Wisconsin rolls over Michigan, 48-28
Published 6:11 pm Sunday, November 21, 2010
ANN ARBOR — The late Michigan coach Bo Schembechler would have appreciated how the victors prevailed at Michigan Stadium Saturday, except it was visiting Wisconsin that rushed for 357 yards with 27 straight rushes in the second half to triumph 48-28 in a Big 10 conference contest.
Michigan now has a record of 7-4 and 3-4 in the league heading into its customary season-ending Ohio State game in Columbus.
Two weeks earlier, the Wolverines won a triple overtime 67-65 thriller over Illinois and again points were common, but a scoreless first half by the Wolverine offense caused defeat with the Badgers taking a 24-0 shutout to the locker room for intermission.
“In the first half, our whole focus was to stop (quarterback) Denard Robinson and we pretty much did,” stated junior Wisconsin safety Aaron Henry.
Robinson had 96 yards in the first half with two straight three-and-outs and a 30-yard missed field goal in the second stanza showed defense was possible again in the 111,011 seat stadium.
“We knew coming in each possession was important and we needed to make first downs with a couple third down plays being short by just a little bit,” noted Michigan’s Rich Rodriguez.
Wisconsin (10-1, 6-1) had no trouble marching down the field with 379 total yards in the first half with a pair of youthful running backs in sophomore Montee Ball and freshman James White each gaining 92 markers with the former scoring one more touchdown than the latter.
Also, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien completed all 14 passes for 196 yards, but his final attempt found Wolverine senior corner back James Rogers to prevent the score from being worse.
“Give credit to the Wisconsin defense — we tried our best,” said sophomore Michigan receiver Roy Roundtree. “In the second half, we didn’t stop ourselves with dropped passes and ran the offense just like the coaches taught us.”
Individually, the Wolverine star sophomore signal-caller could not be stopped with a pair of touchdown rushes and completions as Robinson was bestowed a couple of records by breaking the season rushing record for a quarterback with 1,538 yards. Also, Robinson became the first player ever to have over 1,500 yards in both passing (2,229) and running in a single campaign.
“Preparing for Ohio State is more important than the records,” commented the unusual sobering Robinson. “Against a good team we came out flat and that is what you can’t do.”
White and Ball continued sharing the rushing load for the Badgers with 181 and 173 yards respectively and three touchdowns each for the game as Tolzien completed his only pass in the second half, but that resulted in a turnover.
“Point blank, it was simple that Michigan could not stop our running game and it was sure pretty for me to watch,” explained Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema. “I believe we are as good as anybody out there playing college football.”
Wisconsin is tied with both Ohio State and Michigan State with one loss each in the conference with one game remaining.
“Wisconsin does a great job running their execution in the running game, but we play five true freshmen on defense which is unheard of and the list goes on with injuries at important certain positions,” remarked Rodriguez. “It is hard to get better until we have bowl practices, spring practice and another August camp and will need more young guys to step up in a hurry to face Ohio State this week.”