ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan completed an important step in its recovery process.
The 12th-ranked Wolverines beat Minnesota 31-10 on Saturday, thanks to 172 yards rushing and three touchdowns from B.J. Askew and Chris Perry, and continued to move on after their controversial last-second loss at Michigan State.
"They responded to as difficult of a challenge as I remember," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
The Wolverines (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten) led just 14-10 at halftime, but scored 10 points on their first two second-half possessions and held the Gophers (3-6, 1-5) scoreless over the final 30 minutes.
John Navarre said last week's emotional loss might have been the reason the Wolverines got off to a slow start.
"Maybe it took a little while for it to get out of our system," Navarre said.
If Michigan wins the final two games at Wisconsin and against Ohio State, it will win the Big Ten title and represent the conference in the Fiesta, Oranage or Sugar Bowl. Representatives from each of those bowls -- wearing bright sportcoats -- attended the game at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines won their 13 consecutive game over Minnesota, which means the Little Brown Jug trophy will remain in Ann Arbor.
Askew scored two touchdowns and ran for 81 yards on 14 carries. Perry had 91 yards and a TD on 20 carries.
"We wanted to prove everybody wrong and show that we have a running game," Perry said.
Askew gave the offensive line credit for creating big holes to run through.
"I could have picked anywhere to go," Askew said.
Despite the lopsided win, Carr appeared unhappy with the play of quarterback Navarre, who played poorly for a second straight week.
Navarre was 12-of-22 for 144 yards with an interception and no touchdowns.
Carr, who had a few animated discussions with Navarre on the sideline, let backup quarterback Jermaine Gonzales play for a series in the second quarter and allowed him to run several plays later in the game. Gonzales was 2-of-4 for nine yards and gained 34 yards rushing, not counting the 20 yards he lost on two sacks.
Navarre said getting screamed at by his coach is just part of developing as a quarterback.
"You got to put it in the past and learn from it," Navarre said.
Michigan's Marquise Walker caught four passes for 60 yards and tied David Terrell, who is now playing for the Chicago Bears, for second place on the school's career receptions list with 152.
Minnesota's Asad Abdul-Khaliq was 12-of-25 for 140 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 53 yards on 11 carries.
The Gophers had 10 penalties for 96 yards.
"It's hard enough to beat Michigan," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said, "but when you're beating yourself at the same time, it's tough."
The loss means Minnesota will not earn a bowl bid for a third straight year -- which would've marked a first for the program -- even if it wins the final two games at Iowa and against Wisconsin.
"We still have a lot to play for," said Detroit native Ron Johnson, who caught four passes for 73 yards. "We have a couple of big games left to turn things around."
Askew's first touchdown capped Michigan's first drive, which went 72 yards on 10 plays over 5:04.
The Wolverines held Minnesota to just 23 yards in the first quarter, but a turnover prevented them from building much of an early lead.
Navarre's poorly thrown pass was intercepted by Justin Isom in the end zone, on a fourth-and-goal at Minnesota's 1.
On the next play, Johnson caught a 35-yard pass. Later, Abdul-Khaliq tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Johnson, who was never covered on the play, to tie the game at 7 early in the second.
Michigan's Tyrece Butler blocked a punt deep in Minnesota territory to setup Askew's second touchdown, which gave Michigan a 14-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
After the Gophers blocked Hayden Epstein's field-goal attempt, they drove 37 yards over the final 40 seconds of the half and Dan Nystrom's 40-yard field goal cut Michigan's lead to 14-10.
Minnesota 0 10 0 0 -- 10
Michigan 7 7 10 7 -- 31
Mich--Askew 5 run (Epstein kick), 7:58.
Minn--Johnson 15 pass from Abdul-Khaliq (Nystrom kick), 11:21.
Mich--Askew 2 run (Epstein kick), 7:20.
Minn--FG Nystrom 40, :00.
Mich--Bell 19 run (Epstein kick), 12:20.
Mich--FG Epstein 41 6:17.
Mich--Perry 5 run (Epstein kick), 14:49.
First downs 12 26
Rushes-yards 30-150 56-300
Passing 140 153
Comp-Att-Int 12-25-0 14-26-1
Return Yards 67 151
Punts-Avg. 9-42 4-47
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-96 3-22
Time of Possession 24:23 35:37
RUSHING--Minnesota, Redmon 11-53, Abdul-Khaliq 9-47, Barber 8-46, Tapeh 2-4. Michigan, Perry 20-91, Askew 14-81, Bell 2-30, Cross 6-27, Underwood 5-26, Walker 1-18, Gonzales 6-14, Navarre 2-13.
PASSING--Minnesota, Abdul-Khaliq 12-25-0-140. Michigan, Navarre 12-22-1-144, Gonzales 2-4-0-9.
RECEIVING--Minnesota, R.Johnson 4-73, Burns 2-32, Baugus 1-11, Patterson 1-6, D. Johnson 1-6, Barber 1-5, Henderson 1-4, Redmon 1-3. Michigan, Seymour 5-47, Walker 4-60, Joppru 2-25, Askew 2-13, Bell 1-8.
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