Michigan Coach Bo Schembechler made 3 predictions and was wrong on 2 of them Saturday when his 14th-ranked Wolverines romped to a 52-7 victory over Northwestern at Evanston, Ill.
“I predicted (Northwestern tailback) Byron Sanders would rush for 100 yards, that they would rush for 150 yards and score 14 points,” Schembechler said.
Sanders gained 106 yards in 25 carries to become the first player to rush for 100 yards against Michigan this season. Northwestern netted only 107 yards rushing.
One-out-of-three isn’t bad but it made Schembechler unhappy in some respects.
“I wish I had been wrong on all three,” Schembechler said. “We made some mistakes and you can’t afford to make mistakes when you’re fighting tooth-and-nail for the Big Ten championship. Other than that, we’re still in the race.”
Tailback Tony Boles rushed for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Wolverines, who need closing victories over Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State to sew up the championship and a Rose Bowl bid.
“We have to get better every game,” Boles said. “It wasn’t easy out there. Our offensive line did a heck of a job and the holes happened to be there. Their defensive front was small and our offensive line is big. That was the difference.”
The Wolverines held a 17-0 halftime lead but scored on all 5 of their possessions in the second half.
“We made up our minds to play better in the second half,” said Boles, who had touchdown runs of 7, 5 and 1 yards.
“Michigan is a good football team and they don’t need that kind of help from us,” Northwestern Coach Francis Peay said. “They had a lot of 10, 12 and 14-yard runs and that was because of poor tackling.”
The victory assured Michigan (5-2-1) of its hold on first place in the Big Ten with a 4-0-1 mark. Northwestern’s record fell to 1-3-1 and 1-6-1 overall.
Michigan State 20, Ohio State 10--Hyland Hickson rushed for 179 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries as the Spartans beat the Buckeyes in a sloppy game at East Lansing, Mich.
Michigan State turned the ball over twice, losing 2 of 3 fumbles while the Buckeyes lost 2 of 5 fumbles and had 2 passes intercepted.
Buckeye fumbles led to a Michigan State touchdown and a field goal. A bad snap on a punt set up the Spartans’ other field goal. The Buckeyes only touchdown came after a Michigan State fumble.
The victory improved the Spartans’ record to 3-4-1 overall, 3-1-1 in the conference. Ohio State fell to 3-5 and 1-4.
Blake Ezor carried 29 times for 155 yards for the Spartans, playing before a crowd of 77,111 in Spartan Stadium.
Miller said Gibson “related his experience with the Dodgers and how he was always the underdog and how he backed himself into a corner and related that to our situation.”
Indiana 45, Iowa 34--Anthony Thompson rushed for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns as Indiana, surviving a devastating passing attack by Iowa’s Chuck Hartlieb, held off a 2nd-half rally and beat the Hawkeyes at Bloomington, Ind.
Hartlieb, the Big Ten passing leader, passed for a school-record 558 yards, 3 touchdowns and a pair of 2-point conversions as the Hawkeyes came back from a 35-3 1st-half deficit.
But he was sacked 5 times, twice in the closing minutes, and the Hoosiers held Iowa at the 4-yard line and ran out the clock to preserve the win.
Hartlieb completed 44 of 60 attempts, also school records.
Indiana went to 4-1 in the conference and 6-1-1. Iowa fell to 2-1-2 and 4-3-2.
Purdue 9, Wisconsin 6--Larry Sullivan kicked 3 field goals, including a go-ahead 40-yarder in the 3rd quarter, as the Boilermakers handed the Badgers their 8th straight defeat at Madison, Wis.
Sullivan kicked his 40-yarder with 1:22 left in the third period for the Boilermakers (4-4, 3-2).
Wisconsin advanced to the Boilermaker 35-yard line with 5 minutes left in the game but Badger freshman quarterback Lionell Crawford was sacked for a 15-yard loss and the Badgers’ season of frustration continued.
Purdue’s defense sacked Wisconsin quarterbacks 7 times for 66 yards in losses.
Wisconsin, 0-5 in conference play, has only 3 games left as it tries to avoid its first winless season since 1968.
Illinois 27, Minnesota 27--Doug Higgins’ 44-yard field goal with 1 second left at Minneapolis gave the Illini a tie with the Gophers.
Higgins’ kick culminated a 7-play, 42-yard drive in the final 50 seconds. Minnesota’s Brent Berglund hit a 46-yard field goal with 51 seconds remaining to give the Gophers a 27-24 lead.
Minnesota (2-4-2, 0-3-2) rallied from a 24-7 3rd-quarter deficit.
Keith Jones ran for 2 touchdowns and Jeff George passed for 343 yards and a touchdown for Illinois (4-3-1, 3-1-1).