ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Denard Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for a TD to lead No. 19 Michigan in a 58-0 win over Minnesota.
The Wolverines (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) had their most lopsided win since beating Indiana by the same score in 2000.
Vincent Smith scored on a run, pass and catch to help Michigan lead 38-0 at halftime.
Robinson was 15 of 19 for 169 yards and didn’t throw an interception for the first time since the opener and had a season-low six rushing attempts for 51 yards. He was taken out in the third quarter.
Freshman Max Shortell made his first start for the Gophers (1-4, 0-0) in place of MarQueis Gray, who missed the game with an injured toe on his left foot.
Michigan got off to its second straight strong start after struggling early in the first three games of the year.
The Wolverines outgained Minnesota 384-69, averaging nearly 10 yards per play.
Nothing went well for Minnesota all day.
The Gophers got into Wolverines’ territory only once before halftime and fumbled on the play.
They stopped Michigan on its first drive of the second half and got to midfield on the punt return, but spoiled the play with a penalty. Minnesota dropped a pass past the 50 on its next possession and had a 96-yard kickoff return wiped out by another flag.
Minnesota didn’t take a snap in Michigan territory until there was less than a minute left in the third quarter.
And just when it looked like the Gophers were going to score, David Cobb fumbled and cornerback Courtney Avery scooped it up on an 83-yard return for a 58-0 lead with 4:58 left.
Shortell was 11 of 22 for 104 yards and Cobb had 54 yards rushing.
Robinson looked much more comfortable in the passing game, showing poise in the pocket and displaying touch on throws. He matched his season high with 11 completions — in as many attempts — and avoided forcing passes into coverage for a change. Robinson read a blitz on his second TD pass and connected on a crisp, 18-yard pass to Kevin Koger to make it 38-0 late in the third quarter.
The Wolverines were determined to let running backs take the load off of Robinson on the ground and Minnesota was accommodating.
Fitzgerald Toussaint ran for a career-high 108 yards, freshman Thomas Rawls had 73 yards rushing and Michael Shaw ran for 60.
Smith scored on a 3-yard run to start the scoring barrage, threw a 17-yard toss to Drew Dileo on a halfback pass and caught a 28-yard pass for a score to become the first major college running back to score on the ground, through the air as a passer and as a receiver since Clemson’s C.J Spiller in 2009.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill was on the sideline just days after leaving the team seeking more treatment for seizures he’s had the past three weeks.
The Wolverines kept the Little Brown Jug, the oldest trophy game in major college football that dates to 1909, by avoiding a third loss to Minnesota in three-plus decades.
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