MINNEAPOLIS -- Though a lopsided home loss to Iowa two weeks ago likely deprived Michigan a chance at the Big Ten title, the Wolverines have tried to turn it into something positive.
Like two straight blowout victories.
"There's nothing in Michigan football worse than losing at home," said coach Lloyd Carr. "You really find out about yourself when you get knocked down."
The Wolverines (8-2, 5-1), who trail the Hawkeyes and Ohio State -- both undefeated -- in the conference race, have scored 90 points in the last two weeks against Michigan State and Minnesota.
They beat the Golden Gophers 41-24 on Saturday.
"I've been around long enough to know good kids, good attitude, good work ethic, good chemistry," Carr said. "This team always had that."
Michigan is trying to keep focused on its final two games, Wisconsin and at Ohio State, instead of thinking about what bowl game they might wind up in.
"Our goals are still ahead of us: We want to win out the last four games in November," said John Navarre, who passed for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
B.J. Askew ran for 126 yards on just 11 carries for Michigan, which gained 478 total yards and surged ahead with 24 straight points during a seven-minute span in the second half and hung on to the Little Brown Jug for another year and strengthened its chance of playing on New Year's Day.
The Gophers (7-3, 3-3) were in the Top 25 for a week until a 34-3 defeat to Ohio State dropped them from the rankings. They've been bowl-eligible for two weeks, thanks to a soft non-conference schedule, but they'll have a tough time winning another one: They host the Hawkeyes next week and finish up at Wisconsin on Nov. 23.
"We have two tough teams to play; it doesn't get any easier. We totally have to erase this game," said Asad Abdul-Khaliq, who struggled for the second straight week. "Our team is not satisfied just being bowl eligible."
Abdul-Khaliq completed 17 of 36 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, but his coach came to his defense.
"He's been under all kinds of criticism," Glen Mason said. "I thought it was a courageous performance by the guy. If that's not good enough, then shame on all of us."
Minnesota had only 6 yards rushing in the first half. Trailing just 20-17 in the third quarter, the Gophers turned the ball over three straight times on a blocked punt, an interception and a fourth-down stop.
"You can't play Michigan on a short field," Mason said. "They're too good."
Though they've still yet to prove they can play with the top teams, Gophers are still tied for fourth place in the Big Ten.
"We played some of the big boys, and respect is something we want to bring to Minnesota -- something we've been striving for for a few years," said linebacker Ben West. "We're not going to get it unless we beat these top teams. We're disappointed, but we'll just reload because we've got another tough one next Saturday."
Michigan 7 10 10 14 -- 41
Minnesota 3 0 14 7 -- 24
Min--FG Nystrom 32, 13:04.
Mich--Bellamy 10 pass from Navarre (Finley kick), 3:41.
Mich--FG Finley 22, 11:46.
Mich--Perry 16 run (Finley kick), 8:02.
Min--Patterson 6 pass from Abdul-Khaliq (Nystrom kick), 13:17.
Min--Burns 27 pass from Abdul-Khaliq (Nystrom kick), 6:06.
Mich--FG Finley 24, 3:26.
Mich--Edwards 10 pass from Navarre (Finley kick), 2:13.
Mich--Askew 4 run (Finley kick), 13:52.
Mich--Askew 59 run (Finley kick), 11:10.
Min--Jackson 5 run (Nystrom kick), 7:18.
First downs 22 23
Rushes-yards 48-253 36-127
Passing 225 209
Comp-Att-Int 15-26-0 18-37-3
Return Yards 110 71
Punts-Avg. 3-47 4-35
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 7-67 2-25
Time of Possession 34:28 25:32
RUSHING--Michigan, Askew 11-126, Perry 19-60, Underwood 13-42, Bellamy 1-18, Bracken 2-8, Navarre 2-(minus 1). Minnesota, Jackson 19-89, Abdul-Khaliq 13-67, Matthews 1-13, Tapeh 1-0, Mays 1-(minus 4), Team 1-(minus 38).
PASSING--Michigan, Navarre 15-26-0-225. Minnesota, Abdul-Khaliq 17-36-3-181, Gruening 1-1-0-28.
RECEIVING--Michigan, Bellamy 5-50, Edwards 4-75, Joppru 3-58, Gonzales 1-24, Askew 1-10, Perry 1-8. Minnesota, Burns 7-69, Patterson 4-40, Utecht 2-23, Ward 1-28, Hosack 1-20, Baugus 1-17, Matthews 1-10, Mays 1-2.
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