Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) – Denard Robinson threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score, as 20th-ranked Michigan shook off a sluggish start and eventually held on a 42-37 victory over Massachusetts at Michigan Stadium.
The Wolverines (3-0), coming off a dramatic last-minute win over Notre Dame last week, trailed by 10 late in the first half, but scored twice in the span of 61 seconds before the intermission then added two scores to start the second half before holding off a late UMass rally.
Robinson, who established himself as an early Heisman Trophy candidate following his school record of 502 yards of total offense last week, finished with 104 rushing yards on 17 carries and 241 passing yards on Saturday. He completed 10-of-14 throws and was intercepted once.
Michael Shaw ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns for the Wolverines, who will finish their non-conference schedule next week at home against Bowling Green before opening the Big Ten slate on October 2 at Indiana.
Kyle Havens threw for 222 yards with a pair of late scores and Jonathan Hernandez ran for 114 yards with two touchdowns for Massachusetts (2-1), which is ranked 16th in the Football Championship Subdivision. Havens also ran for a touchdown for the Minutemen, who scored 20 fourth-quarter points to make it interesting.
Michigan trailed 17-7 with just 1:17 left in the half after Hernandez scored for UMass on a nine-yard run, but the Wolverines answered with a pair of touchdowns to take a 21-17 lead to the break.
On the first play after the kickoff following the Hernandez score, Robinson threw a quick hitch to Darryl Stonum, who wove his way through the UMass defense for a 66-yard score. Jordan Kovacs then forced and recovered a fumble on the Minutemen’s second play from scrimmage, giving Michigan the ball back at its own 45 with 45 seconds left. Robinson quickly found Junior Hemingway with a 36-yard pass and again hit Stonum for a nine-yard touchdown with just 16 seconds to play before the intermission.
The Wolverines took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove 69 yards on six running plays for another score. Robinson had three carries during the series, which Shaw finished with a 34-yard run through a gaping hole in the middle of the UMass line.
Michigan got the ball back at its own six after a punt and Robinson engineered a 94-yard drive for another touchdown. Robinson and Stonum hooked up for 46 yards to key the eight-play march and the sophomore quarterback scored on an eight-yard run to give the Wolverines a 35-17 advantage.
UMass didn’t quit and drove 70 yards in 15 plays for a touchdown. Havens scored on a seven-yard run just over a minute into the fourth quarter to pull the Minutemen within 11, but Shaw ripped off a 50-yard run on the first play after the ensuing kickoff and capped a five-play, 72-yard drive with a four- yard scoring run to restore Michigan’s 18-point margin.
Havens was picked off on the next series by Cameron Gordon, but he fumbled on the return and the Minutemen recovered. Havens took advantage of the second chance and threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Julian Talley. The two-point try failed, but the Minutemen followed by blocking a Michigan punt and Havens threw a seven-yard scoring pass to Andrew Krevis to make it a five-point game with just 2:05 remaining.
The ensuing onside kickoff went out of bounds and Michigan was able to run out the clock.
UMass took the opening kickoff and drove 53 yards for a 29-yard field goal from Caleb Violette, then picked off Robinson on Michigan’s first offensive series and took over near midfield. A holding penalty quickly halted the momentum and the Minutemen were forced to punt.
The kick pinned the Wolverines at their own seven-yard line, but Robinson atoned for his early mistake with a 93-yard scoring drive. A 43-yard pass to Kelvin Grady set up a first down at the five and Shaw scored from the one just two plays later to give Michigan a 7-3 edge.
UMass responded with a nine-play, 67-yard drive for the go-ahead score. Havens completed each of his four passes during the march and Hernandez finished it with a 10-yard run for a touchdown in the first minute of the second quarter.
Michigan couldn’t take advantage of a kickoff out of bounds and a 20-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, as Robinson lost yardage on two of the next three plays to force a punt. The Minutemen then had to punt and nearly came up with a huge turnover when Jeremy Gallon fumbled on the return, but the Wolverines were able to recover at their own 16.
Robinson led the Michigan offense to the UMass 21, but Seth Broekhuizen missed a 38-yard field goal try and the Minutemen answered with a 79-yard drive that ended with Hernandez’s second scoring run of the half.
Michigan totaled 525 yards of offense a week after accumulating 532 offensive yards against Notre Dame…Stonum finished with just three catches for 121 yards…Havens completed 22-of-29 passes…This was the first-ever meeting between the schools.