BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Cornelius Johnson’s 29-yard touchdown catch midway through the third quarter Saturday gave No. 4 Michigan the lead and the jolt it needed to pull away from Indiana 31-10 in an emotional game in which a Wolverines’ coach was taken to a hospital.
Michigan improved to 6-0 for the second straight season, the first time they’ve achieved that feat since 1976-77.
Johnson’s big play came after assistant coach Mike Hart was carted off the field in the first quarter for an undisclosed medical issue.
Hart went down unexpectedly after Indiana tied the score at 7. Many Wolverines players dropped to one knee while coach Jim Harbaugh and other assistants watched trainers tend to Michigan’s running game coordinator.
The emotional toll appeared to hurt the defending Big Ten champs, who went into the locker room tied at 10 with the Hoosiers (3-3, 1-2).
But after hearing Hart talk to the team at halftime, the Wolverines (3-0 Big Ten) promised to win the game for their coach — and they didn’t disappoint.
The first of Johnson’s two TD receptions capped Michigan’s 98-yard drive to open the second-half and the defense only allowed 29 total yards over the final two quarters until Indiana’s final drive.
Luke Schoonmaker and Johnson caught fourth-quarter TD passes to seal it.
J.J. McCarthy was 28 of 36 with 304 yards, three TDs and one interception. Schoonmaker caught nine passes for 67 yards and Blake Corum had 124 yards rushing on 25 carries after picking up 50 on his first run of the day. Corum also scored on a 1-yard run just five plays into the game.
Michigan: The Wolverines have faced some strong tests in this series recently and they did again Saturday. But Michigan, clearly, did not play its best ball as the nation’s sixth-best scoring offense struggled to score.
Indiana: Coach Tom Allen’s team played its best first half of the season but still hasn’t played a complete game all season. The defense and special teams, as usual, kept Indiana close. What they’re lacking: a consistent offense.
Michigan is still unbeaten but it’s shield of invincibility took a major hit against an Indiana team that wasn’t even at full strength on offense or defense. The powerful ground game was mostly stymied. The constant has been the defense, and it was every bit as good as advertised. It will be interesting to see if the voters punish Michigan for a less-than-stellar showing.
Michigan: Returns home next Saturday for a showdown with No. 10 Penn State.
Indiana: Welcomes Maryland to Bloomington next Saturday.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25.