its advantage to 10 points, 24-14, on a one-yard touchdown run by Caulcrick with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter. The 10-play, 52-yard scoring drive consumed 5:37.

With 7:35 left in the game, the Wolverines strategically moved downfield and trimmed the deficit to 24-21 as Henne floated a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mathews. Henne completed five-of-six passes for 63 yards on the drive. Hart picked up a fumble by freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett(Texarkana, Arkansas/Texarkana [Texas] HS) and ran 11 yards for a first down. The seven-play, 79-yard scoring drive took just 48 seconds, with Henne completing passes to all three wideouts.

After an MSU three-and-out, the Wolverines took over with 4:28 remaining and regained the lead, 28-24, with 2:28 to play on a 31-yard Henne touchdown pass to Manningham. The TD pass by Henne was his fourth of the contest, tying the Michigan single-game record. Henne completed five-of-seven passes for 76 yards on the eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive that consumed two minutes.

The Spartans drove 27 yards into Wolverine territory but turned the ball over on downs with three straight incomplete passes after converting a pair of first downs. U-M knelt twice to close out the victory in the 100th game in series history.

Michigan continues its road swing with a trip to Madison, Wis., for a battle with No. 19 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium. The game between the Wolverines and Badgers will be broadcast nationally by ESPN starting at noon EST (11 a.m. CST).

Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423

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