(Saturday, September 25th)
Final Score: (21) Michigan 65, Bowling Green 21
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Denard Robinson ran for two touchdowns before leaving the contest with a knee injury, but 21st-ranked Michigan was fine without him and still rolled to a 65-21 victory over Bowling Green at Michigan Stadium.
Robinson was hurt at the end of a 47-yard run on Michigan's third offensive series. He was evaluated on the sideline and did not return, although he was cleared to play after halftime. The sophomore star completed each of his four passes for 60 yards and ran for 129 yards on five carries with scoring runs of two and 47 yards.
With freshman Devin Gardner and sophomore Tate Forcier under center the rest of the way, the Wolverines (4-0) rolled up 721 yards of offense en route to their second straight unbeaten start after four games. Michigan, which finished with 466 yards rushing, will open the Big Ten schedule next Saturday at Indiana.
"Our first goal every year is to win the Big Ten championship," said Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez. "Everything has to crank up -- our focus, our intensity. It's been really good, but it's got to go up another notch this week."
Bowling Green (1-3), coming off a win last week against Marshall, managed just 283 total yards, including 32 on the ground. Aaron Pankratz completed 17-of-28 passes for 231 yards with a touchdown and an interception in defeat.
Forcier completed each of his 12 passes for 110 yards with a touchdown and set a Michigan record for highest completion percentage with a minimum of 10 attempts. Jim Harbaugh held the old mark of 92.3 percent in a 12-for-13 effort against Purdue on November 9, 1985.
"Coach always says to stay ready and be hungry and I got my shot today," said Forcier, who started all 12 games last year for the Wolverines.
Robinson was sensational on Michigan's first two possessions, guiding the Wolverines to a 14-0 lead.
A 36-yard pass to Roy Roundtree on the first series highlighted a nine-play, 80-yard drive that Robinson capped with a two-yard run on a quarterback draw. He then took the Wolverines 88 yards on five plays for another score, with a 24-yard run preceding a 47-yard touchdown jaunt that started left and ended in the right side of the end zone.
Robinson was then hurt on Michigan's next offensive play, another 47-yard run from the nine-yard line. Gardner completed the five-play set with an 11-yard scoring toss to Jeremy Gallon for a 21-0 lead.
"He should be fine," Rodriguez said about Robinson after the game. "He just tweaked his knee a little bit. He probably could've gone back into the game. Denard said he could've went back in if we needed, but we were fine with the other two guys."
Stephen Hopkins fumbled on Michigan's next possession in the closing seconds of the opening quarter and Bowling Green took advantage. The Falcons converted a trio of third downs on a 64-yard drive and scored on a one-yard run by Jordan Hopgood on fourth down.
The Wolverines turned it over on downs at the Bowling Green 29 and the Falcons needed just one play to make it a seven-point game, as Tyrone Pronty caught a screen pass and made one Michigan defender miss before outracing the rest of the Wolverines to the end zone.
Forcier took over at quarterback for Michigan and directed a 69-yard scoring drive. A 14-yard pass to Martavious Odoms converted a 3rd-and-8 and a 22-yard strike to Roundtree later in the series set up Michael Shaw's two-yard run for a 28-14 lead with 42 seconds left in the half.
Bowling Green snapped the ball out of the end zone on a punt to give Michigan a safety early in the third quarter and the Wolverines started the next series from their own 49 after the free kick. Forcier threw just two passes on the 10-play series, the last a two-yard scoring toss to John McColgan for a 37-14 cushion.
Pankratz was picked off on Bowling Green's next series and Michigan cashed in on a short field with an eight-yard touchdown run by Vincent Smith.
The Falcons reached the end zone again on a one-yard run by Hopgood on fourth down late in the third, but Michigan poured it on with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Smith scored on a one-yard run and Fitzgerald Toussaint scored from five yards away before a seven-yard TD run by Gardner put the finishing touches on the rout.
"A very, very disappointing performance," said Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson. "[Michigan] controlled both fronts on the offensive and defensive line. I'm disappointed we did not present ourselves better. I think we're a better football team than we showed today. I just don't think that's a game we should lose by 44 points."
Michigan's yardage total was the second-most in school history, behind only the 727 put up last year against Delaware State...Roundtree caught nine passes for 118 yards, marking his third career 100-yard effort...Michigan converted 10-of-12 third downs...Gardner connected on 7-of-10 throws for 85 yards...The Wolverines last posted back-to-back 4-0 starts in 1996 and '97.
09/25 16:39:12 ET