Oct. 7, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -Chad Henne threw three touchdown passes - two to Mario Manningham - in No. 6 Michigan's 31-13 victory over Michigan State on Saturday, the fifth straight win by the Wolverines in the century-old series.
Big Ten rushing leader Mike Hart ran for 122 yards despite sitting out the fourth quarter as the Wolverines (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) kept their national championship aspirations flourishing and retained the Paul Bunyan Trophy, a four-foot wooden statue of the legendary giant lumberjack.
The Michigan rush defense, which entered the game tops in the nation, allowed only 60 yards, while the Wolverines managed 211 on the ground. Michigan State was without leading rusher Javon Ringer, who sat out with a knee injury.
Michigan had not allowed a rushing touchdown all season - a total of 344 offensive plays - until 260-pound Jehuu Caulcrick barreled into the end zone from the 1-yard line near the end of the third quarter.
That score made it 24-7, but Michigan answered three minutes later on freshman Brandon Minor's first touchdown - a 40-yard run - that put the Wolverines up 31-7.
The Wolverines led 24-0 following its first possession of the second half on a 27-yard TD pass from Henne to Manningham, who has eight TD catches in his last four games. Michigan State cornerback Demond Williams tipped the pass into the end zone, where it dropped into Manningham's waiting arms.
Henne also directed scoring drives on three of the first four first-half possessions, including TD tosses of 41 yards to Manningham in the second quarter and 13 yards to Adrian Arrington in the first quarter.
Garrett Rivas' 24-yard field goal gave Michigan a 17-0 halftime advantage.
Henne finished 11-of-17 for 140 yards and no interceptions.
Michigan State's Drew Stanton again was unable to lead the Spartans to a win against their rival, something he said during the week that he badly wanted to do. Stanton, despite playing with bruised ribs, was 20-of-35 for 252 yards and two interceptions.
He scored on an 2-yard quarterback draw that made it 31-14 with seven minutes remaining in the game.