College Football

No. 13 Indiana finally finds way to beat No. 23 Michigan

Indiana tight end Peyton Hendershot (86) crosses into the end zone to score ahead of Michigan linebacker Ben VanSumeren (40) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Michael Penix Jr. passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 13 Indiana beat No. 23 Michigan 38-21 on Saturday for its first victory against the Wolverines in 33 years.

With a chunk play here, a free play there and a few dinks and dunks thrown in to keep drives alive, Penix helped Indiana snap a 24-game losing streak in the series — tied for the longest active skid in the Football Bowl Subdivision. It was the Hoosiers’ first win against the Wolverines since Oct. 24, 1987, just their second in 41 games and only the second in the 21 games played at Memorial Stadium.

The Wolverines (1-2) still don’t have a top-15 road win since beating Notre Dame in 2006. Their second consecutive loss could turn up the pressure on coach Jim Harbaugh in his sixth season at Michigan.

Indiana’s celebration on the field was muted, a possible sign of the team’s growing confidence.

The Hoosiers (3-0) earned their fourth consecutive Big Ten win. If they match the school record next week at Michigan State, it could set up a showdown between the East Division’s only unbeaten teams Nov. 21 at No. 3 Ohio State.

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Penix was 30 of 50, helping Indiana convert nine of 16 third downs. Ty Fryfogle caught seven passes for a career-high 142 yards — all in the first half. Whop Philyor caught 11 passes for 79 yards, and Stevie Scott III ran for two second-half scores. Charles Campbell kicked a career-long 52-yard field goal.

Defensively, the Hoosiers dominated. They set the tone by forcing Michigan into three-and-outs on three of its first four series, gave up 13 yards rushing and only allowed the Wolverines to take five snaps in Indiana territory through the first three quarters. And then, when it appeared Michigan might rally, Jaylin Williams undercut Joe Milton’s pass and returned the interception 36 yards to set up Indiana’s final score.

It was clear right from the start that this game would be different.

Miles Marshall capped Indiana’s first possession by outjumping Gemon Green for a 13-yard score to make it 7-0.

Michigan’s only productive first-half possession came when Hoosiers safety Jamar Johnson was ejected for throwing a punch. On the next play, Milton tied the score with a 37-yard TD pass to Cornelius Johnson.

Then it was all Hoosiers.

Penix threw a 24-yard TD pass to Fryfogle, Campbell made the long field goal and Penix found Peyton Hendershot for a 1-yard score and a 24-7 halftime lead.

Milton was better in the second half, throwing a 13-yard TD pass to Roman Wilson and a 21-yarder to Ronnie Bell but that was it.

Scott’s 2-yard scoring run with 8:40 left sealed it.

THE TAKEAWAY

Michigan: The Wolverines’ mistake-prone defense couldn’t get off the field, and the offense couldn’t get in sync until they were down three scores. This season’s turnover-free streak ended and starting defensive end Aidan Hutchinson left in the first quarter with an injury.

Indiana: The Hoosiers answered some questions about their ability to contend for a division title or conference championship. The defense has played well all three weeks and on Saturday, the offense was finally in rhythm all four quarters. They’ve won eight of their last 10 league games.

POLL IMPICATIONS

Michigan: One poor defensive performance nearly sent the Wolverines tumbling out of the rankings. Another one probably will.

Indiana: After beating their first top-10 foe in 33 years, the Hoosiers made their second Top 25 appearance since 1994. After winning at Rutgers last week, the Hoosiers cracked the top 15 for the first time since 1987. Now, after dominating the Wolverines, Indiana could be headed toward its first top-10 ranking since September 1969.

UP NEXT

Michigan: Is scheduled to host No. 10 Wisconsin next Saturday but the Badgers have had their last two games canceled because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Indiana: Will try to build on the momentum next Saturday at Michigan State.

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