Gardner leads Michigan to victory over Minnesota, Denard out

By CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Sports Editor

Devin Gardner filled in as quarterback for Denard Robinson, a late game-time decision and led the Wolverines to the best passing yards game all season, and a win over Minnesota, tying them atop the Legends Division in the B1G 10.

Michigan defeated the upstart Golden Gophers, who were only held to a total of 275 yards, 35-13.

Gardner, who started over Denard Robinson because of an injury to his elbow, didn’t play. He was schedule to be the starter in the depth chart, but didn’t take many reps in pregame workouts. Gardner took first team reps, while Jack Kennedy took second team reps.

Russell Bellomy did not play, although he did fill in for Robinson last weekend, and has before over the course of the season. He threw three interceptions in the loss to Nebraska, so that could have had an impact on why he didn’t start. Minnesota got on the board first.

Phillip Nelson, who had a great game last week, had 13 completions on 29 attempts, for 142 yards and a touchdown. The one touchdown he threw was the first score on the board. Nelson threw a 10-yard pass to John Rabe a few seconds into the second quarter.

Michigan responded and then didn’t look back from there. Gardner was excellent and threw a 45-yard pass to Drew Dileo to tie the game at seven. Late in the first half, Thomas Rawls ran two yards into the end zone to take the one touchdown lead heading into halftime.

Devin Funchess against UMASS (Photo Credit: Tom Alexander/MJ)

The second half didn’t start the way the Golden Gophers way, but it did for Michigan. Although the points in the third quarter were scored by Michigan, the Golden Gophers were trying to break the Wolverines defense with no avail.

Wide receiver Jeremy Gallon caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Gardner, in an acrobatic catch in the corner of the endzone. That touchdown really took the wind out of the sails of the Golden Gophers. Michigan now led 21-7 going into the fourth quarter.

Michigan just turned up the gas from there. A 26-yard Josh Wettstein field goal cut the lead by three, but it didn’t matter. Gardner powered his way into the endzone, a two-yard touchdown run to really nail the coffin shut on the Golden Gophers.

Wettstein put away another field goal, a 19-yarder this time near the end of the game, but Michigan had to respond one more time.

Fitzgerald Toussaint broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run, late in the fourth quarter, after his game seemed to be slowing down as the game went on.

The Wolverines went on to have 389 total yards of offense, with 234 yards of that, in the air. The rushing game only had 155 yards accounted for the game. When Robinson plays, it usually is the opposite.

Gardner proved to be a more than reputable replacement for Robinson, and took the Wolverines to bigger heights against a decent Golden Gophers team.

This week, the Wolverines will return home, now 6-3 and 4-1 in the B1G 10, to face Northwestern at noon. As always, Go Blue!

To read the original article that appeared online only for The Michigan Journal, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, go to www.michiganjournal.org

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