ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Devin Gardner threw for two touchdowns and Drake Johnson ran for two, helping Michigan to a 34-10 victory over Indiana on Saturday in the aftermath of athletic director Dave Brandon’s resignation.
The Wolverines (4-5, 2-3 Big Ten) beat Indiana for the 19th straight time and have won 34 of the last 35 games in the series. This homecoming win came a day after Brandon’s departure was announced – amid increasing frustration among fans with the state of the football program.
Tevin Coleman ran for 108 yards for Indiana, but the Hoosiers (3-5, 0-4) couldn’t overcome their injury problems at quarterback. Freshman Zander Diamont managed only 24 yards passing.
Brandon’s resignation now puts the focus on Michigan football coach Brady Hoke, whose future is also very much in doubt. The Wolverines need to win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible.
Coleman entered as the nation’s leader at 170 yards rushing per game, and he remains the only running back in the country to rush for over 100 yards in each game this season. But he didn’t extend that streak until the fourth quarter, when Michigan was already in control.
Gardner gave Michigan a 10-0 lead with a nifty 6-yard touchdown pass to Keith Heitzman in the first quarter. The senior quarterback was nearly brought down around the line of scrimmage but was able to flip the ball forward to Heitzman.
Gardner added a 12-yard scoring pass to Amara Darboh in the second quarter, and Indiana wasted a chance to make up ground before halftime. Chase Dutra intercepted a pass by Gardner and returned it 39 yards to the Michigan 12, but the Hoosiers came away with no points when Griffin Oakes hit the left upright on a 25-yard field goal attempt.
Oakes kicked a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter, but Michigan answered with a 10-yard touchdown run by Johnson.
The Hoosiers have lost their top two quarterbacks – Nate Sudfeld and Chris Covington – to injuries. Diamont started in a loss to Michigan State two weekends ago and managed only 11 yards passing. After an open date, he went 5 for 8 against Michigan.
Gardner threw for 220 yards, the first time all season he’s surpassed 200. He surpassed that mark eight times last season, including a 503-yard performance in a 63-47 win over Indiana.
Saturday’s game drew 103,111 for Michigan’s 257th consecutive game at the Big House with at least 100,000 fans. There was talk that the streak might be in jeopardy this year, but there’s only one more game at Michigan Stadium on the schedule, against Maryland on Nov. 22.