Wolverines storm past Wisconsin with second half surge
Written by Matt Pargoff   

 

Carrying momentum through much of the second quarter, the Wolverines managed only 13 points in the half, still stuck in a dogfight with the No. 15 Badgers. The nationally highlighted battle between ranked opponents turned into a lopsided affair after the break though, as Michigan began converting drives into touchdowns, finding their ground game on the way to a 38-13 victory.

While Michigan rushed for 83 yards in the first half, most of that came from a single play by quarterback Shea Patterson. Karan Higdon rushed for just 11 yards on seven carries, but became a much bigger factor as the game progressed, rushing it 12 times for 94 yards in the second half.

“We went to as many C-gap plays as we could and took our six best [plays] at halftime and ran those pretty much the whole second half,” head coach Jim Harbaugh noted. “They were effective. Our guys were doing a great job up front. I can’t think of any missed assignments or penalties. The guys really did a job up front today.”

Patterson completed 14-of-21 passes for 124 yards, racking up 81 yards on the ground.

“Shea was really good, really effective, really seeing things well in terms of looking at all the reads,” Harbaugh said. “He did a great job in his preparation and he was running good. He was really throwing it good tonight too, right from pregame on. But the running game was so effective that we kept coming back to it.”

Wisconsin had some success running the ball in the second half, but stalled out on drives with surprising passes called in third and short situations. Trailing by 17 points with 10 minutes remaining, one of those attempts to air it out turned into the critical knockout punch, when Alex Hornibrook’s pass was intercepted by Lavert Hill and returned for a touchdown.

The Wolverines held Wisconsin to 283 total yards, limiting the Badgers to 2-of-11 conversions on third down.

Improving to 6-1 on the season, Michigan moves on to play rival Michigan State next week in East Lansing at noon on Fox. The Spartans enter the game off a 21-17 upset win over Penn State, currently sitting at 4-2 with losses to Arizona State and Northwestern.

 
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