Posted on Oct. 27

It took about a half longer than expected, but the Michigan football team handled Minnesota 34-10 to retain the Little Brown Jug for another year.

The Wolverines were without senior quarterback Chad Henne (shoulder injury) and senior running back Mike Hart (ankle), and looked sluggish on the offensive side of the ball due to the absence of the two leaders.

Freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett struggled early on. He lost a fumble at the beginning of the second quarter which Minnesota’s Dominique Barber returned 46 yards for the touchdown to give the 1-7 Golden Gophers a 10-0 lead in the Big House.

But the offense recovered behind great performances by running back Brandon Minor and receiver Mario Manningham. Manningham finished with one touchdown and 162 receiving yards while Minor, who split carries with sophomore back Carlos Brown, ran for 157 yards and one touchdown.

His backfield mate, Brown, also went over the century mark with 132 yards on the ground, most of which came off an 85-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to officially put the game out of reach.

After totaling just 224 yards in the first half, Michigan’s offense rebounded in the second to register 560 for the game while holding the Gophers without an offensive touchdown and 231 yards.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said both Henne and Hart are still day-to-day and that both have improved health-wise over the last week. Hart said after the game that he expects to play next week against Michigan State

The Wolverines (6-0 Big Ten, 7-2 overall) remain squarely in the race for a Big Ten Championship heading into a tough three-game stretch to end the season.

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