Confidence is what redshirt junior quarterback Devin Gardner and senior wide receiver Jeremy Gallon showed on Saturday as they both had career days in the University of Michigan Wolverines’ 63-47 win against the Indiana University Hoosiers.
“There is no time for a lack of confidence,” Gardner said.
“I felt like I tried to do my best to just let them know that I am confident in them. Fitzgerald Toussaint did a great job of that and you had a guy like Taylor Lewan, whose confidence is not one of the things he lacks. They kind of take on his personality and fight.”
Gardner went 21-of-29 and set the single-game Michigan passing record with 503 yards. He also had 15 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
In the press conference, Gardner talked about how his focus was more on the game than the record.
“I just wanted to win the game,” Gardner said.
“I didn’t know anything about the record until we were walking down the hall, when he [One Of The Media Relations Guys] told me that you guys might ask about that and I felt kind of [down] about it.”
Gallon set the all-time Big Ten record for most receiving yards in a single game with 369 on 14 receptions and also shared similar thoughts as Gardner about the record.
“I was playing the game and just wanting to win for my team and my seniors,” Gallon said.
“Just to bounce back from that [Penn State game], I wasn’t focused on records or anything like that.”
The records continued to fall as fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint broke Mike Hart’s all-time single game carries record with 32 to go along with 151 net yards and four touchdowns.
The Wolverines (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten Conference) offense set the all-time school record with 751 total yards.
For the Hoosiers, redshirt sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson and sophomore quarterback Nate Sudfeld both saw action.
Roberson went 16-of-23 passing for 288 yards and threw for three touchdowns. Sudfeld completed eight of 19 passes for 122 yards and threw for a touchdown.
Senior wide receiver Kofi Hughes caught six passes for 138 yards and a touchdown.
After a three and out by the Wolverines defense to start the game, the offense struggled out of the gate.
An incomplete pass and an 11-yard run by Gardner to go along with Gallon running on an end-around trick play for a five-yard loss, the Wolverines would be forced to punt after three plays.
Indiana (3-4, 1-2 Big Ten) took full advantage of their first possession as Sudfeld connected with junior wide receiver Cody Latimer, who ran past junior cornerback Raymon Taylor for a 59-yard touchdown reception to silence the crowd early.
Despite a slow start on the first drive, the U-M offense picked things up on the next possession. A steady diet of the running game from Toussaint culminated with Gardner’s 13-yard touchdown on the read option to even the score at seven.
Gallon’s 70-yard reception on a screen pass from Gardner set up a two-yard touchdown run from Toussaint to put the Wolverines ahead 14-7 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
On Michigan’s next possession, an intentional grounding penalty on Gardner for not throwing the ball across the line of scrimmage. As a result, fifth-year senior placekicker Brendan Gibbons would come on for a 39-yard field goal attempt that would be blocked. The game would remain 14-7 in the second quarter.
Toussaint would score his second touchdown of the game on a seven-yard run to put the Wolverines ahead 21-7.
The Hoosiers and Wolverines would exchange touchdowns to make it 28-14 and not long after, fifth-year senior placekicker Mitch Ewald nailed a 50-yard field goal with more than enough room to spare to put the Hoosiers within 11 at halftime.
The second half did not start out on the best terms for Toussaint as he fumbled the toss from Gardner and junior linebacker Forisse Hardin recovered the ball at the U-M five-yard line.
After the Hoosiers scored on the following possession to make it 28-24, the two teams would alternate TD’s until the Wolverines offense went three and out at almost the halfway mark of the third quarter.
A 23-yard field goal make by Ewald put the Hoosiers within a point and the crowd at Michigan Stadium went dead silent.
Not along after Indiana’s FG, the Wolverines’ next drive was highlighted by Gardner’s 70-yard pass to Gallon.
Gardner slipped past a defender and heaved the ball to Gallon and was tackled just short of the end zone.
Toussaint would score on the next play from a yard out to put the Wolverines up eight in the third quarter.
The Hoosiers responded on the next drive as Hughes snagged the ball away from freshman cornerback Channing Stribling to go 67 yards for the score to put them within two points after a missed conversion attempt.
The fourth quarter would begin with the Hoosiers and Wolverines exchanging a TD each to make it 49-47.
After both teams committed a turnover on each of their following drives, the Wolverines woud get the ball and Gardner avoided the sack off the corner blitz and made it into the end zone from six yards out to put them up nine.
After fifth-year senior safety Thomas Gordon picked off Roberson’s pass, he returned it to the U-M 17-yard line.
A 37-yard connection from Gardner to sophomore tight end Devin Funchess set up a 27-yard touchdown run up the middle from Toussaint to put the Wolverines ahead 63-47.
Junior defensive end Frank Clark would put an exclamation point on the game with a sack on Sudfeld on the final play of the game.
The Wolverines have won 33 of the last 34 games against the Hoosiers.
The attendance for today’s game was 109,503.
The Wolverines are on a bye next week and will play against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on Nov. 2.
The Hoosiers are also on a bye next week and will play at home against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers on Nov. 2.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.
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