Michigan had three running backs yesterday with 30+ yard carries each. Mike Hart had a rush for 42-yards while Brandon Minor had a long run of 40-yards and Jerome Jackson posted a 30-yard run. Each of these three tailbacks also scored touchdowns yesterday versus Ball State. For the game, Hart (25 att./154 yds.) and Minor (12 att./108 yds.) each went over the century mark in rushing yardage which makes them the first Wolverine backfield tandem to do so since the 2003 season (Chris Perry & David Underwood vs. Houston on 9-6-03). All told, the Wolverines rushed for 352 yards versus the Cardinals. Not able to join in the fun was #2 tailback Kevin Grady who did not dress for the game. He sat out with an injured shoulder he suffered during the Northwestern game. It is unknown how long he will be out but his backups are playing extremely well in his absence.
One of the few down notes in the running game against Ball State was that Mike Hart suffered a fumble in the first quarter. However, due to a quirk in the official scoring he did not lose his streak for consecutive touches without a lost fumble when he fumbled the ball out of his own endzone for a safety. Apparently, it was not scored as a lost fumble because Ball State never recovered the ball. Although Ball State was credited two points for the safety, Michigan kicked (free kick) the ball to Ball State on the next play. The fumble was not scored as a turnover. The bottom line is that Hart's consecutive touches streak without a lost fumble is still alive at 688 although it is slightly tarnished at this point. Another small down note was the fact that Hart carried the ball twenty-five (25) times against Ball State. He should have been limited to twenty carries maximum especially with Minor and Jackson running effectively. Hopefully, the coaches can keep Hart's number of carries down next week versus Indiana so he is fresh and ready to go for November 18th. Go Blue!
*Note: Photo of Mike Hart (20) and Jerome Jackson (24) by John T. Greilick/The Detroit News