After Michigan and Iowa battled to a 7-7 tie after the first quarter, Gardner and the Wolverines' offense took control in the second. Michigan scored touchdowns on all three second quarter possessions, with Gardner involved in each of them.
For the half, Gardner completed 11-of-14 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores. Wide receivers Jeremy Gallon and Roy Roundtree were Gardner's prime targets, combining for 170 receiving yards.
Denard Robinson returned to action after missing two weeks, but with the emergence of Gardner at quarterback, Robinson was used in primarily a running back role. He finished the half with seven carries for 72 yards, including a 40-yard dash.
Not everything was sunshine and rainbows, however, for Michigan. Starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint was carted off the field with a left leg injury in the first quarter and taken to the local hospital for further evaluations.