ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Karan Higdon ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns and Chris Evans added 191 yards rushing and two more scores, helping Michigan pull away to beat Minnesota 33-10 Saturday night.
The Wolverines (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) have won two straight with a heavy dose of the run after losing two of three games in part because they couldn’t pass well.
The Golden Gophers (4-5, 1-5) made it 7-7 on Rodney Smith’s 10-yard run late in the first quarter, but the game was tied for just 26 seconds.
Higdon scored on a 77-yard run on the ensuing drive and his 5-yard TD run padded the lead in the third quarter.
Evans had 60- and 67-yard TDs in the second half, giving Michigan a 33-7 lead.
The Gophers scored with 1:51 left, choosing to kick a field goal from the Michigan 5 instead of going for a fourth-and-4.
Minnesota: The Gophers are clearly rebuilding under first-year coach P.J. Fleck. The former Western Michigan coach wisely refused to build up the opportunity to upset the Wolverines because he is going to be given time to turn around the program.
Michigan: Brandon Peters was solid in his first start, handing the ball off much more than he was asked to throw. He was 8 of 13 for 56 yards with a 20-yard TD pass to Sean McKeon on his first possession.
The game started about an hour later than scheduled because of lightning strikes in the area and it ended as the clock approached midnight.
Minnesota: Hosts Nebraska.
Michigan: Plays at Maryland.