The Wolverines wasted no time proving their coach wrong.
John Navarre passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns as No. 5 Michigan jumped all over Northwestern in a 24-point second quarter and beat the Wildcats, 41-10, on Saturday at Evanston, Ill.
Michigan, 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Big Ten, is one victory from its league-record 41st conference championship. Michigan's final game of the season is Saturday against No. 4 Ohio State.
"It's a goal that's always down the road," Navarre said of the Big Ten title. "The way we've been playing, we're playing well enough to achieve those goals."
Navarre led the Wolverines to a big second quarter with touchdown passes to Braylon Edwards and Jason Avant, who made a spectacular, one-handed grab to give Michigan a 31-3 lead at halftime.
Navarre completed his first eight passes and led the Wolverines into scoring position on every possession of the first half except for the final series, when Michigan let the clock run down before halftime.
Wolverine running back Chris Perry had touchdown runs of two yards and one yard and rushed for 122 yards. He also had five catches for 50 yards.
Thanks to the turnovers, Iowa (8-3, 4-3) won easily despite giving up 563 yards. Minnesota (9-3, 5-3), playing its regular-season finale, lost three fumbles after driving deep into Iowa territory -- one when Laurence Maroney was about to score.
Minnesota quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq, returning after hurting his left shoulder against Wisconsin a week ago, became the school's career leader in total offense, but he lost three fumbles and had a pass intercepted.
He threw for 388 yards but had no touchdown passes.
Penn St. 52, Indiana 7 -- Zack Mills passed for 173 yards and three touchdowns and Tony Johnson had three scoring receptions at State College, Pa., in the Nittany Lions' first Big Ten win this season.
Joe Paterno's team ended a six-game losing streak, the school's longest since losing seven straight in 1931.
Already ahead, 31-7, Penn State (3-8, 1-6) scored three touchdowns in the last 3:32 of the third quarter.
Indiana (2-9, 1-6) has never beaten Penn State in nine tries.