Michigan: The season

No. 14 Michigan 27, Vanderbilt 7, Sept. 2 at Michigan Stadium

* Defense got the Wolverines off to a winning start, holding Vanderbilt to 171 yards in total offense. Ends LaMarr Woodley and Rondell Biggs each made two sacks. With Mike DeBord returning for his second stint as offensive coordinator, tailback Mike Hart carried for 146 yards and sophomore receiver Mario Manningham gave a hint of things to come, catching a 27-yard pass for a touchdown.

No. 10 Michigan 41, Central Michigan 17, Sept. 9 at Michigan Stadium

* The running game continued to roll, with Hart carrying 19 times for 116 yards and scoring a career-high three touchdowns. Central Michigan managed only 16 rushing yards on a wet day during which lightning drove both teams back to the locker room in the first quarter. The delay, a first for Michigan Stadium, lasted an hour.

No. 11 Michigan 47, No. 2 Notre Dame 21, Sept. 16 at South Bend, Ind.


* Michigan, which had not won at Notre Dame Stadium since 1994, got off to a fast start with the arrival of “Super Mario” on the national stage. Manningham caught touchdown passes of 69, 20 and 22 yards as the Wolverines opened a 34-14 first-half lead. The defense returned an interception and a fumble for two more scores.

No. 6 Michigan 27, Wisconsin 13, Sept. 23 at Michigan Stadium

* The Wolverines won their Big Ten opener by holding Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, the conference’s top rusher, to 54 yards in 20 carries. The combination of quarterback Chad Henne to Manningham had another big game. Henne finished with 211 yards passing. Manningham had seven catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.

No. 6 Michigan 28, Minnesota 14, Sept. 30 at Minneapolis

* The winner of this game gets the Little Brown Jug, the nation’s oldest trophy. Michigan scored on its opening possession and never looked back. Hart ran for a season-high 195 yards, Henne passed for a season-high 284 and Manningham caught a touchdown pass for the third consecutive week.

No. 6 Michigan 31, Michigan St. 13, Oct. 7 at Michigan Stadium

* In this intrastate rivalry, played for the Paul Bunyan Trophy, Michigan State struggled against the Wolverines’ nationally ranked defense, falling behind early and not scoring until the third quarter. Michigan safety Ryan Mundy and linebacker Prescott Burgess each had eight tackles. Manningham caught two more touchdown passes but suffered a knee injury.

No. 4 Michigan 17, Penn State 10, Oct. 14 at State College, Pa.

* With Manningham recuperating from arthroscopic knee surgery, the Wolverines played their closest game to date, opening a first-half lead and holding on in front of 110,007. The defense dominated, recording seven sacks and holding the Nittany Lions to minus-14 yards rushing in 25 carries. Hart provided the winning points on a one-yard run, and Penn State scored its only touchdown with 3 minutes 18 seconds remaining.

No. 2 Michigan 20, Iowa 6, Oct. 21 at Michigan Stadium

* Back at home, Michigan clearly missed Manningham’s offense, needing a second-half surge to defeat the Hawkeyes. Hart led the way, rushing for 126 yards and scoring on runs of nine and 10 yards.

No. 2 Michigan 17, Northwestern 3, Oct. 28 at Michigan Stadium -- A swarming defense forced two fumbles and intercepted three passes, turnovers that led to both of Michigan’s touchdowns. In the wind and rain, the cautious Wolverines kept the ball on the ground, amassing 202 rushing yards and controlling the clock. Hart secured the victory with a three-yard touchdown run.

No. 2 Michigan 34, Ball State 26, Nov. 4 at Michigan Stadium

* Rolling toward a showdown with top-ranked Ohio State, and playing their last home game of the season, the Wolverines almost stumbled. Ball State, a heavy underdog, took a 9-7 lead with a safety and an interception return for touchdown. Michigan needed 507 yards of offense and a couple of late defensive stops for the comeback victory. Manningham played for the first time in almost a month, albeit sparingly.

No. 2 Michigan 34, Indiana 3, Nov. 11 at Bloomington, Ind.

* A healthy Manningham returned to the starting lineup, but it was fellow receiver Steve Breaston who did the damage in a convincing victory, scoring on a 62-yard reception and an 83-yard punt return. The fifth-year senior finished with 231 all-purpose yards as Michigan reached 11 wins for the eighth time in team history.

No. 1 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Michigan 39, Nov. 18 at Columbus, Ohio

* Hart ran for 142 yards, Henne passed for 267 yards and two touchdowns, and Manningham caught six passes for 86 yards -- but it wasn’t enough to beat the rival Buckeyes. Michigan fell behind by 14 points in the first half and never recovered as the normally stout defense surrendered 503 yards, most of that on the arm of Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith, the eventual Heisman Trophy winner.