ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — No. 2 Michigan has taken full advantage of its soft schedule, routinely routing overmatched opponents week after week.
Indiana was the latest to get lost in the Wolverines’ wake.
J.J. McCarthy threw a tiebreaking, 2-yard touchdown pass to Roman Wilson late in the first half and No. 2 Michigan pulled away to pummel Indiana 52-7 Saturday.
The Wolverines (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) have beaten teams by an average of 33 points. They are the third team since 2000 to win each of the first seven games by 24-plus points, joining Ohio State’s 2019 team and Stanford’s squad in 2011.
Michigan is allowing just 6.7 points per game, becoming the first FBS team to give up 10 or fewer points in its first seven games since Clemson in 1981.
“When we get punched in the mouth, we’re going to respond,” coach Jim Harbaugh said.
The Hoosiers landed the first blows before getting blown out on a cold, wet and windy afternoon.
The Wolverines started slow, punting after losing 8 yards on their first two possessions and giving up the game’s first touchdown, and closed strong with 52 straight points.
“I was really happy with the way we responded and rolled after those two drives,” McCarthy said.
Indiana (2-4, 0-3) took a 7-0 late late in the first quarter when Brendan Sorsby threw a lateral out wide to Donaven McCulley and the receiver heaved a 44-yard pass to Jaylin Lucas, who was wide open against a defense that was fooled by the trick play.
“I feel like we shot ourselves in the foot,” McCulley said. “In the first half, we can’t come out and make a big play and just not continue to roll.”
Indiana didn’t do much offensively the rest of the game and couldn’t slow down McCarthy and Co.
McCarthy was very efficient over three quarters, completing 14 of 17 passes for 222 yards with touchdown passes to Wilson, Colston Loveland and Semaj Morgan.
McCarthy’s go-ahead touchdown pass converted a fourth down and included Blake Corum making a key block to keep the pocket clean.
“No. 9 is going to make it right,” Harbaugh said of his decision to go for it. “I had great confidence that the odds are in our favor.”
Corum ran for 52 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns. He has 12 rushing touchdowns this season to rank among college football leaders and 43 in his career, moving past Mike Hart and Denard Robinson and trailing just Anthony Thomas (55) and Tyrone Wheatley (47) in school history.
Indiana quarterbacks Tayven Jackson and Brendan Sorsby both played and had rough days in Rod Carey’s first game as offensive coordinator.
“We just had to settle in a little bit,” said Michigan defensive end Jaylen Harrell, who had two sacks. “We called it a training camp game because we knew they had a new OC. Coming off a bye, there would be some things we weren’t prepared for. We got off to a slow start, but we clicked when we needed to.”
Jackson started and finished 7 of 13 for 52 yards with two interceptions and a fumble. Sorsby was 6 of 15 for 44 yards with a fumble.
The Wolverines have won 19 straight Big Ten games, matching a school record set from 1990-92. They have scored 30-plus points in a program-record 10 straight games, dating to last season.
Indiana: When a team plays two quarterbacks, it may be a sign it doesn’t have one, and that appears to be the case for embattled coach Tom Allen and his struggling program.
“Whoever is playing the best, we’re going to roll with them,” Allen said.
Michigan: After giving up three sacks in six games, the Wolverines allowed four sacks against a team that was expected to lose by nearly five touchdowns.
The Wolverines will likely stay at No. 2 in the AP Top 25.
Indiana: Hosts Rutgers on Saturday.
Michigan: Plays rival Michigan State on the road Saturday night.