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3 Biggest takeaways from Michigan’s 33-10 win over Minnesota

Sep 24, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines cheerleader runs down the sideline with a flag after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan Wolverines welcomed in the Minnesota Golden Gophers for another tilt under the lights at the Big House and controlled the game almost the entire way in their 33-10 victory. Minnesota had an impressive touchdown drive in the first quarter, but then didn’t get another point until they added a meaningless field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Here are the top three takeaways from the Michigan win over the Golden Gophers.

DOMINATING PERFORMANCE

Michigan fans have been waiting the whole season for a game they didn’t have to sweat out in the fourth quarter. They finally got it on Saturday.

The Wolverines controlled Minnesota in pretty much every aspect of the game. The defense was sensational, holding the Gophers to only 121 yards the entire game. Perhaps more impressive, Minnesota was held to just barely over two yards per play from scrimmage against the stout Michigan defense. After taking the lead in the first quarter, the Wolverines never had to look back.

It is about time.

WOLVERINES RUN RAMPANT

The Michigan running game was the focal point on Saturday night, gaining 371 yards. Tailbacks Karan Higdon and Chris Evans each had career days. Higdon had 200 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns, including this 77-yard scamper.

Evans nearly matched him, with 191 yards on 13 carries. His two TDs both came on runs of at least 60 yards, including this 67-yard dash in the second half.

The offensive line looked great creating running gaps, maybe for the first time this year. When all was said and done, Higdon and Evans averaged just over 13 yards per carry.

PETERS LESS THAN IMPRESSIVE

In his first career start, redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters wasn’t asked to do too much, and he barely delivered on that minimal expectation.

Peters did complete all three passes on Michigan’s opening drive including a TD pass to tight end Sean McKeon. Then he only connected on five of his ten passes the rest of the game, ending the night 5-for-13 with 56 yards and the one score. Certainly, nothing to write home about, but when your running backs are averaging a first down every time they touch the ball, it is pretty unnecessary to throw the ball much.

As good as the offensive line was in the run game, they left a lot to be desired the few times they were asked to pass block. Peters got sacked three times, and a couple of those hits nearly sent him into concussion protocol. This team is going to need to pass the ball more efficiently if they are going to beat better teams in the final month of the season.

UP NEXT: With the win, the Wolverines improved to 7-2 overall, 4-2 in Big Ten play. Michigan hits the road for their next two games, starting in Maryland at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 11.

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