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(Saturday, October 1st)
Final Score: (19) Michigan 58, Minnesota 0
Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - Denard Robinson accounted for "only" three of Michigan's seven touchdowns, as the 19th-ranked Wolverines annihilated Minnesota, 58-0, to keep the Little Brown Jug for a fourth straight year.
Michigan (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), playing in its fifth straight home game to open the season, outgained its rival, 580-177, had 24 more first downs and did not allow the Golden Gophers to convert a third down try.
Robinson threw for 169 yards and two scores on 15-of-19 attempts and gained 51 yards and a TD on the ground. Vincent Smith also showed his athleticism with a touchdown pass, catch and run in the blowout.
Max Shortell completed just half of his 22 attempts for 104 yards for the Gophers (1-4, 0-1), whose head coach, Jerry Kill, was on the sideline despite going back to the hospital this week to resolve his ongoing seizure issues.
Kill had to endure a one-sided contest from the outset, as Michigan scored on all six of its possessions in the opening half, whereas the Gophers recorded just eight first downs the entire game.
"They are a bigger, stronger, faster football team right now than we are and we just have to continue to work," Kill said. "We are finding out about our football team the tough way, but you have to play games so we'll continue to see where we're at, what we need to do, and it'll give us a process of what we are going to need to do to compete in the Big Ten because we haven't."
The hosts took the opening kickoff and went on a seven-play, 80-yard drive that Smith capped with a three-yard run.
Robinson went in on a nine-yard draw midway through the opening quarter, and a halfback pass saw Smith connect with Drew Dileo for a 17-yard score on the first play of the second stanza.
Smith added a 28-yard TD reception a little later, Brendan Gibbons split the uprights for a 25-yard field goal, and Kevin Koger caught an 18-yard pass from Robinson to head into the locker room with a healthy 38-0 cushion.
Robinson's final drive ended with Fitzgerald Toussaint rushing for a one-yard score at 8:18 of the third quarter.
Gibbons tacked on kicks of 32 and 38 yards, and Courtney Avery returned a fumble 83 yards for another TD with five minutes remaining in the rout.
"We got off to a good start on both sides of the ball. I think up front, the defensive line, the front four, front seven, responded well," Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said. "We were able to move the football and run with the football and Denard (Robinson) threw the football very well and when that happens it opens up the run game even more."
Michigan finally hits the road next week to face Northwestern...Michigan leads the all-time series, 71-24-3...Minnesota has lost five of its last six Big Ten openers...The Gophers failed on all 11 of their third down conversions...Toussaint had a game-high 108 yards on 11 carries...This was Michigan's first shutout of a Big Ten opponent since a 20-0 win at Penn State on October 6, 2001...Smith is the fifth Big Ten player to pass for a touchdown and have touchdowns rushing and receiving since 1996.
10/01 19:26:32 ET